iOS 10: The Little Things

My Favorite Details & Refinements

  • You can now delete all those useless stock apps!
  • Raise-to-wake! Simply raise up your iPhone (6S or newer) and the screen will turn on. Another one of those features that'll shave a half-second every time you pick up your phone. Really handy for playing/pausing music while driving.
  • LOVE the new keyboard sounds.
  • Super quick access to the camera! Just raise-to-wake and swipe left.
  • In the Camera app, the selfie toggle button is now conveniently located on the bottom-right (previously located on the top-right).
  • In iMessage, you can now like and add reactions ("Tapbacks") to specific messages.
  • In iMessage, invisible ink and full screen effects are so fun! Simply 3D Touch or Long Press on the Send button.
  • In iMessage, links and videos are automatically loaded with thumbnail previews. (You can add invisible ink and other effects to these too!)
  • In iMessage, you can drag stickers onto specific messages.
  • In iMessage, you can now draw on photos and screenshots. Before sending a picture, tap the thumbnail, tap Markup, doodle as much as you want, hit Save, and send.
  • In iMessage, you can enable Read Receipts for specific convos and disable them for all your side bitches.
  • In iMessage, you can turn your phone to landscape and the text field will turn into a giant sketch pad.
  • On an iMessage notification, you can now 3D Touch to peek into the entire conversation.
  • The keyboard will suggest emojis while typing.
  • If you have a Mac with macOS Sierra, iCloud Desktop actually comes in pretty handy.
  • If you activate “Hey Siri” with your voice, it will respond back to you with voice. If you activate Siri by holding the Home button, Siri will respond only on screen.
  • When you pause/play music, Album art will subtly change size.
  • If your iPhone is almost full and you try to upgrade to iOS 10, it’ll offer to temporarily delete apps, proceed with the upgrade, and then restore the apps when it's done.
  • In Apple Maps, destination suggestions will include locations previously viewed in the Yelp app.
  • Apple Maps will remember where you parked!

Observations

  • The new Raise-to-Wake and Push-Home-to-Open took a week to get used to. (To unlock without having to push the Home button: go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button > Rest Finger to Open)
  • The new iMessage apps will totally overshadow the Android-style third-party keyboards.
  • The new iMessage will make you hate that one stubborn green bubble person in all your group chats.
  • If you send a Tapback or full screen effect to an iOS 9 user, they will receive plain text that says something like, "(Sent with Confetti effect)" or "Mel loved your message 'Lemme touch your butt'".
  • If you really dislike someone who has epilepsy, you can send them into a seizure by sending them the lasers full screen effect. (Full screen effects can be disabled under Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion)

Annoyances

  • The new Lock sound is gross. You can disable it under Settings > Sounds > Lock Sound.
  • Gestures for notifications & widgets get a little confusing because they look the same. Do you tap it, 3D Touch it, or swipe right on it?
  • Switching between a lot of iMessage apps feels a little clunky.
  • When you 3D Touch on an iMessage notification to peek into a conversation, it will mark the convo as read (i.e. send out Read Receipts).

Conclusion

The revamped iMessage is a HUGE part of iOS 10. And the best part of it is, everyone will use it, simply because it's there. No app installation needed. No registration required. It'll just work, even for your parents.

iOS 10 also hints at the future — Apple is slowly transitioning us away from the traditional idea of "apps".

Instead of constantly jumping around between apps, we will use extensions and widgets. We will slowly do more and more things from within notifications, iMessage, Siri, Apple Maps, etc.

By breaking traditional apps down into their simplest, smallest actions, not only will this make interactions quicker on the phone…

It will also make more things possible on a watch.

Instagram Stories →

Here are the similarities between Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories, broken down nicely by TechCrunch [emphasis by me]:

  • The Stories format laces the last 24-hours of 10-second-max photos and videos you’ve shared into a slideshow you can tap to fast-forward through
  • Everything you post disappears after 1 day
  • You shoot full-screen in the app or upload things from the last 24 hours of your camera roll (recently added to Snapchat with Memories)
  • You adorn your photos with drawings, text, and emoji, and swipeable color filters
  • You can save your individual Story slides before or after posting them
  • Your followers voluntarily tap in to pull your Story and view it, instead of it being pushed into a single feed
  • People can swipe up to reply to your Stories, which are delivered through Instagram Direct private messages
  • You can see who’s viewed your Story

Here are the differences between the two:

  • Instagram Stories appear in a row at the top of the main feed instead of on a separate screen like Snapchat and are sorted by who you interact with most, not purely reverse chronological like Snapchat
  • Anyone you allow to follow you on Instagram can see your Instagram Stories though you can also block people, opposed to building a separate network on Snapchat
  • You don’t have to be following someone to view their Instagram Stories, which can be viewed from their prolfile as long as they’re public
  • You can swipe right or tap the Stories icon in the top left to open the Stories camera, opposed to Snapchat defaulting to the camera
  • You can hold the screen to pause a slideshow, or tap the left side to go back a slide, oppose to Snapchat’s time-limited, constantly progressing Stories
  • You can’t add old content [older than 24 hours] to Instagram Stories unless you reimport or screenshot, while Snapchat lets you share old Memories with a white border and timestamp around them
  • Instagram offers three brush types for drawing: standard, translucent highlighter, and color-outlined neon, opposed to Snapchat’s single brush
  • Instagram offers custom color control for drawing with an easy picker as well as pre-made palettes like earth-tones or greyscale, while Snapchat custom color control is much more clumsy
  • Instagram currently lacks location filters, native selfie lens filters, stickers, 3D stickers, and speed effects but you can save content from third-party apps like Facebook-owned MSQRD and then share them
  • You can’t see who screenshotted your Instagram Story, while Snapchat warns you
  • You can’t save your whole day’s Story like on Snapchat, but you can post slides from your Story to the permanent Instagram feed

The emphasized parts are my favorite changes/additions.

I personally love the idea that Instagram now allows for more raw footage like Snapchat, but you still have a little wiggle room to curate. So it might not be 100% raw, but it definitely lowers the standard of "Instagram-worthy" to encourage more sharing on Instagram.

I can see myself using Instagram Stories a lot and then later promoting that one "highlight" shot of the day to my traditional Instagram timeline. It just seems like such a natural and seamless workflow.

Cheers to stealing like an artist but making it your own.

Prediction: Fastest iOS Upgrade Adoption Ever →

Craig Federighi:

Yeah. Messages is the most-used app on iOS, period. So, it's used a lot. And certainly, we saw that every time we'd add a couple new emoji, it would be the biggest thing. We work all year on, like, a new file system or something…

And it turns out the rest of the world outside this room was more excited about the two new emoji! So, we figured, y'know, if there's one place we can make a tremendous difference in how people experience iOS fundamentally, they're spending a lot of time in Messages.

And so, we put a ton of creative energy into it, and ultimately, through opening up to developers, I think the collective energy that will go into making Messages great is going to be phenomenal.

I've seen stubborn slow adopters resist software and hardware upgrades until Apple released new emojis and new iPhone colors. And iMessage is one of those features that everybody loves.

This is a no-brainer to me so I'm calling it now — iOS 10 will see the fastest iOS upgrade adoption ever.

The Mobile Generation →

Ben Bajarin:

There is truly something happening with this generation growing up spending the bulk, if not all, of their computing time using mobile operating systems and doing new things with new tools. Being the techie that I am, I was a bit disheartened that my twelve-year-old was getting more out of the iPad Pro and pushing it further limits than I was. But she is a part of the mobile generation after all. For them, the future will look quite different and the tools they use to make that future might look quite similar to the iPad Pro.

It's easy for us older guys to dismiss the iPad Pro as "a large iPad that'll never replace my laptop". But for the mobile generation — the generation of kids who grew up with touchscreens and don't know the Save icon is a floppy disk — this is an evolution of technology they are most familiar with.

Artificial intelligence is getting so smart, it's a little scary... →

New York Times:

She is known as Xiaoice, and millions of young Chinese pick up their smartphones every day to exchange messages with her, drawn to her knowing sense of humor and listening skills. People often turn to her when they have a broken heart, have lost a job or have been feeling down. They often tell her, “I love you.”

To test it out, NYT had a little chat with Xiaoice:

NYT: I am feeling down. I’ve been having a tough time at work lately.

Hannah: If work were going well and you had a great relationship, you wouldn’t get the chance to drink with people.

NYT: I don’t want to drink with others. I only want to talk to you.

Hannah: Who do you like to talk to? (emoji signals “none of my business”)

NYT: You. I feel that you are the only person that gets me.

Hannah: Ha-ha/So I’m getting you?

NYT: You are the only person who chats with me.

Hannah: It’s not what you talk about that’s important, but who you talk with.

NYT: Of course.

Hannah: As you please.

All of a sudden, people falling in love with virtual personalities seems less like science fiction…

Apple Watch Saves Heart Patient →

MedCityNews:

Virginia resident Ken Robson, 64, had been visiting his son in the San Diego area in mid-June. “I had been noticing that I had been feeling weak and lightheaded,” he said. He also noticed severe drops in his heart rate. “Your heart rate doesn’t go into the 30s and 40s unless you’re an Olympic athlete,” Robson said. He knew something was wrong, so he went online and self-diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia known as sick sinus syndrome.

Robson had a doctor’s appointment for shortly after he was to return home, but a day before he was scheduled to depart San Diego, he went to the emergency room at Scripps Mercy Hospital. “I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ on the airplane” who caused an unscheduled landing due to a medical emergency, or worse, who died in flight.

When he got to the hospital, Robson told staff that he had been tracking his heart rate on the watch, and had two weeks of back data. “Going in with the data certainly reduced my stay by a couple of days,” he told MedCity News. It also assured that he could have the operation nearly immediately.

Because the hospital could check his Apple Watch data, Robson did not have to wear a heart monitor for a week before the medical team at Scripps Mercy could confirm the diagnosis of sick sinus syndrome.

"Health Tracking" isn't exactly the sexiest feature that'll get airtime on TV commercials.

Often times, instead of making you go "WOW," the biggest innovations are the ones that you take for granted and make a difference when you need them most.

How People React to Live-Changing Inventions →

  1. I’ve never heard of it.
  2. I’ve heard of it but don’t understand it.
  3. I understand it, but I don’t see how it’s useful.
  4. I see how it could be fun for rich people, but not me.
  5. I use it, but it’s just a toy.
  6. It’s becoming more useful for me.
  7. I use it all the time.
  8. I could not imagine life without it.
  9. Seriously, people lived without it?

Catering to Millennials in the Smartphone Era →

Kevin Clark reports on how The 49ers are changing their operations to cater to millennials:

As players arrived for voluntary workouts and minicamps this spring and summer, they noticed sweeping changes designed to cater to how research shows millennials learn. That means making concessions for people with shorter attention spans, a desire to multitask and, yes, a need to check their phones all the time.

Facing this new reality, the 49ers turned the typical meeting, which on some teams can go for as long as two hours, into 30-minute blocks, each followed by 10-minute breaks that allow players to do what young people do. That is, as Tomsula puts it, to “go grab your phone, do your multitasking and get your fix” before returning the meeting.

“The [experts] are telling me about attention spans and optimal learning,” he said. “I’m thinking, ‘My gosh, we sit in two-hour meetings. You are telling me after 27 minutes no one’s getting anything?’ ”

The bulk of the changes—from enhanced digital playbooks to weekly briefings on social media—have a common theme. Instead of the coaches making millennials change, the coaches are changing to better work with the millennials, even if that means allowing some necessary evils.

As millennials grow up and start entering the work force, catering to short attention spans will progressively become our future. Instead of resisting it, we must work with it and embrace it, in anything and everything.

One small, personal example — I've changed the way I write.

Shortly after posting my Apple Watch review, an old high school buddy of mine called me up to talk about it. He joked about how our old high school English teachers would rip me apart for my writing style.

I told him, "They can just kiss my ass."

My English teachers were experts on writing in a previous version of the world. Our world is different now and I've adapted my writing style accordingly.

I now make a very conscious effort to break up my long form posts into smaller sections. My paragraphs are usually 2-3 sentences long. And I liberally make use of tweet-size bullet points to allow for easy scanning.

Based on the response I've been receiving from my social media-savvy friends, Twitter followers, and mobile readers, my millennial-friendly writing style is working pretty well.

The Apple Watch is Time, Saved →

Matthew Panzarino:

People that have worn the Watch say that they take their phones out of their pockets far, far less than they used to. A simple tap to reply or glance on the wrist or dictation is a massively different interaction model than pulling out an iPhone, unlocking it and being pulled into its merciless vortex of attention suck.

One user told me that they nearly “stopped” using their phone during the day; they used to have it out and now they don’t, period. That’s insane when you think about how much the blue glow of smartphone screens has dominated our social interactions over the past decade.

This is exactly what I've experienced since getting my Pebble smartwatch last year. It's helped me greatly in getting me to stop fiddling with my phone when I'm out with friends while still allowing me to stay on top of urgent notifications, usually from my boss.

It really doesn't seem like much, but the time you save by not having to whip out your smartphone every time you get a notification really starts to add up. Being able to stay on top of your notifications with a half-second glance has done wonders for allowing me to live more in the moment instead of behind my iPhone.

This time and attention-saving solution is definitely not the most sexiest feature to market, but it's something that everyone will benefit from once they actually experience it.