All the Magic New Things in iOS 10

By Gary Cutlack on at

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference for 2016 has all been happening this evening, as the American gathering of the hardcore enthusiasts and coders who make Apple's ecosystem what it is find out about its plans for the next year. We've seen the arrival of the all-new macOS for desktop and the updated WatchOS 3, now here's the big one that'll be jazzing up the iPhones and iPads of the planet later in 2016.

Lock Screen

The big aim for Apple this year is to update the user experience, so it says, with the first changes addressing the first thing you see every morning -- the lock screen. It'll now display rich message and app content making it a destination in itself, with Apple's demonstration showing live Uber trip status data. 3D touch integration is also included to dismiss notifications, gently, or roughly if they're LinkedIn emails.

More Siri

Siri can do "so much more" says Apple, thanks to one big move -- opening it up to developers via the SiriKit. Which we saw coming. This should result in more context-aware Siri messages and seamless app prompts, meaning more conversation-like chat -- and direct instructions to send someone a message in WhatsApp. "Siri, play Justin Bieber in Spotify" may now well work.

Apple's also promising Uber integration (other apps are available), so you should be able to get Siri to call you an unlicensed minicab. She'll never go halves on it, though.

"Siri intelligence" comes to the keyboard, with integration though Quicktype. Siri will use your local data, scanning messages to see times and dates mentioned and suggesting pre-populated entries to calendar events. Apple also says it should suggest automatic replies, too, offering up contact details when its owner is asked for so-and-so's email address in an incoming message.

It should also offer to automatically paste in addresses you've recently clipboarded, plus, in a move that got a polite round of applause from the multinational WWDC crowd, it can switch between multiple languages on the fly.

ios 10


On-device facial recognition is coming as part of the iOS 10 Photos app, which will see your phone offering to sort photos by the faces of your friends and any randoms you've been stalking. Photos can be sorted via a map view too, if you need to try to piece together the events of a previous evening in order to find your lost possessions, wallet, travelcards and dignity.

A Memories tab will attempt to link related content together, so if you're looking at photos of a holiday with an ex-girlfriend and feeling sad, it might pop up more photos of other people you went on holiday with. The sadness won't ever end!

Also, reminiscent of something Google+ used to do, this Memories tool will serve up edited compilations of happy times, creating its own videos and slideshows of happier days.

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Apple's added some more world awareness tools to its Maps app, leading with one that uses the time of day to guesstimate what you're doing and calculate a time until you get to that place you always go to every day. It'll also offer more data on arrivals and distances between places, too, telling you how much longer you've got to go before there's decent Wi-Fi.

And in quite a usefulness bombshell, Maps is being opened up to developers too -- meaning Uber rides, restaurants and more ought to one day be fully integrated with iOS10's mapping business. Apple showed an OpenTable timeslot arrival countdown, adding thrills to any drive.

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Yes, Apple Music is getting a rejig as we all suspected. Big, colourful, floating squares of album art make it look pretty, plus there's a new Downloaded tab -- and a recently added feed -- within the menus, to make it easier to find new tunes. Or the same old music you've put on your phone again. And lyrics can be displayed on screen, too.

What a party they are having. Of course, Android users all know the words to Rapper's Delight.

More's also been added to the News service, alongside yet another redesign. Apple says it's added a Subscriptions hub too, to manage any existing subs you may have to outside news providers. If so, they ought to pop up here in one unified information supercentre. Plus there are now breaking news notifications, if you like knowing about the very latest in disasters and Donald Trump declarations.


No, wait, it's actually interesting! Apple showed a quite staggering piece of life-observing at WWDC, using the live feed from an IP camera to populate the lock screen. Imagine the cat content that might generate. Additional geofencing tools and a Home IoT-like smart app let you specify options, like, say, telling your super smart kettle to turn itself on when your phone tells the cloud you're entering the vicinity of the converted part of someone's attic you currently call home.

Messaging features

Oh yeah, of course most people use iOS 10 on a telephone. So it can do telephoning. An opening up of an API extension lets third party apps scan for spam callers, while updates to iMessage include hidden message options that reveal on the sender's screen, plus handwritten messages are supported and messages are now able to bust themselves into fullscreen mode and add graphical effects.

There's also adaptable message bubble sizes. So you can say "yay" or "YAY" when someone tells you something that's important to them and you want to pretend it's important to you too.

Imagine the funny internet things this will be used for. And -- oh god no -- the phone now scans words and suggests emoji.

Amazing. The future. Emoji display on the phone of your friends at three times the previous size in iOS 10, too, so people might stand some chance of knowing what you actually meant but couldn't be bothered to properly express in words.

Again, Apple's opening up iMessage to developers, meaning all sort of animating, integrated, potentially bothersome things may be done in the name of modern youth engagement and fun. And it'll all be end-to-end encrypted by default, so no one can hack into your ironic banter.

The official rundown of new iOS 10 features can be found on Apple's developer home, plus there's a serious text list devoid of emoji outlining the core changes here.