We have a date (well, a range of dates) for when we’re most likely to see iOS 10 launched: between June 13 and June 17 at the WWDC conference. This is exactly where Apple unveiled its previous versions of iOS, including iOS 9 last year. I don’t have the exact date yet, but as we get closer to the event we’ll see when the main conference is, which will let us know. The good news is that after that, the operating system will be available, in beta form, to try out.
Given the success of the iOS 9 beta programme, which let Apple test for bugs on a massive scale, it seems very likely that the same thing will happen for this release. Usually, people with a full developer account will get access to the early beta, which we don’t recommend that you install, unless you’ve got a spare iPhone or iPad. Following that, shortly after, a public beta will hopefully open, letting anyone with a compatible phone or tablet join in to try it out.
Apple’s keeping quiet on the new features that will ship with the OS, but some information has leaked our already, as I discuss below. In addition, I’ve rounded this article off with my wishlist of features. We’ll have to wait until June to see what Apple really does, though.
Apple looks set to make Siri a bigger part of the operating system, with Business Insider reporting that Apple employees have been testing new features. According to the report, Siri will be able to answer calls for you, and even explain why you can’t answer it. This feature will only relay some details and only to certain callers, to avoid any privacy issues.
Siri will also be able to transcribe voicemails, sending you a text message with the details. Called iCloud Voicemail, the new feature will make it easier to see what’s in a voicemail, although it’s likely that Visual Voicemail will still be there as a backup, in case the message wasn’t translated properly or couldn’t be translated.
The majority of iPhone users probably don’t take advantage of Siri. It’s usually easier a quicker to just perform the same actions with your fingers. But perhaps iOS will look to change all this and make Siri more relevant. If Apple ever wants to roll iOS out to a wider range of devices, such as cars and smart home devices, as Google is doing with Android, then it will need Siri.
While iOS 10 will be previewed during the WWDC 2016 keynote in June, with a beta following shortly after, we’ll have to wait until September for the final version to launch alongside the iPhone 7.
One thing we haven’t seen in Apple’s mobile operating system since the introduction of iOS 7 is a complete redesign. I believe that Apple has been holding off on this in the previous three iterations in order to make a big bang when it debuts iOS 10. Expect updated stock app designs and perhaps some new pointless superficial elements, such as the ‘parallax effect’ Apple introduced in iOS 7, which inevitably gave people motion sickness and had to be turned off.
Amazingly, iOS 9 was supported by most Apple devices when it was rolled out, with the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 still working with the latest operating system update. I doubt this will be the case when iOS 10 hits and predict that any devices still sporting a 30-pin connector will be given the boot, especially since rumours suggest iOS 10 may require more than 512MB of RAM.
Bigger Siri Role
What I’d like to see
While rumours are few and far between, I can at least create a list of features I’d expect, or at least like to see, in the upcoming iteration of iOS. Here are my predictions:
Default 3rd-party Apps
While some truly value Apple’s stock apps, there are many who think other third-party apps handle those services better. The ability in iOS 10 to select a default 3rd-party app, replacing the standard iOS one would be a huge advantage to users, especially converted Android users who miss the likes of Chrome and Gmail. It’s a feature that I’d like to see that isn’t very likely to happen, but then again no one thought Apple would ever add support for third-party keyboards.
Delete pre-installed apps
Apple ships its mobile OS with loads of built in apps, but who uses them all? Has anyone ever used Apple’s Tips app, for instance? When iOS 10 happens, let’s hope and pray we can finally delete those stock apps or, at least, let us hide them from view. There’s already the technology built into the operating system to do this, as iCloud Drive is hidden by default, but can be enabled via the Settings app.
A feature that has been missing for a long time now is the ability for iOS device to support a scope of different users. This is particularly helpful for those families or couples that share iPads, for example, or businesses that need an iPad Pro assigned to more than one employee. In an ideal, multi-user supported world, a user could log in with their pin, password, or Touch ID fingerprint and their iOS device would then be fully customised to their last-used settings: everything from app layout to wallpapers to email accounts. The thing is, this technology already exists as part of iOS 9.3. Any educational institute can enable the multi-user feature, letting iPads be shared between students in a classroom. At the moment, it looks as though the feature was introduced purely to keep schools and universities happy and to get Apple better traction in the education market, but we really want to see it rolled out to a wider audience.