iOS 10 is finally here! This tenth incarnation was announced this June with a lot of pomp and circumstance at Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC.) Starting September, your iPhone and iDevices set the trend with all of Apple’s iOS 10 features.
Tim Cook calls iOS 10 “our biggest release yet, with incredible features in Messages and an all-new design for Maps, Photos, and Apple Music.” Developers hail this update and the new iOS 10 features as “the mother of all iOS updates.”
- iOS 10 is a real make-over!
- iOS 10 Final Verdict: Exceptional!
- iOS 10 Top Features
- The Basics of iOS 10 Features
- So, What’s Really Changed?
- Widgets in iOS 10
- Improved Control Center in iOS 10
- Updated Notifications Options
- iOS 10 Brings Freedom from Apple’s Native Apps
- iMessage in iOS 10, The New Kid on the Block
- Cameras, Photos & Paparazzi in iOS 10
- Let There Be Music
- Places to Go and Things to Do in iOS 10
- iOS 10 – Other Notable Features
iOS 10 is a real make-over!
Apple revamped all major core components of its operating system and even introduced a few fan requests including the ability to delete select Apple native apps (often called stock apps) on your iPhone or iPad. We’ve waited a very long time for that one, and we are so happy it’s finally here. It’s even on our iOS 10 Features Wishlist from January 2016.
Here at AppleToolbox, we experimented with all of iOS 10 features since the developer beta released in June. Along the way, we learned quite a few really cool things about this new iOS.
So to help you, our readers, quickly acclimate to all of iOS 10 features, we put together this comprehensive guide. This guide shows you the best and brightest of iOS 10 for all your iDevices. And we thoughtfully handpicked the best features most iFolks use regularly.
For those lucky enough to have the new iPhone 7, iOS 10 is totally optimized for you! Consequently, our guide provides the best tips and tricks on the unique aspects of iOS 10 for your iPhone 7.
Our testing over the past few months convinces us that iOS 10 is extraordinary! And we wholeheartedly recommend installing iOS 10 onto your iDevice especially if using an iPhone 6 and higher.
iOS 10 Final Verdict: Exceptional!
But…for any doubters out there, here’s our Top 10 list of features that we think make this iOS so great and create an exceptional iPhone experience.
iOS 10 Top Features
Our iOS 10 Guide is divided into two sections
- The first section introduces all the new features and provides tips on how to get the most out of iOS 10.
- The second section provides additional reference articles that make your iOS 10 experience even better.
Throughout the year, our iOS 10 features guide is continually updated with new information and tips submitted by our staff and you, our readers. So bookmark this page and share it with all your iFriends and iFamily. And anyone else who loves their iPhones, iPads, and other iDevices!
For those of you that have a slightly older iPhone, read our review here. Please note that iOS 10 is not available for iPhone 4 models and earlier generations.
The Basics of iOS 10 Features
So, What’s Really Changed?
Simply put, a lot! iOS 10 is a fun and adventurous journey. We walk you through all the interesting, useful, and cool features. Admittedly, we had slight reservations about a few of the functions when testing out earlier iOS 10 betas. But since then, Apple fixed most of these issues.
First thing first
Gone is the familiar “Slide to Unlock” feature. Instead, iOS 10 incorporates a “Raise to Wake” feature. This feature only works with iDevices with built-in advanced motion processors. So for iFolks with older iPhones and iPads, unlock the device by pressing the home button.
Widgets in iOS 10
As soon as you unlock your iPhone or iPad, you see the new Widgets Side Panel. Slide to the right from the new lock screen and your widgets display. Depending upon your settings, you don’t even need to unlock your iDevice to see your widgets.
This iOS feature makes accessing information super easy and compared to earlier iOS versions, your widgets display a heck of a lot more information.
Widgets allow you to quickly and elegantly access information without the need to access any of the apps. Pretty neat!
At first glance, it appears that the widget screen could leak your private data since no passcode is required. Fear not. iOS 10 gives you complete control over what is displayed on your lock screen and how you want to display any information.
Tap on Settings > Passcode and choose what is allowed access when your device is locked. This includes Today’s View, Siri, Home Control, and Notifications View.
Once you familiarize yourself with these cool widgets, slide right and you get your new and improved Control Center. Nice.
Improved Control Center in iOS 10
Now that your lock screen widgets are set up, let’s take a look at the new and improved control center.
Choosing functions is really easy in the new control center. Remember how the volume buttons were so close that it was difficult to use without touching some other button? Well, welcome to a larger and better-designed control center!
And swiping left in control center gives you an all-new audio playback pane.
Updated Notifications Options
iOS 10 also introduces richer notifications. A spotlight search bar is included at screen top and notifications appear with new force 3D-Touch options so that you do basic things without even opening apps.
iOS 10 Brings Freedom from Apple’s Native Apps
Yes. You heard it right.
With iOS 10, deleting most of the pre-installed native apps is possible. So you now get to pick and choose any apps that suit you. The days of using standard Apple apps are over (for the most part.)
This is a HUGE change that Apple fans wanted since the very first iPhone. And it’s super easy to delete stock apps from your iDevice and use alternative apps for your tasks. Plus restoring stock apps is easy, just in case you decide you don’t like your new app. They’re all available in the app store!
So, if you’re ready to get rid of some of those stock apps and take a peek at some of our recommended replacements, click below to learn all about this new feature to get started.
iMessage in iOS 10, The New Kid on the Block
Although rumors around using iMessage across android platforms didn’t come to fruition, Apple added a lot more features into iMessage, bringing its messaging platform up to current standards. iMessage finally competes with all the other messaging apps.
If you’re an avid iMessage user and use it to stay connected with your friends and family, some of the new iMessage features definitely bring a smile. Apple spent a lot of time and effort revamping this app in iOS 10.
So, welcome to a whole new world of Animated Backgrounds, Bubble effects, Emojification, Tapback replies, handwritten messages & Digital Touch. It’s about time…
On top of all that, the Digital touch feature in iMessages is a really cool feature for those that like to personalize your messages. So go and check it out for yourself!
So far we’ve showcased everything to get you started using the amazing and rich features of iOS 10 messaging. Later, we discuss even more iMessage tips like using stickers and putting Siri to work with iMessage.
Since Sirikit is now open to third-party developers, we expect a lot of new features and fun things in iMessage moving forward.
Okay, maybe you’re still not impressed…..So, let’s get to the really good stuff in iOS 10
Cameras, Photos & Paparazzi in iOS 10
Lights, Camera, Action
It’s no surprise that one of the most important features of a smartphone is its camera. People often make their smartphone purchasing decisions based on its camera(s.)
For iPhone 7 users, the new and improved camera specs are probably one of the main reasons you signed up. Your DSLR faces some serious competition with The iPhone 7’s camera and iOS 10 camera optimization.
Even for us older iPhone folks, Apple doesn’t disappoint! iOS 10 includes a major overhauling of both camera and photos. And these new features are easy to access and use. Be a top-rated photographer just by using these new iOS 10 camera features!
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
Rediscover your most cherished photos via memories. The new Photos app is updated with an advanced facial recognition feature that recognizes photos and collates photos of individuals through different dates and times.
In the Photos app, there is the new adjustment called brilliance slider, offering more intelligence so you improve your photos with even less effort. A few taps and you have some of the most amazing photos ever—right on your iPhone.
Let There Be Music
We discovered our eyes with iOS 10’s new camera and photos app, now let’s indulge our auditory senses.
Apple totally revamped its Apple Music app in iOS 10. A re-design was just the thing Apple needed to compete with other streaming music service providers such as Spotify.
That crazy cluttered and complicated interface from prior iOS versions is forever gone. Now Apple Music’s User Interface is beautifully clean and easy to use. Apple Music in iOS 10 sports really neat 3D Touch features that allow you to share songs and albums with just a simple touch.
PLUS, the idiosyncrasies of the Connect feature are finished!
Also new to Apple Music is the availability of lyrics. Get a group karaoke going on your next night out with friends and family! Not all songs have lyrics yet and there are still some bumps in the road, with lyrics sometimes falling out of sync with the song. But, Apple is in the process of working out these kinks and adding more song lyrics.
So for all you Apple Music Lovers, we have a great section to rediscover Apple Music and all its new iOS 10 features.
Now, we covered some of the fun features of iOS 10, lets walk through some of the other features that make your day even more productive, cuz you got….
Places to Go and Things to Do in iOS 10
Apple Maps in iOS 10 features automated navigation. Open the app when leaving work and Maps shows your route and highlights any traffic problems on that route.
Siri’s on the Map
Although she works behind the scenes most of the time, Siri still got a facelift in iOS 10. Siri and Maps are optimized and just work a heck of a lot better in iOS 10. Depending upon your calendar entries, Siri proactively offers routes, times, and location details.
Maps is redesigned with a simple and user friendly interface providing feedback that’s timely and much easier to understand.
Where’s Waldo (or whatever you named your car)?
Ever go to a mall or doctor’s office and forget where you parked your car?
Well, iOS 10 has you covered. With its new automatic parking feature, Maps knows where you parked and will light up a notification so to easily track your car down in the parking lot.
Now, that’s some clever thinking….on Apple’s Part.
A Few of My Favorite Things…to Remember
When it comes to keeping track of things to do, Notes and Reminder apps are there to rescue you. With Notes in iOS 10, the major change is around privacy and the addition of a collaborative feature.
If you are party planning with friends, invite them using a shared note. Add images, maps, checklists, etc to your notes and get something cool going!
One new feature in iOS 10 really helpful for folks who use multiple languages when communicating is the multiple language keyboard.
Multilingual keyboard typing is super easy for writing in different languages. It’s easy to set up and great convenience. Overall the QuickType keyboard is way more user-friendly in iOS 10.
Even though iOS 10 allows you to replace the Mail app, Apple made some amazing changes including new integration features in its flagship Mail app. For example, threaded conversations in Mail now display messages in a single window.
For those with an iPad Pro, you see a new 3 column view. New advanced filters help you shift through your email in a more productive fashion.
However, if you’ve always wanted to replace Mail with a different app, we tested a few of the mail apps out there. Maybe even take AOL Alto for a test ride? Yup, we said AOL…Yeah, I know we are as surprised as anyone with all the innovative features of this free email app.
iOS 10 – Other Notable Features
If you run out of storage on your iPhone and iPad, iOS 10 automatically removes songs to free up space on your iDevice. This feature is so intelligent that it only deletes songs not played on your iDevice in a long time. And of course, your song is stored in iCloud so getting it back onto your iDevice is just a tap and download away.
Accessing your Mac’s or Macbook’s files on your iDevice is also possible with iOS 10–WOW!
For those of you with a 3D Touch, navigating your iDevice landscape is intuitive and really awesome. Check out all the new 3D touch features incorporated into iOS 10.
It’s Time for Bed!
The Clock function in iOS 10 introduces a pretty neat feature called Bedtime that is well worth a try. The app works in dark mode and plays soothing sounds to wake you up each morning. And for the end of the day, it includes reminders that it’s time for you to go to sleep!
Get Your Game On
iOS 10 removed the game center app and replaced it with GameKit. Game Center was always clunky so we are very happy to see it replaced. Developers and gamers alike have high hopes for GameKit.
You’ve Got Voice Mail!
For the folks who experience challenges listening to their voicemail, Apple offers a nice little way to get a transcript of your voicemail. At AppleToolBox, we love this feature.
Special Delivery for iPads
Users of iPads can now keep two different Safari windows open side-by-side, unavailable in iOS 9 and below.
iOS 10 wins Gold with its new and interesting features! We are closely following the public release of iOS 10 and all its updates, so when we know something, you know something. There is still so much to write about with the new Siri and how Siri works with many of the new iOS 10 features.
We didn’t get the chance to test out the “Home” app on iOS 10 and would love to hear from you in the comments if you are using home automation via this app.
Still not convinced that an update to iOS is necessary? Check out everything you’d miss out on if you don’t update to iOS 10.
So let’s learn together about these new iOS 10 features by experimenting, trying things out, and deciding what we like best for our iDevices. And of course, Apple always gives us an update with some hidden features–so let us know what you find!
To date, we find iOS 10 pretty stable compared with prior iOS betas. We’ve seen a few hiccups here and there, and we plan on covering them in our troubleshooting section for iOS 10.
Remember to back-up your iPhone or iPad before you install iOS 10
Apple continues to revolutionize the personalized smartphone experience—it gets better with each generation. And we are so glad for it….
So let’s make the best out of iOS 10. Please let us know in the comments if there are other features of iOS 10 that you would like us to cover or if you find one of those hidden feature gems. We love to hear your experiences with iOS 10 as you try out some of the new features so go ahead and share.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.