The 9 Coolest New Features Coming to Your iPhone

Jun 13, 2016

Apple on Monday previewed a handful of new features coming to the iPhone with a free software update this year.

The update, which the company unveiled at its annual developer's conference, will bring new functionality to the iPhone's operating system, called iOS. Here's a look at some of the headline features.

Messages

The biggest change to Apple's messaging app is the ability for third-party developers to tap into it. Through iMessage, users will be able to send stickers, exchange money, and order food, among other things. It comes after companies like Facebook and Google have made similar announcements regarding their own messaging apps.

Apple is also making it easier to view multimedia content in messages. When you pull up the camera, for example, you'll get a cleaner, richer, menu for selecting images that looks more like how they appear in the camera roll. Apple's keyboard will also make it easier to input emoji: just tap a word to replace it with an emoji. There are some new text effects coming to Messages, which allow users to make text look larger as it appears in a conversation thread for emphasis, similar to a feature Google introduced in its Allo messaging app last month.

You can also hand-write messages on your iPhone in iOS 10, as well as add full screen effects. Instead of the standard plain backdrop, for instance, you can set it so that fireworks explode behind your conversation. There's also a new feature that makes it possible to scramble text and images — swiping a finger over a scrambled message will decode it.

Siri

Apple is also opening up Siri to developers, which means users will be able to interact with third-party apps using Apple's automated assistant. One can, for instance, tell Siri to call an Uber or send a WeChat message.

Photos

Apple is making a significant update to its Photos app that will leverage technologies like computer vision and machine learning. The app will be able to recognize faces, objects, and scenes in images stored on an iPhone, allowing users to perform complex searches for specific subjects.

It's similar to the Google Photos app, but all the work is done on the iPhone itself rather than in the cloud. Apple's new Photos app will also use artificial intelligence to bundle related images into compilations like "Last Weekend" or "On the Mountain."

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is getting a few new features too. Maps will be more proactive, meaning it can make suggestions for places you might want to visit based on the time of day or what's on your calendar. Apple Maps will also be open to third-party developers as well, meaning users will be able to book a reservation using an app like OpenTable directly through Maps.

Apple Music

Apple is also redesigning its music streaming app. The new Apple Music app will be easier to navigate, with a more streamlined menu for viewing music stored on your iPhone. The For You tab now has a Discovery mix and daily curated playlists. Overall, the app has a cleaner look with bold heading that make it easier to distinguish between different sections.

Apple News

Apple News is getting a similar update that makes it easier to view stories based on categories and the reader's taste. A new subscriptions feature lets users read the publications they subscribe to within the app. Breaking news alerts will also be available in the app when iOS 10 launches.

HomeKit

Apple is launching a new Home app that's meant to manage all of the smart devices that run on its HomeKit framework. It allows users to access all of the HomeKit-enabled accessories in their home through one single app, rather than having to jump between separate apps made by developers and device makers. HomeKit will also be built into the Control Center in iOS 10, meaning you can just swipe up and to the right to manage devices.

Phone

The Phone app in iOS 10 will also transcribe voicemails so that iPhone users can see what the message is about without having to listen to it. Third party communication apps will also be integrated into contact entries so that you can use a different service like WhatsApp to contact people.

3DTouch

When iOS 10 launches in the fall, iPhone owners will be able to reply to notifications on the lock screen using 3DTouch. You'll also get live updates from apps on the lock screen by using 3DTouch on an alert.

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