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July 13, 2016

iOS 10 Preview Indicates Complete Revamp for iPhone

The long-awaited iOS 10 update is now available as a public beta, and testers could not be happier about the improvements. With the update, Apple seems to be focusing on consumers and making their lives easier. Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting feature updates.


The messaging app is receiving a complete overhaul that is sure to impress users. What was once a simple, plain app is now going to incorporate a number of third-party extensions. One feature that has several users excited is the extensions for the Phone app. Once the update comes out, you should be able to long press on the Messages icon and choose WeChat, for example, as the preferred messaging protocol for a certain person. This customization is all about convenience in that it eliminates the annoying process of checking messages on the Messages app, Facebook Messenger, GroupMe and whatever other messaging app combination you may use to communicate. This feature is also going to be part of the Phone app in that incoming VoIP phone calls will pop up like regular phone calls.

Other improvements to Messages include the ability to write messages with your finger rather than type, customize text bubbles, send stickers like in Facebook Messenger and so much more. Emoji-only messages will also be three times bigger now, which is exciting for the emoji enthusiast.

Third-Party Extensions

Several other apps are also getting third-party extensions. Maps, for example, is receiving a completely redesigned user interface to make it less cluttered and easier to use. It’s also receiving extensions for specific apps like ride-hailing apps, restaurant recommendation and more. You can now book a table through apps like OpenTable or schedule an Uber ride, all through Maps. Finally, you can search along your route for the closest places for gas, food, coffee and more.

Siri is another feature that is getting revamped thanks to third-party extensions. The ever-helpful Siri will now be able to help you book a ride through Uber, send money through Venmo and a variety of other functions.

Home and Lock Screen

The familiar lock screen that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years is getting an upgrade. Developers can now build interactive widgets for notifications and 3D touch shortcuts. So if you get an app notification, you can press on the notification to open a tiny widget that will give you updated information.

In terms of home screen changes, you can preview live content of your app by pressing on the icon. For example, you can see the last emails that came through or what the current weather is without having to actually open either app. These are features that Android users have been enjoying for some time, and they’re finally making their way over the Apple.

All in all, the changes coming with iOS 10 are going to be big. They may take some getting used to, but everything is designed to improve user experience. No more hunting for messages from your sister while trying to remember what her preferred messaging app is, and no more getting frustrated when Siri tells you she can’t do something. Several of these changes are reminiscent of features that have been available on Android for a while now, which seems to be Apple’s nod to Android’s success. Many iPhone users have begrudged the fact that Android has features that Apple doesn’t. It looks like with iOS 10 Apple is finally listening to their ideas. The fact that a public beta is available shows that Apple is looking to hear more from actual consumers, which is always a nice touch.

If you want to get in on the action early, The New York Times has the information you need on getting started. Or you can wait until the fall and upgrade when the update is officially released. Until then, have fun exploring the new features!

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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