iOS 10: The 10 best new features

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Lucille Barrett
Lucille Barrett
Future teen idol. Hardcore tv lover. Social media guru. Zombie aficionado. Travel scholar. Biker, shiba-inu lover, audiophile, Mad Men fan and proud pixelpusher. Working at the junction of minimalism and elegance to answer design problems with honest solutions. I'm fueled by craft beer, hip-hop and tortilla chips.

Apple has unveiled iOS 10, the latest version of its iPhone and iPad software set to be released later this year, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Here are some of the best features:

Raise to wake

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Hate pressing that home button to see your notifications? Apple’s got you covered. In iOS 10, the phone’s accelerometer will respond to you picking it up by lighting up the lock screen, showing your latest notifications.

To be fair, this might be one of those features that you don’t know you need until you’ve tried it. Especially since Touch ID is now so fast, it’s hard to press the home button without unlocking your phone.


Apps will get a lot more useful without you having to actually open the app itself in iOS 10, as Apple introduces widgets – extra information from an app – on the lock screen and when using 3D Touch on an app.

Widgets will let you see calendar appointments, weather info, and so on when swiping left from the lock screen, or check a sports score using 3D Touch on a sports app such as ESPN.


Some of you out there might count Compass as your most important app, but it is simply taking up real estate on the home screen for many of us.

Although not mentioned in Apple’s keynote, developers who have downloaded a beta release of iOS 10 say they can finally delete many of the apps that come with the iPhone, such as Stocks and Mail.

Emoji tap

It’s 2016, and you’re still communicating with words? Shame on you. Luckily, iOS 10 has a fix. Type out a sentence and, when you select the emoji keyboard, the Messages app will highlight certain words you can replace with an emoji. So type “basketball,” and it will suggest a… you get the idea.

This might seem trivial, but it can take a long time to find an emoji if you don’t know where you’re looking, so a lot of the time, it might just be quicker to type the word out and get the phone to do the work.

Voicemail transcriptions

Never have to listen to your voicemails again: iOS 10 will include a feature that automatically transcribes an answerphone message left by a caller.

The feature builds on Apple’s visual voicemail feature introduced a few years ago that let you listen to voicemails within the Phone app rather than having to ring a number.

Apps in iMessage

Compared to the likes of Facebook Messenger, iMessage has seemed a bit unloved in recent years, with precious little changes. But not for much longer: the Message app has several big changes in iOS 10, one of which is its own App Store.

This means services for ordering food, shopping, travel, etc., will be integrated within iMessage. And one of the best features: You’ll be able to send money back and forth.

A new Apple Music

Apple Music appears to have been a success since it launched last year, with more than 20 million paying subscribers on the streaming service, but it did have its critics.

For iOS 10, the software has been rebuilt from the ground up, showing a cleaner design. Or in Apple’s words: “It uses a new design language that allows the music to become the hero and a new structure that makes it easy to navigate and discover new music.”

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