It’s still a couple of months until the release of iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad and macOS Sierra for the Mac but you can get your hands on them right now through the Apple Beta Software Program.
iOS 10 and macOS Sierra were unveiled at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco with plenty of new features across the board.
So how can you install these new operating systems today?
Simply head over to the Apple Beta Software Program page and register your device.
For the iPhone you will receive a profile that needs to be installed on your device before you download iOS 10.
Once that’s done go to Settings > General > Software Update and you should see the iOS 10 Public Beta. Click “Download and Install”.
When your Mac is enrolled you will see the macOS Sierra available for download in the App Store.
Click on the Updates tab and you should see the macOS Sierra Public Beta.
But a couple of words of caution.
Firstly, remember iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are still in beta which means they are not complete.
In fact, there is a Feedback Assistant app that is installed as part of the Beta Software Program so you can let Apple know when you come across an issue.
We’ve been using them for a while and they are pretty stable but there is the odd glitch that sometimes needs a reboot or an app that might not work as it should.
Just keep that in mind if you are installing these beta versions on your main iPhone or Mac.
Second, be sure to back up your iPhone or Mac before you install these updates.
Once the new operating systems are installed you will be able to enjoy a number of new features.
Here are our favourites:
The first thing you’ll notice with your iPhone now is as soon as you pick it up the screen comes to life.
This means you’ve now got time to see all of your notifications before you unlock the device.
And from here you can use 3D touch (If you have the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus) to interact and act on those notifications.
From the lock screen you can swipe left for the Today View and swipe to activate the camera.
This is one of the biggest enhancements of iOS 10.
Messaging has become a lot more fun and you now have the ability to create full screen effects like balloons, confetti, laser lights and fireworks.
The actual messages can be sent with bubble effects with choices like Slam, Loud, Gentle or Invisible Ink which requires the receiver to touch the screen to reveal.
Emojis are also larger and can also be added automatically if you like.
You can also access apps within messages too if you’re trying to agree on a restaurant or a movie.
Siri is now open to developers so they can be integrated into their apps so now you can use your voice to do things like book an Uber.
You can also search for photos with Siri and also start and stop your workout just by speaking.
And, of course, Siri will still be able to set reminders, answer questions and conduct web searches.
Maps has also been redesigned for iOS 10 and has now been opened up to third party developers.
This means you can find where you’re going, book a restaurant, buy tickets to a movie and organise transportation all within the Maps app
Maps in iOS 10 will now also look at your calendar and suggest the best times to get going for your next appointment.
This is a new app with iOS 10 and it centralises all of the smart home devices that are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit.
Now you can take control of your home automation products in one place rather than diving in and out of all the different apps.
iOS 10 automatically detects compatible devices already installed in your home and places them in the Home app.
Users can set scenes and create rules so your devices can be activated together or switched on and off when you come home or leave.
Home also works with Apple TV which can become the centre of your automated home.
1. Auto Unlock
When you wake your Mac or Macbook, you usually have to type in a password.
Now with macOS Sierra, Auto Unlock can detect your already authenticated Apple Watch is nearby and unlock your computer automatically.
It will only work when you’re right by your Mac so if you’re in another room and someone tries to access your computer, it won’t work.
Continuity is a feature that’s already on the Mac but it has been enhanced even further to work with your iPhone and iPad as well.
Now you can do things like cut and paste between your Mac and iOS device.
Whatever is cut and pasted will remain in your clipboard for two minutes to give users a chance to transfer content both ways between your computer and mobile device.
3. iCloud Drive
The iCloud Drive has been expanded to now include your desktop and documents folder.
This means any item placed in these folders can be accessed from on accessed on your Mac or on the iPhone and iPad.
This is particularly handy when you need to access documents and images saved to the two most common areas of your computer – the desktop and documents folder.
macOS Sierra now has Siri, and it is just as handy as it is on the iPhone and iPad.
You can ask Siri to find our information, search the web, search your files and also organise your life with reminders and calendar events.
And all of the results Siri comes up with is pinned in the Notification Centre so you can access them in your own time.
5. Apple Pay
Apple Pay is now no longer just available with your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Now with macOS Sierra, you can use Apple Pay when shopping on participating online stores.
When you choose Apple Pay on the website you’ll be prompted to authorise the purchase with the Touch ID on your iPhone or with the Apple Watch.