Apple unveiled iOS 10 to the world today. Among the features announced for this upcoming version is the ability for iPad users to display two Safari tabs next to each other, as well as significantly updated versions of Siri, the Lock Screen, Messages, News, and more.
iOS 9 brought the ability to display two applications side by side to Apple tablets, but users currently have to turn to third-party apps like Sidefari to view two web pages at the same time. In addition to removing this limitation, Apple promises version 10 will include “Side by Side Mail compose iPad” through it hasn’t yet demoed this feature.
The Safari browser will also support an “unlimited” number of tabs.
New News, Siri, Lock Screen, iCloud, Photos, Messages, Etc.
Tim Cook and company used today’s keynote address for its annual World Wide Developer Conference to talk up a wide range of changes coming in iOS 10. The goal of this upcoming version seems to be improving the applications that come bundled with this operating systems, rather than adding new ones.
The News app debuted with iOS 9, and it’s getting facelift so that its homescreen looks more like a magazine. In addition, users will be able to subscribe to newspapers and magazines from within News.
Apple is opening the Siri voice assistant up to third-party developers. This will mean that users will be be able to issue commands like “Hey Siri, ask UberX to send me a car.” It will be up to the developers to add Siri support to their software, of course.
With iOS 10, the screen will activate whenever the iPad or iPhone is picked up, without the user needing to press the power button. In addition, the Lock Screen that appears when the device is turns on is becoming more interactive: users will be able to respond to notifications from a variety of apps.
iOS lacks a universal file system that’s available to users, but the cloud-storage service iCloud is slowly taking on many of the functions. The next version will make files placed on the desktop of the user’s laptop available to iPad users, as long as the PC is running macOS (the new name for OS X).
Thanks to on-device facial recognition, the Photos application will be able to identify who is in pictures and group images. The app will also be able to create on-the-fly montages of pictures and videos from, for example, a weekend getaway.
Apple developers put a lot of effort into bringing new features to the popular Messages app. Among the changes, users will be able to hand write responses, and chat bubbles will show text in larger or smaller fonts to indicate feelings. One thing the company didn’t announce is an Android version of Messages. For now, it remains only for Apple products.
Not Too Far Away
A public beta of iOS 10 will be available in July, and a free upgrade will be introduced at some point this fall.
Apple says that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2 and the original Air, and the iPad 4 will be able to run this new version. So will iPad mini 4 and all its predecessors except the original one. This doesn’t mean every new feature will be coming to the older models, however.
Apple also used the keynote of its WWDC to unveil the Sierra version of macOS–a renamed version of the company’s operating system for laptops and desktops.