Dragos Dragusin
Published by Dragos Dragusin,

Launched on WWDC 2016, in San Francisco, the new iOS 10 beta for developers comes with a lot of improvements.

iOS 10 features

There were multiple features released with iOS 10, but here are our top 5:

1. Siri gets smarter and more open

Apple is releasing Siri to third-party developers by making the SDK available to them.

This means app developers are now able to create commands that enable Siri interact with their app.

"Now you'll be able to tell Siri send a WeChat," said Craig Federighi, referring to one of the biggest chat applications. Federighi mentioned Siri will also work with apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Uber and Lyft.

The search through photos is now possible using third-party apps like Pinterest and Shutterfly.

Your fitness activity can now be started and paused with Runtastic and RunKeeper, via Siri. If you need to send money to your friends, Siri can also help you. Apps like Square or Alipay can help you send money using Siri’s SDK.

Siri SDK
Photo Credit: Apple.

2. Machine Learning arrives to QuickType

Siri also has more contextual awareness in iOS 10.

It can make intelligent suggestions based on your current location, calendar availability, contact information, recent addresses, and more. For example, a message like "What's John's address?" will automatically trigger a suggestion from Siri. The suggested message (the address, in this example) is sent with a single tap if you confirm the recommendation.

QuickType will be using deep learning in iOS 10 — to be more specific, a process called Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) — to predict longer context.

Siri integrates now a machine learning algorithm which allows it to predict what users want to type. The images can also be interpreted, and the faces are automatically detected. The most interesting thing is that almost all the data learning and processing is made at the phone level. That means a better security for all the iOS 10 powered devices.

Siri contextual response
Contextual response example from Siri / Photo Credit: Apple

QuickType will also support typing in multiple languages… in those rare scenarios where you are typing English and Spanish in the same sentence. In this case, the user can now switch between these languages without any keyboard settings change.

3. Voicemail Upgrades

There are a few interesting upgrades in the voicemail.

  • There is the beta launch of Voicemail transcription which translates your audio voicemails into text. This new feature will probably change the way used by some carriers which don’t allow the storage of the voicemails on the iPhone. The most of the carriers keeps the voicemails on their servers. In this situation, the Voicemail translation can be affected, because the voicemails should be downloaded before transcription.
  • Via a CallKit, developers can create extensions to detect voicemail spam. This technology can be integrated with the services provided by some carriers. For example, you’ll be notified about a possible incoming spam call.
  • A new VoIP API will be introduced. This technology will make any incoming internet calls to look like a regular phone call.
Voicemail transcription
Photo Credit: Apple.

4. Messages App Updates

There are a few important improvements in the messages apps in iOS 10, like rich links, emoji-related enhancements, bubble effects and third-party app integration.

Third-party developers will be able to tap into and expand iMessages with their own creations. A new ability is introduced with this update: you’ll be able to replace words with emojis if the context is appropriate. The Messages can also be personalized in new ways: handwritten notes and animated messages can be sent, for example.

The new framework will allow developers the ability to create two types of app extensions: Sticker packs and iMessage apps.

Messages app update
Photo Credit: Apple.

5. Apple Maps

Apple Maps application also opened to outside developers in iOS 10, allowing third-party extensions to plug into the official Maps app. Eddy Cue from Apple showed examples that included Uber and OpenTable.

In the example, Cue showed how a person could search for restaurants, book a reservation, request a car all within Apple maps with the extensions, without opening any other app.

Many other suggestions are also introduced in the new Apple Maps on iOS 10. Predictions like nearby shopping suggestions are also available in this version of Maps. The weather and the forecast for some cities from a map are now present in the latest version of Apple Maps.

Apple maps

The real-time traffic information was also redesigned and the overall impression after upgrade is a good one.

The future’s bright for the new iOS 10

A lot of amazing improvements and functionalities have been introduced in the latest iOS 10 and we’re happy to see these upgrades prepared for users. The new OS will enter a public beta testing program somewhere in July. That’s why the Reincubate team already made the iPhone Backup Extractor compatible with the latest iOS 10 developers preview. If you need to extract data from your iOS 10 devices, we can provide you guidance and technical support.

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