The “Emojification” of messaging continues: Apple WWDC 2016

So what’s changed in the new iOS.

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image credit: youtube.com

There’s been a major overhaul to the lock screen and notification toolbar. There’s more options to interact with notifications on the lock screen with 3D Touch. There’s also a clear all notifications option (thank heavens!). Apple has added the rise to wake feature (their version of Active Display, for all Android fans), which shows the user the entire lock screen (no ambient display mode or any of that, just plain full lock screen) as soon as the phone is raised or taken out of the pocket.

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image credit: macrumours.com

You also now have the option to remove stock Apple Apps. But read this through before all you 16GB iPhone users (including me) do the Boogie. You can only hide these apps from the home screen, but they will still be installed on your iPhone. So no benefits in terms of any space.

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image credit: macworld.com

The major improvements come with the opening up of Siri and a few stock Apple Apps, including Maps and Messenger to developers. You can now ask Siri for assistance with third party apps along with stock Apple ones. So you can now (finally) ask her to “Search Tumblr for the Unscrambled blog” (I know I’m pushing it here, but I hope this becomes a common thing to ask Siri for soon.). An extension of this is the integration of VOIP to your contacts. So you can call someone using services like WhatsApp or Skype right from your contacts. And also incoming calls with VOIP are received just like normal calls. Siri’s functionality now extends to these as well and you could ask her to call someone using WhatsApp. Further, and much needed, improvements come to Maps and Music. Both apps now offer more friendly and majorly overdone user interfaces. In addition to drawing locations from your calendar appointments, you can now add sub filters during map searches. This means looking for restaurants by cuisine or any other such sub filters. With Music, you now get lyrics of the songs right on the app itself. This, in addition to all the interface changes, makes Music a more realistic approach for those in the market for a music app.

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image credit: wired.com

There’s a new app for all your “smart-home” devices called Home. You can use these apps to control all the devices, including your doors, lights and refrigerators.

But the biggest changes come to Apple’s messenger. Like Google’s Allo, there are now a host of new features for those really into making their messages look beautiful and feel personal. There’s now features to add effects to your messages like hiding the text, making them bounce and so on. If that’s not enough to express yourself, you also get effects for the wallpaper in your chat and you can animate that as well. There’s even a feature that lets you substitute words in your message with emojis (wait, wasn’t the whole point of emojis that you can save time not typing the words out? Now you type the word and then replace them with emojis? What is happening?)

While these changes have been in-line with most platform updates (read as Google), I believe Apple could’ve made a few added changes. One of the most awaited changes be the ability to customize quick access buttons in the control center. Also, Apple’s lack of multi-tasking features means that Google’s Android N will head in to this winter packing more of a selling feature than the new additions for Apple’s iOS 10.

Are these features enough to keep Apple at the forefront of mobile software platforms? We’ll have to wait and see. Let us know what your thoughts are and we wish you a great week ahead.

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