Top 10: Favourite New iOS 10 Features

iOS 10 has been released to the public just 4 days ago and it is having a lot of success worldwide.

Just in the past 4 days alone, it is believed that around 20% of users have updated to iOS 10 since release, which is at least 200 million iPhone and iPad users.

For a basis of comparison (while not trying to show bias), Android Nougat 7.0 is only run on 0.1% of Android devices worldwide by the end of August (about 20 days of release).

iOS 10 has a lot of new features in it and in this post, I am going to give you the top 10 new features in iOS 10 that I like and to a large degree use regularly and give you a mini-review at the end.

NOTE: This list is not ranked but rather lists my 10 favourite overall.

1. Apple Music Lyrics Support

Lyrics was one of the main reasons I was considering signing up to Spotify initially.

Now that it is on Apple Music it is a great addition.

Truth be told, it’s not supported for every song on the Apple Music service, but it is otherwise a great feature.

Now I am able to learn the lyrics to my favourite songs including #Wheresthelove (feat. The World) by The Black Eyed Peas.

2. Toll Free Routes on Apple Maps

One of the main drawbacks I hated about Apple Maps was that the routes it always offered for turn-by-turn directions, were always wanting to take highways that require tolls/money to use.

Now in iOS 10, you can turn on a toggle in settings to avoid tolls which means they will always at a minimum provide one route to get to your destination that does not require tolls. You can also tell if it is a toll route or not if there is a $ symbol in a circle next to the duration for that route.

I have used it a few times in the past couple of days and it is great.

3. Apple Music Redesign for iPad

Apple Music has got a complete UI/UX redesign and I particularly like the redesign more-so on the iPad version than on the iPad.

The Now Playing screen for example uses the right 1/3rd of the screen, which is a better layout for content then just centre everything in the middle and not take full advantage of the screen width.

Another great feature on the iPad that I am yet to see work on my iPhone, is the library tab automatically showing you the section you last had opened. For example if you listen to music through Playlists a lot, it would show the playlist screen as one less step to get the music you want to. This is a really big deal!

4. Performance

I have been using iOS 10 since the Public Beta 4 release and has definitely improved a lot over time, but the one thing I noticed immediately since I started using the beta was the improved performance and slightly faster animations.

5. Updated Control Centre

The Control Centre for me is not really any more useful then it was before, but the face-lift that is has received is a welcome change.

Each of the system toggles are now coloured when turned on and music controls are on a separate screen, which makes it easier to press buttons, change audio output and see album artwork.

6. PIN code shown after 1 failed Touch ID attempt

On my iPhone 5s, if I press the home button when it tries to authenticate my Touch ID fingerprint, it will unlock my phone if their is a match, but now it will display the PIN code screen straight away.

This is great because previously you try to use your fingerprint two or three times before prompted to use the PIN code as an alternative but you now have this after 1 failed attempt, if you press the home button itself.

7. Redesigned Apple News app

Apple News has also received a UI redesign which uses thicker fonts for heading and is a nice change from the idea of everything being very thin.

I will say that the thicker fonts makes the app feel more and more like a replacement for printed newspapers which use thicker printed fonts and categorising the articles is a easier way to scan and find something to read.

8. Widgets Screen

One of the biggest changes to iOS 10 is the widgets screen.

You can now access it by swiping right on the lock screen (previously to show PIN code screen) which makes it easier to jump to what you want before unlocking the phone.

Also it is a replacement for the Proactive Assistant screen to the left of the home screen in iOS 9, and makes it a far more useful screen that I want to use regularly.

9. Redesigned iPad Camera App

I am still that person that tells everyone to not use the camera on their iPad in public, but it has received a redesigned interface.

I find the interface to be a bit cleaner, and also has a dedicated zoom toggle on the left side of the screen.

10. Cleaning Up the App Store

It was a minor announcement, but ever since the iPhone 7 was announced, Apple said they are creating a team that will go through all of the apps on the App Store to make sure they are all up to date, working and of good quality.

The reason being that the iOS App Store has 2,000,000 apps and quite a lot of them have not been updated in say 4+ years. There are apps out there that:

  • Crash upon launch.
  • Do not work with the newer versions of iOS.
  • Does not support even the 4.0inch iPhone screen.
  • Does not support iPad for interface layout.
  • Does not have an updated interface to reflect the UI redesign since iOS 7.

I personally love this from a developer perspective, because what is the point in keeping apps on the App Store that do not work that clutter the store, because removing them will make it easier for users to find apps from developers that have been updated more recently, support the latest frameworks and devices sizes etc., which means the user will always end up with the better experience.


Now for my mini-review on iOS 10.

As a disclaimer I have used Public Beta 4 and onwards on my iPad Air (1) (currently using Gold Master) and also on my iPhone 5s with the public release since the 14th of September in Australia.

Ever since I saw iOS 10 announced at WWDC I thought there were a lot of great additions to it, but I did question whether or not I would use a lot of them.

The features I listed above is what I appreciate from this free yearly update, but it is still not perfect.

The things that have annoyed me about iOS 10 include:

  • No option to re-enable swipe right to show PIN code option on lock screen (even when widgets lock screen is disabled).
  • Swipe down from notification centre now always shows notifications and not the last screen you had opened, such as the widgets screen.
  • Apple Music on iPhone always shows library screen but does not go into the one you use more frequently.
  • Messages and Phone app use artwork for contacts in almost every way possible by default, which is not good when you do not have images for all of your contacts (unlike what Apple thinks everyone has).

That being said if the first three issues get fixed in minor updates, then overall I am generally happy with iOS 10.

You may have noticed I haven’t said much about iMessages compared to other reviews, but that’s because if I message anyone I’m still likely just going to send standard messages because of:

  • Who I am contacting,
  • Not knowing if they are on iOS 10 or not, and
  • Only works for other people who are on iMessage and not between other platforms. iMessage on Android would be killer, but I struggle to see that ever happening and even if they did, I don’t see many people using it.

Siri has also received an update to support third-party apps, but the only one I have on my phone currently that supports it is Yelp and I hardly ever use Yelp, so it’s not going to be a major issue. Maybe when Facebook and Twitter and features for direct messaging via Siri, that could get quite a bit of use from me.

I also like the ability to move messages to folders in your mailbox based on what it recommends from what you have done previously based on email addresses. This is a real time-saver.

The new Home app is a great move for Apple to start building an ecosystem of compatible smart home accessories, but I personally do not have any so this is not critical for me. Expect to see a lot of

So in short, I am satisfied with iOS 10 but it is definitely not ground-breaking like any other recent release, especially on my current devices.

This update and what has been included in the iPhone 7/Plus makes me consider switching to Android less (if you ignore the headphone jack removal), but I have basically decided that I will wait until the 2017 iPhone release before I upgrade from my iPhone 5s.

So that’s it for this post. If you enjoyed reading it or learnt something new, be sure to hit that like button and follow me here and on Twitter @neilh_apps.