Apple just announced the tenth version of iOS, the heart and soul of all the company’s mobile hardware. In celebration of the operating system’s double-digit milestone, Apple is making lots and lots of upgrades. Let’s take a look.
A much better lockscreen
Craig Federighi started his massive iOS demo by saying this was the biggest release of iPhone software in its entire history. The lockscreen is completely redesigned with rich messages directly from the lockscreen, as well as interactive live status updates with apps like Uber. Apple’s also integrated 3D touch in order to clear all your notifications and added a new shortcut to quickly get to your music app or camera.
On the homescreen, widgets get an upgrade in the drop-down Today widget panel and 3D touch offers up more information for some apps like ESPN and Apple’s own activity app.
Siri is finally open to developers
This is the big one. This means that you’ll soon be able to ask Siri to open up specific apps and then do actions. As Federighi demoed, you can now say “Tell Nancy I’ll be five minutes late with WeChat,” or some variation of that phrase, and Siri will do exactly that. It can also do ride booking with Uber and Lyft and you can talk with various workout apps. Obviously, this feature list will only grow as more and more developers dive into the code.
Essentially, this makes Siri closer in useful functionality to Google’s own Google Now assistant, which has taken advantage of third party apps for awhile. It’s a muuuuch needed upgrade.
Quick Typing is less ridiculous
Apple is now using deep learning and AI to make smarter suggestions using Apple’s Quick Type keyboard. If someone texts you asking for a specific email for instance, Siri can look through your contacts and pre-fill the email in a Quick Type suggestion. Additionally, it can keep track of your availability through Calendar and past locations searched online.
Photos gets drunk on AI
Much like Google Photos, Apple is implementing AI and image recognition tech into its photos app so it can quickly organize photos for object recognition search, and also automatically identify trips in your camera roll and create short collections. Once again, a big upgrade but mostly features we’ve had for a year in the form of Google Photos.
Apple is still trying to make Maps useful
Apple has had it rough with Maps, even apologizing for the less-than-stellar app when it launched with iOS 6. Eddy Cue explained that Maps now has a deeper integration with CarPlay and that the platform is now open to developers. One example demoed onstage was OpenTable, so Maps can keep track of how much time you’ll need to get to the restaurant on time. You can also book a reservation with Uber, pay with Apple Pay, all without leaving the app. Basically, Apple is still trying to be the one Maps app to rule them all, but still seems to be playing catch up rather than innovating in any interesting way.
Apple Music gets a complete makeover
One of Apple Music’s biggest criticism was that its chaotic design made it difficult to navigate the messy spasm of colors and tabs. That’s all been pared down to a simple list with a mostly black, white, and pink color scheme. There are new sections like “Recently Added,” so you can quickly access new music added to Apple Music.