Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Apple software improvments

Apple are holding their annual Develop conference this week in San Fransisco,  yesterdays Keynote highlighted a lot of improvements to pretty much all the software they produce and adds a lot of improvement in key areas.


Widely reported as the release that will finally make the Apple watch the product it should have been in the beginning, several system wide improvements were teased during the keynote,

Improved Performance

During the demo the opening of a watch app was shown on watchOS2, the usual spinning wheel on the screen waiting for the app to finally open, the same app was then demoed using watchOS3 and opened instantly, this is a massive improvement on the current situation and as an apple watch user myself I have to say it is the reason I don't use any apps on the watch itself.

The side button has also been re purposed to provide access to the more familiar dock with recent and favourite apps located here instead of the previous shortcut to contacts.


watchOS3 users can now share excercise  information and encourage friendly competition between friends and family, the activity rings that show your progress can also now be shown directly on the watch face,

Apple have optimised the activity tracking for wheelchair users, the time to stand reminders will show time to roll with dedicated wheel-chair specific workouts.

Breathe is a new addition to the heath suite encouraging users to take time out to breathe helping us to calm down and relax during our hectic days.


Several new additions to the way in which you can respond to messages directly on the watch, there are new stickers & handwriting.  Improvements to the smart replies and also the ability to scribble messages directly on the screen.


Apple took time out to honour the victims of the recent attacks in Orlando at the beginning of the keynote, they announced a new SOS feature on the Apple Watch called SOS, if you need to contact the emergency services users can press and hold the side button and the watch will count down an alert from 3 to 1 and call the emergency services.  The watch will know which country it is in and change the required number accordingly.    It is worth noting here that you can use Siri to call emergency services if you phone is not at hand

Watch Faces

Watch faces are even easier to customise with quick swiping between faces,  minnie mouse has been added along with a selection of dresses for her to wear to complement your particulate choice of strap.

watchOS3 will be available n the autumn as free upgrade to watch owners.


Probably the biggest iOS release to date, iOS 10 offers lots of improvements across the board, lots of visual enhancements and some much needed modernisation.  At the keynote they highlighted 10 selected new areas to talk about, here are a few of them.


Message bubbles can now be changed to reflect the way you want your message to come across, either small growing slowly for the more subtle moments to slamming in and shacking the whole screen for when you want to get your point across.  It will be possible to send your own handwriting to your friends, and it will animate like ink on paper when received the other end.  The whole screen can be changed to animate specific things such as birthdays or congratulations.  

Invisible ink allows you to send a hidden message that only becomes visible when the recipient swipes across it to reveal that special message

Tap back, similar to quick replies in other apps or sending a quick like on Facebook will allow a quick style reply to messages, and it is also possible to add heartbeats and sketches similar to apple watch.   Stickers have also been added, again similar to whats available on Facebook messenger.  With the current trend on emoji and is ever-growing use in communications the new messaging app will be able to highlight all the words in your message that can be switched out for an emoji.

iMessage will also now be made available to developers so apps can integrate straight in to the app itself,  services that were shown off were booking a table for dinner, ordering food and sending money to people through the app.


Also now open to developers so it can integrate into more services through the OS.  Siri can now send whatsapp messages and make Skype calls instead of being limited to the apple apps


Lots of improvements here as well although it could be argued this catches up some features to Google Maps.   Traffic is now shown on the route, the maps will zoom in when at a corner and zoom out again when on a straight, you can ask for pitstops on the way, and as maps is also being opened up to developers it is possible to book things like restaurants right in maps.


Rich notification have been added and the use of 3D touch on the iPhone 6S and 6S plus enables much more use of these notification with the ability to open them up and respond or consume content right in the notification,  again a much needed catch up.

As well as these improvements further improvements were announced for Apple Music, photos, news, contextual predictions in the keyboard, and an new raise wake feature.

Overall a good set of improvements that will help to freshen up iOS and hopefully unlock the potential of the Apple watch, as apple starts its movement into a services company and some much needed openness to developers to get into some of the core apps on iOS.

A full list of what was announced as well as some videos showing them off cane be found on the Apple Website.

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