Sunday, September 11, 2016

iOS 10: First Impressions

Yesterday, I downloaded the golden master of iOS 10, which will likely be the same version of iOS that will be distributed to the public on September 13. When I first saw iOS 10, I was glad to see a feature-heavy major software upgrade to iOS, something we really needed after two years of performance enhancements. When I upgraded, I figured it'd be a decent upgrade, but nothing special. However, iOS 10 was a breath of fresh air for me. For the first time since around iOS 5 or iOS 6, I was pleased and excited by the new features.

The Good

By far, my favorite part of iOS 10 had to be iMessage. I texted a few of my friends who had installed the beta and tried sending some stickers and used some apps. It was a lot of fun for all of us. We shared YouTube videos and watched them without leaving the app, shared our favorite video game songs using Apple Music, and I even got to send some of my custom sticker packs I made in Xcode. Keep in mind, this is before the iMessage App Store has any apps on it, so consider that the icing on the cake when September 13 comes. 

I also liked Memories in the Photos app. It let me give my photos a nice place to be displayed. Each one had a different theme. I gave my trip to Arizona a complementing title font that made it look like a desert.

I'll get to the lock screen later, but I found that Apple may have given a bit of leeway to Touch ID. I found it to be more accepting when I misplaced my thumb, which is a change I'm fine with. Touch ID on my iPhone 6s was fast and accurate, but it was nit-picky if my finger was dirty, sweaty, or misplaced. I'm not expecting anyone with a near identical fingerprint to pick up my phone anytime soon.

The News app had a nice redesign that made me want to use it a lot more. First, I'm glad to see notifications to catch me up on important news I may have missed. I also like the small touch of adding the local weather to the top-right corner of the For You tab. In short, I've finally ditched Flipboard for this.

And because I know people have been asking for this, yes, you can delete built-in apps. Not all of them, but the non-essential ones. You can delete apps like Stocks, Home, Maps, Calendar, Notes, Apple Watch (thank goodness), and more.

The Bad

One of the issues that will plague everyone in iOS 10 will be getting used to what's new. If people didn't like the lock screen in iOS 7, they're gonna hate this lock screen. It's no longer slide to unlock, but instead tap the home button. I got used to this in about a day, but it was a little annoying. Touch ID (as I mentioned earlier) makes up for a lot of this, but if it doesn't work, it gets a bit annoying.

Again with getting used to changes, notifications are a bit wonky at first. I'm still getting used to them. Whether it's from the lock screen or a banner, they're hard to get used to.

This one affects very few people, however in the OS X version of the Photos app, if you tagged people's faces, they don't transfer over to iOS 10 (even though it worked with iOS 9). I'm not sure if this is because I haven't upgraded my computer to macOS Sierra, but it's annoying for sure.

The Pending

A lot of features haven't been available to beta testers. These features rely on apps that utilize APIs announced at WWDC. For example, CallKit doesn't work because apps that support CallKit haven't been released to anyone yet. SiriKit doesn't work either for the same reason. It's not good or bad. It's just the nature of a beta. These features only work if you're a developer. The only part of this I got to try was the custom sticker packs, which require a developer account. I am definitely looking forward to see what stickers, iMessage apps, and Siri commands we'll be able to use in iOS 10. 

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