Apple iOS 10 Release Date, News & Update: New Features Revealed! What We Know So Far

By Anton Chua , Updated Jun 15, 2016 07:03 AM EDT
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As iOS rolls over to its first decade with its latest version, iOS 10, Apple puts Siri at center stage, opening it up to developers with a brand-new SDK, while making amazing improvements across the board to iOS core applications. Here's what we know so far is coming to iOS 10.

The biggest of all the iOS 10 news to come out of Apple's 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address is the release of an SDK for Siri, enabling third-party developers to integrate their apps' functionality with the powerful voice assistant built into every modern iPhone.

For the past five years, Siri has been limited to Apple-specific implementations as well as a handful of third-party apps. Now, developers will be able to work Siri commands into their apps' actions. iOS Chief Craig Federighi demonstrated just a few of the many possibilities that the new SDK unlocks, asking Siri to send a message via WeChat, or booking a ride with Uber or Lyft.

iOS 10 also comes with major changes to its lockscreen, featuring rich notifications and messages that can be interacted with and responded to directly from the lockscreen with 3D Touch, and a new "Raise to wake" feature that lets you simply pick up your phone to view notifications, without touching any buttons or using Touch ID to unlock your phone and thus blazing past the lockscreen.

Notifications, in general, are improved, with photos, other multimedia content and real-time updates appearing in the drag-down tray. One of the most interesting implementations demonstrated was a little mini-map for the Uber app, which showed an incoming ride's position on a map as it approaches the pickup point, all from the notification tray.

Aside from the core iOS 10 experience, improvements are also coming to many of the main apps that come with your iPhone. iMessage now richly links to websites, showing image previews of links, variable text size for emphasis, and has been opened up to developers to put new features on top of iMessage with third-party apps.

Apple News has gotten a major redesign that's easier to use, has a more appealing interface, and adds subscription support. Apple Music has a new "For You" section with tailor-made recommendations for music, new search features, a simplified interface, and general improvements across the board.

The Quick Typing feature of the keyboard has also been improved, using artificial intelligence and deep learning for better, more intuitive, and more personalized and appropriate suggestions on what to type next

There's no denying that iOS 10 is an incredible upgrade by itself, but by blowing it wide open for developers to tinker with, Apple may have just given us a glimpse at a new iOS renaissance, with greater customization and more third-party features than the OS has ever had throughout its lifetime.

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