So, what’s so new?

We wish we had a penny for every time we have been asked that question every time someone has updated their device to a new version of an OS. Yes, there is the usual bug-busting and the ironing out of rough spots and “performance enhancements”, but when a major OS update is rolled out, the first thing that most people want to know is what exactly is new about it. And new in terms of UI and features that can actually be noticed, rather than some “behind the scenes” magic or something that is understandable only by the geek squad.

ios10

So if you have updated your device to iOS 10 and are wondering what is noticeably new about it, just check out the following ten features and reassure yourself that “yep, this is a new OS after all”:

  1. iMessage Magic: Perhaps the most obvious change in day to day usage. Apple has clearly decided to take on the likes of Snapchat in the messaging department, which is why the app now comes with a truckload of new features including sending messages with special effects, sending images with sketches and emojis and gifs and stickers. Go ahead, knock yourself out.
  2. Swipe to access camera: Swiping to the left from the lockscreen now lets you access the camera. Yes we know we could access it from the lockscreen in the past as well but that required touching a camera icon and swiping. This is a simple swipe to the left.
  3. ios-10-home-app

  4. Swipe to access widgets: The lockscreen has got a whole lot more information on it now. In what seems to be a definite touch of Android-ness, swiping to the right now gives you access to a number of widgets and information associated with them. So you can check appointments,news weather and the like right from the lock screen.
  5. Pick up to wake up: The raise to wake feature means that your phone lights up the moment you pick it up, thanks to some accelerometer magic. Basically this means you can access widgets and camera without having to unlock your phone. A certain cool quotient here, we sense.
  6. Notifications: The notification system has got a whole lot more clear with clearer bubbles and time stamps and also the name of the app from which the notification has come. About time too, we think. And yes, if you have a phone with 3D Touch, just long press on the small cross next to the notifications to clear all notifications – definitely a Godsend!
  7. ios10-lock

  8. Tap to quick reply: Well, this should classically be going under messages but it is definitely spectacular enough to merit a point of its own – the next time you want to respond to a message quickly, just tap it and you will get six quick message options that let you send icon-based messages to a specific message – yes, you can choose to respond to a specific message, if you wish!
  9. Photo memories: The photos app has seen a bit of an overhaul too but the one feature that is going to jump right out at you is the organization of photographs into ‘memories’, which are short films (you can choose from three durations) made up using pictures based on locations and dates, and set to music (which you can tweak). It is done automatically, without any intervention needed from you at all, and can sometimes make your pictures look a whole lot better than they actually were.
  10. ios_10_control-center

  11. Control Center: And iOS 10 also revamps the Control Center. Yes, you still access it with a swipe up from the lower part of your phone, but you get to see more colorful icons, and features like AirPlay mirroring ad Night Shift are now available right there. You do need to swipe to the left for music controls, which we found a little odd, though. On the other hand, if you have an iPhone with 3D Touch, you can use it to control the intensity of the light from the torch, which is sort of cool.
  12. Closing multiple tabs in Safari: Have got way too many tabs open in Safari? (It happens to the best of us, relax!) In iOS 10, all you need to do is hold on to the tabs button on the bottom of the browser on the extreme right. Among the options that will come up will be one to close all open tabs with the number of tabs given. Beats closing them one by one, we must confess.
  13. Having any number of tabs in Safari: Yes we know the irony of this point coming immediately after the previous one, but now there’s no limit on the number of tabs you can open on Safari. It used to be 36. Now you can go well beyond that. Go right ahead if you wish and hey, remember that closing them is a whole lot easier than before!
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Editorial Mentor

Nimish Dubey has been writing for more than a decade now (well, Windows 3.1 was around and Apple was on the verge of being finished when he started). He has been published in a number of publications including The Times of India, Mint, The Economic Times, Mid-Day and Femina on subjects that vary from tech write -ups to book reviews to music album round ups. He managed to interview Michael Schumacher once and write two books for young adults along the way.