Yesterday morning during the Keynote Address that kicked off Apple's WWDC developer conference, Apple announced new versions of the operating systems for the iPhone/iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV, all of which will be released in just a few months this Fall. The updates to watchOS look really incredible, but I want to take some more time to understand them before I write about them. Today, I'm focusing on what is new in iOS 10. There was not a major focus on productivity features (which are typically most useful for lawyers), but there are lots of updates that make the entire iPhone/iPad more enjoyable to use, which will make it easier to get work done with these devices. And when the work day is over and you can focus on your personal life, great new features such as the Memories button in the Photos app will make iOS devices much more delightful. This looks to be a great update. Here are the key features that jumped out at me.
I'll start with the iPad because there was only one iPad-only feature showed off yesterday, but it is a nice one, especially for attorneys who use the larger 12.9" iPad Pro. Safari in iOS 10 will support a split-view mode, so that you can view two web pages at the same time, one on the left and one on the right. You can enter text in a browser on the left while you look up information on the right. You can copy from one website and paste into another website.
That's not the only split-view improvement for the iPad. Apple didn't demo the feature yesterday, but Apple briefly showed a slide listing other new features by title, and one o them was side-by-side mail composing on the iPad. I hope this means that you will be able to draft an email on one half of the screen while you look at a different email on the other half of the screen. That would be really useful.
Your iPhone and iPad work together even better in iOS 10 because of the new shared clipboard feature. You can copy something on your iPhone, then paste on the iPad, and vice versa. And if you use a Mac, the clipboard is shared with your computer as well.
The lock screen in iOS 9 can already display some useful information, but it will be much better in iOS 10. First, it will be easier to even see the lock screen. Currently, when you pick up your iPhone, the screen is black. You can press the home button to wake the screen, but because Touch ID is so fast that also unlocks the phone before you could see what was on the lock screen. In iOS 10, simply picking up the phone will turn on the lock screen thanks to the new raise to wake feature, giving you time to see the lock screen before you unlock your iPhone.
On that lock screen, notifications will be even more useful. The notifications themselves will include more information. Moreover, you can use 3D Touch to act upon the notifications and get even more information.
Third party apps can also take advantage of the new lock screen notifications feature.
Taking a picture from the lock screen will be even faster in iOS 10. In iOS 9, you can swipe up on the small little camera icon. But in iOS 10, just swipe from the right at any point on the screen to swipe over to the camera. Getting into the camera faster means that you are even more likely to take a picture before the moment has passed.
If you slide over from the left, you can see widgets, such as weather, calendar, top news stories, etc.
One danger of having too much information appear on the Lock Screen is that someone else can pick up your phone and see information without even knowing the passcode to unlock your phone. This may cause me to limit the information on my iOS 10 lock screen. Nevertheless, it is nice to have so many more capabilities.
3D Touch on the Home Screen
In iOS 9, you can 3D Touch on an app icon on the Home Screen and see a list of a few items. Tap on an item to not only open the app but also jump right to that item or feature. In iOS 10, 3D Touch can still do that, but it also displays information from the app before you even open the app. So if you 3D Touch on the Mail app icon, and you will see the pictures of the top people who have sent you mail messages and how many unread messages you have from each person. Or 3D Touch the ESPN app and see the score of a game before the app even opens.
Siri will get much more powerful in iOS 10 because third parties will be able to incorporate Siri into their apps. This means that you will be able to ask Siri to do even more for you. For example, while you can currently use Siri to send and read text messages using Apple's own Messages app, in iOS 10 you will be able to use Siri with third party messaging apps such as Slack. Or you can talk to transportation apps such as Uber and Lyft. Or you can talk to third party workout apps.
In iOS 9, the QuickType bar just above the keyboard will suggest three words or phrases as you are typing. For example, if you are typing an email message in the Mail app and you type "motion for" and then tap the "s," QuickType will suggest "summary" and then once you tap summary it will next suggest "judgment." In iOS 10, QuickType will get even smarter by looking even deeper into the context of your entire message to help predict what you want to type next and offer that up in the QuickType bar. For example, if you type "The Orioles are playing in the" QuickType in iOS 10 will suggest "playoffs," but if you type "The children are playing in the" QuickType in iOS 10 will suggest "yard" and "playground" and "park."
QuickType will also suggest items other than words. For example, if you are in the Messages app and someone asks "where are you," the QuickType bar will give you the option to send a map with your current location.
As a result, apps such a Mail and Messages will get even smarter and more helpful as you type.
The Memories button in the Photos app
As we move from productivity enhancements to the new features that just make your iPhone more enjoyable to use, especially outside in your personal life outside of the office, I cannot wait to use the new Memories feature in the Photos app. I love taking pictures and videos at an event and then creating a home movie for that event from that media to watch on my iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. The problem is that creating those home movies takes a lot of time. I need to select the best pictures and video clips, find appropriate music, sync the photos to the music so that the transitions occur in sync to the measures of the song, etc. It can easily take me well over an hour to create a video in iMovie that lasts just a minute or two. As a result, I rarely get around to creating these videos. Fortunately, with the new Memories feature, those movies can be created automatically in just seconds.
Before talking about Memories, I want to talk about other Photos improvements that are used with the Memories feature. First, the Photos app on the iPhone/iPad can now automatically recognize faces. Thus, the app can automatically determine which pictures are of you, your spouse, your kids, etc. Second, the Photos app can now automatically recognize objects and scenes. Thus, the app will automatically detect animals, backgrounds, etc. so that it knows which of your photos are taken on a lake, which ones include your dog, etc.
Using that information from Faces, Objects and Scenes, along with other information such as date and location that the picture was taken, the Photos app will group together pictures. A group might include the pictures you took on a specific vacation trip, or it might include different pictures of your kids throughout the year 2015, or it might include pictures that you took at the beach in different years.
Photos will then pick what it thinks are the best photos (and videos) in that group, and will create a movie — a slideshow / collection of video clips with background music.
The Memories feature of Photos will even create movies using pictures that you would not have even thought to group together on your own, such as pictures over the years taken at your brother's house.
Based on the demo that Apple showed yesterday, the default Memories videos are great, but you can also edit a default video by making it longer or shorter, and by changing the mood. For some slideshows, you might want a "sentimental" theme. For others, you might want the "epic" theme.
These movies are awesome, but there is more. Memories will also show you the best pictures from these groups by automatically creating a summary. For example, the app can look across all of your pictures of your parents and create a group of the best pictures taken from different years.
The iPhone makes it so easy to take pictures that you probably have tons of them, far more than you could every look at in one sitting. And if you have been taking digital pictures since even before the iPhone, like I have, then you may have tens of thousands of pictures. (I see that I currently have over 43,000 in my Photos app.) By taking the pictures and videos that you already have (and may have even forgotten about) and by using artificial intelligence to group the best ones together in a way that makes sense, and by presenting them to you in great videos with appropriate background music, the Memories feature in iOS 10 will truly bring new life to the pictures and videos that you already have. It's like paying an intern to go through all of your boxes of pictures to create something cool, except that it is free and instantaneous.
You can also use the Apple TV to see the Memories created on your iPhone. Thus, you can be sitting on your living room couch and want to look at some pictures, not even knowing what you want to look at, and the Photos app on the Apple TV will suggest some interesting Memories created on your iPhone. If you have been taking pictures of your friends and family over the years, I can see this being a serious time suck — but a great walk down memory lane.
As Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, said during the Keynote yesterday: "We all take so many pictures and movies, and we never go back to actually assemble them into something we'd want to watch. But now our iPhone can do that for us automatically." This new Memories feature is quintessential Apple: using high-end technology in an intelligent way so that you don't have to worry about the details, but which results in an amazing emotional experience. I can't wait to use it.
The Messages app has significant new features that make your texts more fun and expressive. The bubbles around messages can now be animated, and you can now send a full screen animation such as balloons floating up the screen on someone's birthday. You can now handwrite a response to give it a personal touch. The app will suggest Emoji replacements, so if you type "birthday" it can suggest a birthday cake icon. And third parties can now create Messages plug-ins to add stickers, media files, etc.
Some of these new effects might be fun at first but then become gimmicky. But there can be no doubt that starting with iOS 10, Messages will be even more interesting and fun to use.
Voice Mail Transcriptions
In iOS 10, if someone leaves you a voice mail message on your iPhone and you don't want to take the time to listen to it (or you are in a quiet environment where it is not appropriate to listen), the iPhone can now create a transcription of the voice mail for you. This will surely make it much faster and easier to manage your voice mails, and is a great new feature.
I like the Apple Music service, but the interface can be confusing. It looks like Apple realized this, because Apple Music has a new interface in iOS 10 that looks to be much easier to navigate.
Also, songs now include lyrics too, making it easier to sing along to your favorite song — or just settle a bar bet over what is the fourth word in the refrain.
And that just scratches the surface of what is new in iOS 10. There are also big improvements to the Maps app, third party phone apps (using Voice over IP or VOIP) are even more powerful, a new Home app makes it easier to control your HomeKit devices, the News app is better and allows subscriptions. I'll be curious to try out the Notes collaboration feature, which lets multiple people work live with the same note. And Live Photos will be improved, with digital image stabilization and the ability to edit to make the mini-videos even better.
Plus there are significant security enhancements. For a great read on how Apple will use Differential Privacy to collect data from all users without being able to identify data specific to any one user, check out this article by Andy Greenberg for Wired.
I'm glad to see that iOS 10 will include so many great new features, making current iPhones and iPads even better.