Every tech prognosticator and certified Apple watcher has a list of what they like (and don’t like) about iOS 10. You’ve seen the lists, right? animated stickers in Messages, Siri integration in apps, that crazy new Lock screen that swims with notifications. The lists go on and on.
After having walked through as many of the changes as I could over the past few days since iOS 10 was released, I thought I would share a few features that surprised me with their awesome utility in ways unexpected.
Apple is the smartphone company that sweats the details, works on the small things, and while I have some complaints about the added options to Notification Center and multiple panes of pain in Control Center, I recognize that the iPhone is a complex beast of burden and simplicity is a thing of the past. Get used to it. There’s lots going on, but where Apple quietly has improved a feature should be promoted.
3D Touch – It’s not everywhere but it’s getting there. If you don’t have an iPhone 6s model then you may not appreciate what Apple has done. Touch a button or icon on the screen, hold the touch, and a pop up menu appears. Now that 3D Touch has spread to other apps you’ll find you won’t need to open apps as often to get functionality.
Bedtime Reminders – Clock on iOS is useful enough as it is, but nothing fantabulous or worth writing home about. World clock. Timer and Countdown. Alarms. Big whoop, right? But in iOS 10 Apple provided a feature within Clock called Bedtime Reminders. Ever the health-minded smartphone company, Apple recognized that people lead busy lives and schedules and reminders can and should be fine tuned to remind us when to go to bed to get the amount of sleep we want and need, and provide a gentle alarm that awakens us with some appropriate music when it’s time to get up. You can choose which days to set the alarm and bedtime notice, but not change it on a per-day basis. That’s the only nit to pick.
Apple Maps & Siri – Everyone who watches Apple or criticizes Apple faults Maps, but the average iPhone and iPad user ends up using Maps more than Google Maps, so obviously Apple is getting something right. If there’s much of a difference between Maps and Maps, I don’t see it. What I see is one of the coolest, most useful, and nearly automatic features ever in a mapping app. Maps remembers where you parked your car. Siri will help you find it. That’s an idea whose time has come. There are days when I hit the mall and cannot remember where I parked the car. Maps knows you’re not parked at home and drops a pin automatically. Just ask your iPhone, “Siri, find my car.” How cool is that.
iOS 10 is packed with useful, user friendly features like that. Mail has a new Fast Unsubscribe option which moves the Unsubscribe link to the top where you can see it and click the button. The iPhone’s camera doesn’t stop playing music when you use the camera. Timers are built-in to 3D Touch in Control Center. iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 have 3D Touch for the flashlight icon– high, medium, and low brightness settings.
See? Plenty of cool features that are tied to usability, Apple style.