Apple has unveiled iOS 10 – its most ambitious update to the iPhone and iPad operating systems at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco that add impressive new abilities to the devices.
In the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium packed with media and developers, Apple introduced the new features of iOS 10 which transform the way we send messages, use Siri, navigate with Maps and even control our home automation products.
Developers were also excited to learn they would have access to Siri, Maps, messages and and the phone when creating their news apps and all-new possibilities with the iPhone and iPad.
Apple wants coding to become part of the school curriculum with the launch of Swift Playgrounds – a free app that makes learning code fun and easy.
Swift Playground has programmed lessons so users can learn the basics and apply this knowledge to create their own apps.
Here are the main new features of iOS 10:
Messaging is one of the most popular activities on the iPhone and iOS 10 has taken that to the next level.
Users can now add fun effects and animations to make their messages even more personal, emotional and expressive.
You can add bubble effects, so your message bubble and text can be sent in different sizes and with different effects.
Users can also play animations like fireworks, confetti and balloons over their messages as well.
It will also be possible to add emojis after your message is written with Tapback which highlights words that can be replaced with symbols.
There’s also an Invisible Ink function where a sent message can be read by the receiver when they run their finger over the text area.
Now simply raising your iPhone to look at it will wake the device so you can view your lock screen.
And that lock screen will have an all-new look and new capabilities as well.
From here you can view all of your notifications and, with 3D touch integration if you have an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, act on those notifications from the lock screen.
Users can also swipe left and right to view Control Centre, Notification Centre and camera.
Siri is already a huge part of iOS and it’s about to get even bigger now that it will be opened up for developers to use in their apps.
Users will be able to start and stop workouts and search photos with their voice as well as book a ride with Uber simply by talking to their iPhone.
With Car Play, Siri will be able to adjust climate controls and also adjust their radio settings.
Maps has been redesigned in iOS 10 and also given new capabilities.
With Maps now open to developers it will be possible to book a table at a restaurant, book a ride, pay for it and navigate to the restaurant without leaving the app.
There will also be improved traffic information with alternate routes displayed and the time it will save drivers also displayed.
Maps will also look at your daily routine and your calendar appointments to have route guidance ready if you need it and also suggest the ideal times to leave to make it to your destination on time.
We have so many photos on our iPhone it can be difficult to locate our images but a new feature called Memories scans your library and helps you sort them based on people, places, dates and topics and arranges them in collections that are easier to navigate.
Users can also make a Memory Movie which automatically edits your pictures into a movie with music, titles and cinematic transitions.
Memories sorts your images based on advanced computer vision that makes 11 billion computations per photograph to identify objects, places, landscapes, water, animals and other distinguishing features.
Typing on iOS 10 is now even more intelligent and intuitive with contextual predictions that can suggest words based on what you’re talking about.
It can produce information relevant to your location, your calendar availability and your contacts.
It will even support predictive typing for multiple languages without having to switch keyboards.
Home automation is on the rise but accessing our connected devices often requires us to bounce in and out of different apps based on which manufacturer’s device you’re controlling.
Now the new Home app can put all of that functionality in one place.
Home automation products and apps created with Apple’s HomeKit can now work together even easier and with a single command.
Home allows users to manage their connected devices individually or grouped together in scenes that can be activated by Siri or triggered by the time of day.
For example, you might set up a morning scene that opens your blinds and turns on the lights at a certain time each morning.
Apple Music is sporting a new look and feel in iOS 10 and a new structure makes it easier to find your favourite music and navigate the interface.
The Library, For You, Browse and Radio tabs have been completely overhauled.
The News app is used by 60 million people per month and it has also been improved in iOS 10 to allow users to organise their news into clearer sections and make it easier to find stories and manage your subscriptions.
There will also be support for breaking news notifications on your lock screen as well.
Users can take part on the public beta for iOS when it kicks off in July by registering at www.beta.apple.com. The final version will be available in spring.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Apple