Sunday 23 October 2016

The 6 best features coming to your Apple iPhone

Published 14/06/2016 | 20:18

At its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Apple has just lifted the lid on a whole bucket of new features coming to your iPhone when iOS 10 is released in the Autumn. Here are six that stand out.

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1. Message 'rich links'

Your iPhone's Messages app (iMessage) will now let you include 'rich links' to photos, videos and songs. This means that you don't have to click through a link to see the photo or video someone wants to bring to your attention. Instead, the content will instantly be converted within the message box. This means you don't have to leave the Messages app during an exchange with someone.


2. A new 'Home' app to control all your home appliances

This will basically let you control all of your home's 'smart' appliances and systems (like heating, lighting, security and others) through one app rather than a hodge-podge or individual apps scattered around different phone screens. It will also be subject to voice control through Siri and will let a user pre-program different appliances or home systems through the app. We've all been waxing lyrical about 'smart homes' and the 'Internet of things' for years but this will accelerate it in real life.


3. Predictive emoji

Roll your eyes if you will, but emoji are massively popular. Now Apple's beefed up tech will suggest emoji to you as you type. Some animated extras also mean that you can now message 'softly' (smaller text) or 'loudly' (larger text) or do it in 'invisible ink', which only reveals the message when the screen is swiped. You can even draw or sketch in Messages now, too, while Apple is also opening up some parts of Messages to third party developers to integrate with their own offerings.


4. Transcription of voice messages

Many of us just don't bother listening to voice messages any more. Apple will soon introduce the tech that gets your voice message and transcribes into a text message for you.


5. A better, cleaner Apple Music app

Apple now has a whopping 15m paid subscribers to its music-streaming Spotify rival. But it wants to improve the subscription app. The new version looks a lot cleaner and gives better, richer information on songs and artists, including lyrics.


6. Photos app upgrade

Most people now treat their phone as their main camera. But we all have thousands of photos milling about with no discipline on albums or order. The iPhone's new Memories feature (in the phone's Photos app) will organise your photos into event-based albums, choosing the 'best' photos, without you having to light a finger. The iPhone is doing this through the use of new facial recognition technology and advanced computer vision.

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