Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 10, along with the new release of watchOS, will be arriving on September 13, the company confirmed today at its iPhone 7 press event. The updated iOS brings a number of enhancements, including the ability for Siri to work with third-party apps, so you can do things like request an Uber ride by voice, make a Venmo payment, pause your working with a verbal command, and much more. In addition, iOS 10 introduces revamped Photos and Maps apps, a new Home app for home automation, and turns iMessage into a platform with its own App Store.
The new OS will be available, as always, as a free over-the-air download for current iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad, and it will ship on the newly announced iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The new iPhones can be pre-ordered on September 9th, and ship September 16th.
One of the biggest features to arrive on iOS 10 is the way Siri will be able to control apps.
This integration comes at a time when consumers are becoming more comfortable with accessing technology via voice. While assistants like Siri and Google Now have popularized this activity on smartphones, Amazon’s Alexa has made a big push into consumers’ lives by way of the living room, and already supports talking to third-party applications; it was time for Apple to catch up.
Another key enhancement in iOS 10 is the introduction of the App Store for iMessage. This offers another way for developers to have their app discovered and used, at a time when the iTunes App Store has grown to house over 2 million applications.
But it’s not the only change coming to iMessage – the texting platform will also support rich media previews, the ability to draw on photos, send sketches, write handwritten messages, react to messages with feedback like a thumbs up, new bubble effects, full-screen effects like fireworks and confetti, new stickers, and more.
Though the details about iOS 10 were announced earlier this year at WWDC, Apple CEO Tim Cook took some time this morning to mention some highlights of the new OS, including also the new “lift to wake” feature, a more intelligent QuickType keyboard, a redesigned version of Apple Maps that supports apps, and the new Home app which works with nearly every major manufacturer’s home automation product, ranging from garage doors to security.
In addition, the previously announced watchOS 3 will also be rolling out at the same time as iOS 10. Detailed also at WWDC, watchOS 3 will offer a dramatic performance boost over the prior software, addressing users’ complaints about laggy apps. It will include a number of health-related improvements, too, as well as an SOS feature for help in emergency situations, improvements for developers like background apps that can preload data, new watch faces, and more.