APPLE LAUNCHED the first public beta of the upcoming iOS 10 operating system last week, and we’ve shunned the firm’s advice not to load it onto our main device and taken the software for a spin on our everyday iPhone 6.
Related: How to install the iOS 10 public beta
iOS 10 doesn’t offer a major redesign like iOS 7, nor does it deliver a major productivity update like last year’s iOS 9. Rather, iOS 10 focuses on making Apple’s operating system a bit more fun and, dare we say, Android-like with its added widgets and new Messages app. Siri is also a major focus of the upgrade, and Apple has again set its sights on Google by making the assistant more ‘intelligent’.
Lock screen, Control Centre and Notifications
You’ll notice the sweeping changes throughout the operating system as soon as you’ve installed iOS 10. The first thing that struck us was that Apple’s infamous ‘Swipe to Unlock’ screen is no more, and instead, you’ll have to press on the home button to gain access. This will take a bit of adjusting to. We still haven’t quite got our heads around the new unlocking method despite having used iOS 10 for almost a week.
This makes sense once you start to further explore the lock screen. Swiping to the right fires up an enhanced ‘Today’ screen, where you can finally add ‘widgets’. These so-called widgets aren’t as fully fledged as some you’ll find on Android, but instead offer a quick glance at information such as the weather, top news stories and calendar appointments.
Lock screen notifications have been given a lick of paint too, but we weren’t able to make the most of these as we’re using an iPhone 6 lacking 3D Touch. The new bubble-like notifications are more interactive if you’re running iOS 10 on an iPhone 6S or iPhone SE, allowing you to quickly expand and reply to messages, or push to see the location of your Uber driver. Another treat reserved for newer iPhone users is ‘Raise to Wake’, which allows you to see notifications simply by pointing the iPhone at your face.
Confirming why Apple has dumped its age-old ‘Swipe to Unlock’ feature, a swipe to the left on the lock screen now launches the camera application, which has so far proved much quicker than the previous drag-to-launch gesture.
Apple’s Control Centre, accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the display, has been simplified in iOS 10. There are now multiple menus, one for all your toggles and whatnot, one for your music controls and another for Apple Home. These changes are reflected in Apple’s Notifications Menu too, which also comes with a new, handy clear all button.
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