iOS 10 Beta 2

05 Jul 2016

Today Apple released the second iteration of their public beta for iOS 10. In case you weren’t aware, the current stable version of iOS is iOS 9. Ten is scheduled for release late in early autumn.

Early rception is mixed. It has been suggested that iOS 10 represents a failure to innovate and if you think innovation boils down to just look and feel then you may agree. Indeed if you compare the visual components of iOS 9 and 10 at a glance it would seem that little has changed. Yet, upon closer inspection you might notice that nothing is the same.

My summary is that iOS 10 brings a lot of new functionality to iPhones and this alone isn’t necessarily a good thing. However it seems that although now a lot more can be achieved with iOS10, everything requires less effort on the user’s part. Moreover, a lot of features that were already present on iOS are just a heck of a lot easier to use now.

In this post I want to hilight just two features: raise to wake and iMessage developer support.

The coolest iOS 10 feature i’ve noticed is also the most subtle. It’s easy to overlook, it’s nothing special and yet when I point it out to other beta testers they’re blown away. Apple calls it raise to wake. Whenever I reach for my iPhone to look at it, it wakes up and shows me the lock screen. The closest thing already on the market that come anywhere near this in convenience those magnetic case covers that can detect when the screen is visible. But this is completely different, if I grab my iPhone from the nighstand or pull it out of my pocket, the screen comes to life. When I put the phone away, it goes back to sleep. It’s elegantly simple and the way things should be. And I have to note Apple’s attention to detail here, the screen doesn’t just abruptly turn off, it smoothly fades to black.

The next noticeable innovation has much broader impacts than “raise to wake”. With iOS 10 Apple will be rolling out new iMessage access for devs. Developers will now have the option of integrating with iMessage and presenting custom interfaces for their apps from directly within a Messages convo. Hence users can access apps without needing to leave Messages. This is intended to allow users to conveniently share content, edit photos, play games, send payments and collaborate in brand new ways. Since smartphones are fundamentally communication devices, this should significantly change how users communicate and share content.

Here is simple way to visualize the potential impact of support for iMessage Apps: what would you send via text message if you knew you could? Money? Game invitations? Movie Tickets? The possibilities are endless.

There certainly were other feature releases and in fact “raise to wake” wasn’t even part of beta II but these are the two items that left the greatest impression o me .

Also, I should probably write something on SiriKit soon.

Published on 05 Jul 2016