iOS 10: Best New Features For iPhone 7 & iPad Pro Coming In 2016

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A little more than three weeks after releasing the first beta of iOS 10 to developers, Apple  dropped the second beta in their laps. And now, just another two weeks later, the iPhone maker has dropped the THIRD iOS 10 beta on developers. But before we get to all the changes these progressing betas hold, it’s important to note how big an upgrade iOS 10 is going to be. The new operating system, which ships this autumn, will include dozens a major new features and even more smaller improvements.

Major new features include a completely overhauled Messages app with animations and bigger emoji, the ability to book reservations for places like restaurants in the Maps app, a completely redesigned Apple Music experience, advanced 3D Touch widgets, a brand new lockscreen and notifications, contextual predictions, a redesigned News app, massively improved Photos app with machine learning algorithms that can detect people, places, and objects in your pics, Apple Pay for the web, and, oh yeah, a Siri SDK that allows third-party apps to interact with the company’s personal digital assistant.

With all that in the first beta, just what could they pack into the subsequent beta’s they’ve  released? A lot, given that “beta” is synonymous for “not finished.” Though Apple showed off all those cooled features listed above at WWDC, most of them aren’t yet finished and will be tweaked and refined along the way until we get to the official public launch of iOS 10 in September. Until then expect to see many more iOS 10 betas—probably around six or seven in total.

Apple is moving along steadily with the development of iOS 10. And the final version will be dropping next week. 

Here’s everything that’s new in the fourth beta of the iPhone’s operating system:

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Hundreds of new emoji!

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If you’re an emoji user you’ll be happy to know the 4th beta of iOS 10 include over a hundred new emoji. The large selection of new emoji adds genre diversity to the iconographic symbols. While welcome, this isn’t a complete surprise as it’s something Apple has already said was coming:

“More than one hundred new and redesigned emoji characters will be available to iPhone and iPad users this Fall with iOS 10. This exciting update brings more gender options to existing characters, including new female athletes and professionals, adds beautiful redesigns of popular emoji, a new rainbow flag and more family options.”

Besides dozens of new gender-based emoji there are also totally brand new emoji like a water gun.

Control Center gets an intro screen for newbies

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Control Center is getting more control-y in iOS 10. Instead of one cord on Control Center you’ll now have up to three. Apple apparently thinks that could confuse some people (after all, they might not know to swipe right to the other cards) so in iOS 10 beta 4 they’d added a new intro screen to tell people about the feature.

Home icons in Control Center get a style update

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Speaking of Control Center…Apple has continued to tweak the look of the Home all icons on the Home card.

Bye bye Home button haptic feedback

A cool feature Apple introduced in the third beta of iOS 10 was a haptic feedback vibration when the home button was pressed. That vibration is now gone in the fourth beta. However, it could make a comeback if the rumors of Apple nixing the mechanical Home button on the iPhone 7 come to fruition.

Notification Center gets a date

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Notification Center is getting a major makeover in iOS 10, adding interactive widgets like you’ve never seen before on iOS. In the 4th beta now the date also appears on the Notification screen. A small but nice touch.

Backspace key gets its own unique sound effect

Another small, but cool feature in the 4th beta is Apple has added a unique sound effect when the backspace key is pressed. This now gives users an audible due that allows them to distinguish between different key presses. There is also a new unified sound for the space, return, shift, and number/emoji shift.

Wallpaper shuffle

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Sadly, some of the older iOS wallpapers have been removed in the fourth beta, but the popular mountain with starry background wallpaper makes a comeback too. 

Here’s what Apple unveiled in the third iOS 10 beta:

Locking gets haptic feedback on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

A really cool new feature in beta 3 is that users of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will now get haptic feedback when they press the iPhone’s power button to lock the phone. This feedback comes as a slight vibration from the Taptic Engine found in these iPhone models. Models before the 6s now get a new sound effect for locking.

Audio/haptic feedback bug fixed

In previous betas when audio was playing through an external speaker and the iPhone engaged a haptic feedback response, the audio would stop working. This has been fixed.

New accessibility option for Touch ID

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This beta enables Accessibility users to unlock their iPhone with the Touch ID by just placing a finger on the sensor, instead of also needing to press it. This is how Touch ID currently works for everyone in iOS 9.

Siri “App Support” settings

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In the Settings app under Siri there is a new “App Support” section that shows you which apps you have that work with Siri and can access your data.

Now all apps work with Quick Actions

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Previously developers had to built in specific support for Quick Actions in iOS. Quick Actions are the contextual menus that pop up from under app icons on 3D Touch-compatible devices. Now all apps have a built in Share Quick Action that allows the user to share information about the app, such as an App Store link, with friends.

Health app gets “Improve Activity” option

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The new setting for the Health app allows a user to send anonymous health-related information to Apple so they can better improve the app’s features.

And here’s what Apple added in the second iOS 10 beta:

The Messages app store is now live

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This is one of the big new features of the Messages app in iOS 10. Messages can now work with apps made by third parties and embedded within Messages itself. This allows developers to great chatbot apps or apps that, for example, let you pay friends money you own them simply by texting them.

The Messages app store is separate from the regular iOS App Store and for now it just features a few sticker packs from Apple. These are essentially custom emoji icons you can use in Messages. Among the custom emoji apps you can now access are Classic Macs, Hearts, Hands, and Smilies.

New 3D touch shortcut icons in Control Center

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Apple is massively expanding what 3D touch can do in iOS 10. It’s now used to show more detailed widgets when pressing on an app’s icon and you can also use it in Control Center now too. With iOS 10 beta 2 Apple has added icons along with the textual labels when you 3D touch the flashlight and clock buttons.

You can now register for organ donation in the Health app

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A huge new features in iOS 10 beta 2 comes in the Health app. Inside the Health app you’ll now find a button that allows you to quickly register as an organ donor. The new feature was prominently promoted in the press by Apple, who even went so far as to release a press release for it:

““On average, one person dies every hour in the United States waiting for an organ transplant because the demand for lifesaving transplants far exceeds the available supply of organs — and one donor can save as many as eight lives,” said David Fleming, President & CEO of Donate Life America. “By working with Apple to bring the National Donate Life Registry to the Health app on iPhone, we’re making it easier for people to find out about organ, eye and tissue donation and quickly register. This is a huge step forward that will ultimately help save lives.”

Over 120,000 Americans are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant — and every 10 minutes, a new individual is added to the national transplant waiting list. Each organ donor can save as many as eight lives and heal many more through the gifts of tissue and eye donation. In the absence of donor registration, families are left to make the decision about donation in what is often the worst moment of their lives, the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one.

“Apple’s mission has always been to create products that transform people’s lives. With the updated Health app, we’re providing education and awareness about organ donation and making it easier than ever to register. It’s a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Together with Donate Life America, we’re excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the US with iOS 10.”

The Health app on iPhone provides a complete view of your health and fitness data all in one place. The app includes Medical ID, which makes critical health information available in case of emergency to first responders and is accessible from the iPhone lock screen. Medical ID can display categories like medical conditions, allergies, medications, blood type and emergency contacts. And with iOS 10, Medical ID offers the ability to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with Donate Life America.”

Mail gets a new updated filters icon

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Another small change in iOS 10 beta 2 is the addition of a new filter icon in Mail—a small but welcome change.

There were also plenty of smaller design tweaks in the beta, and as we said earlier, you can expect more major and minor tweaks as the iOS 10 betas continue to roll out over the summer.

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