10 for 10: Apple touts big improvements for iOS

But there are many more in the upcoming OS

Well, that was a lot to take in. 

At WWDC 2016, Apple revealed iOS 10, and for the occasion, showcased 10 changes to the company's mobile operating system. Developers can download a pre-release version now; a public beta will be available to the rest of us next month. 

iOS 10 comprises mostly incremental changes -- no mind-blowing, earth-shattering leaps forward. But there are a lot of meaningful improvements nonetheless. So what were some of the highlights? In IT Blogwatch, we find out. 

Just want the company line? Apple lets us know what it thinks are important in Apple previews iOS 10, the biggest iOS release ever:

Apple...previewed iOS 10...featuring a huge update to Messages that delivers more expressive and animated ways to message...the ability for Siri to do more by working with apps, beautifully redesigned Maps, Photos, Apple Music and News apps, and the Home app, delivering a simple and secure way to manage home automation products in one place.

So let's break some of that down. Gregg Keizer tells it like it is in Apple touts A.I. in iOS -- with barely a mention of the term -- and opens 'crown jewels' to devs:

The talk...among pundits [is] that Apple is behind rivals -- including Facebook, Google and Microsoft -- in...[bringing] more intelligence to technology...Craig Federighi...unveiled 10 improvements and additions to iOS 10.
As rumored, Siri will be opened to third-party developers to expand the assistant's capabilities on iOS. Siri will also integrate with other apps, including Skype, Pinterest and Uber for...chores such as calling, pulling up photos and requesting a ride.
On the photo side, iOS 10 will use facial, object and scene recognition to categorize, then locate images. With the stress lately on artificial intelligence by rivals...it wasn't surprising that Federighi said "A.I." more than once to talk up...new features in iOS's Photos apps.

So what exactly is the deal with with the updated Apple Photos? Tiernan Ray shares in Apple Talks Machine Learning on iOS 10; iMessage Enhancements; 'Differential Privacy:'

[A] machine learning task, facial recognition, [will] automatically identify friends and family in photographs...Other machine learning functions would sort photos into things such as favorite events. The groups of automatically recognized categories are placed in a new “tab” in the photos app, called “Memories.”
The photos app would also automatically create movies out of those memory snippets...solving the issue of users not having time to assemble clips on their own, including titles, transitions, and soundtracks.

That's cool. But what about the home screen? Neil Hughes gives more information in First look: Widgets escape Notification Center, arrive on lock & home screens in iOS 10:

In the first beta of iOS 10, user-configurable widgets can be accessed from the home screen by swiping from the left...the iconic "slide to unlock" is officially dead: Apple's lock screen on iOS 10 now says "Press home to unlock."
[T]he time and date move to the right side of the screen while widgets are displayed below...this is a single column of widgets that can be completely customized by the user.
Apple's own built-in widgets include the Weather app, "Up Next" from Calendar, Siri App Suggestions, the Apple News app, and Maps Destinations.

Of course, that wasn't all. Zac Epstein has a final thought in 13 best new features coming to the iPhone and iPad in iOS 10:

There were also...more big features Apple didn’t dive too deep into during the show, but they sounded awesome nonetheless.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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