iOS 10 recently came out and we were a little bit trepidatious about the install, due to some early reports out about it breaking phones and causing other issues. In the past, we've seen iOS updates come out that really didn't add much in the way of value, or really cool, new features. iOS 10 really isn't one of those instances. By and large, the updates that we've seen for iOS 10 are broad reaching, touching almost every aspect of the phone and the majority of them are things that are really intuitive and things that we didn't realize we were missing until just now.
Let's start with general enhancements. They changed the look of pretty much everything:
The mail application has changed to follow the format a little closer to Google Mail, which a lot of people are going to love.
The music application, now when you go into the music app, it starts with playlists, which is always the first place that anybody wants to go. For some reason, in the past Apple has never realized this.
They've introduced some widgets to the home screen. The widget tool is actually pretty cool in that it gives you a pretty quick overview of the key information that you would want to look at in the app, without ever having to unlock your phone. The unlocking is a little bit annoying, probably because users are used to unlocking them in the same way for so long. But now, you press it once, and it brings up the main screen, it doesn't bring you right into unlock and swiping, which is what you used to have to do to unlock. You have to press the home button, then press it again to unlock. It's going to take a little getting used to, but I'm sure once I do, I won't realize that it's an issue, it's just a little annoying right now.
Moving on from that, one of the big changes that we saw come to the phone this year is the introduction of the home app. The home app actually ties into iCloud and allows you to automate things in your home and actually trigger things like lights, control thermostats, and unlock your door.
The biggest change, and the thing that is the most exciting change for iOS 10 is the enhancements they made to the texting application. Texting has got a lot of really cool enhancements. They have the drawing app where you can draw something on a picture, or draw something on a black surface and then send it to another person and they can see what you drew and watch it be drawn. They have introduction of effects text, where you can make the text messages that you send animate in to include things like invisible ink, where you can send a text that's distorted and the user on the other side has to almost rub it off to see what it looks like. They have a search engine built in now for sending animated gifs. This is really cool because if you want to send a funny gif, you can actually type in the search engine the word "cry" and it will bring up a million gifs of people crying that are really funny and you can send it. It's fast an intuitive and really cool.
Texting App Store
One of the biggest things, or the thing that's going to really change texting overall and really change the way we communicate with one another is the introduction of an app store that is specifically for texting. The app store includes sticker packs that you can download and send images to each other. But the bigger thing that it includes is games. These include Battleship, Virtual Pool, and word games, and this is just the beginning. It's a great way to engage with people and keep the communication going without the pressure of a text conversation and it's a lot of fun. The text-based gaming is still a little glitchy, we've had a couple of instances where during a game just died or bailed out and you had to start all over.
iOS 10 is probably the most substantial update to the operating system in the last three years in terms of cool features, and most of that is resting on the introduction of these new text features and texting app. Overall, iOS 10 has some really great updates and is a really exciting change in the operating system that has been a long time coming, with definitely a few surprises that we didn't see coming.