Home / Mobile / Mobile Phone / iOS 10

iOS 10 review

By

Updated:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 30

iOS 10
  • iOS 10 Tips
  • iOS 10
  • ios10 19
  • ios10 1
  • ios10 5
  • ios10 7
  • ios10 9
  • ios10 11
  • ios10 13
  • ios10 15
  • ios10 17
  • imessage
  • iOS 10
  • ios10 1
  • ios10 5
  • ios10 7
  • ios10 9
  • ios10 11
  • ios10 13
  • ios10 15
  • ios10 17
  • ios10 19
  • ios10 21
  • ios10 23
  • ios10 25
  • ios10 27
  • ios10 29
  • ios10 31
  • Siri
  • imessage

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Deeper 3D Touch integration
  • Siri is finally open to devs
  • The Home app is great
  • Native apps can be deleted

Cons

  • Notifications still beaten by Android
  • Some 3D Touch actions aren’t obvious
  • iPad needs more bespoke features

Best Deals for Apple iOS 10

  • amazon
  • ebay

Key Features

  • New iMessage app
  • Home app
  • Redesigned lockscreen
  • Better 3D Touch integration
  • Open Siri
  • Manufacturer: Apple
  • Review Price: free/subscription

You can download iOS 10 right now on the following devices: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 5 and up, iPad mini 2 and up, iPad Air and up, iPad Pro 9.7 and 12.9 and iPod Touch 6th generation. It will come running on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

What is iOS 10?

Every year, Apple claims its iOS update is the biggest and best yet. With iOS 10, however, that claim actually rings true. This year's tweaks to the iOS formula breathe new life into Apple’s own apps and make things ever so slightly more open.

But the headline features aren’t the real success here; it’s the smaller changes and shortcuts that although not obvious, are satisfying and genuinely useful.

iOS 10 – iMessage

The headline-grabbing feature of iOS 10 is the updated iMessage app. Text messaging is pretty much dead, replaced by services such as iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Although Apple’s service has been steadily gaining ground, it’s always been a tad feature light compared to its rivals.

This changes in iOS 10. Actually, Apple has crammed so many features into its new chat app that it feels like it’s throwing everything at the ceiling in an effort to see what sticks.

Related: iPhone 7 Deals and Contracts

ios10 19

On the surface, the app looks very similar. Blue and white are the colours of choice, with contact photos sitting beside the message. Open up a thread, though, and the changes become apparent.

Alongside the text-input screen are a couple of new options: a camera icon, a heart and an App Store symbol. The latter is probably the most intriguing, and the one with the most scope for the future. It’s an App Store for iMessage, which lets you download "extras". It’s great, if novel.

The GIF searcher is endless fun, while the Apple Music add-on lets you quickly send someone a snippet of a song. Obviously, time will see the range increase, and hopefully developers will find some clever ways to make use of it. Citymapper has already updated its app, as has IMDb.

WATCH: iOS 10 tips and tricks

The next icon across, which resembles a heart, is a little less interesting. It’s plucked straight from the Apple Watch, and feels out of place. You can send your "heartbeat" (which isn’t actually your heartbeat, since there’s no HRM in the iPhone) or draw out little images. They render back in real-time when opened by the receiver, which is cool – but I can’t imagine using it constantly. You can annotate images too, which is certainly more useful.

imessage

So there are plenty of neat features to the iMessage update, but there's also quite a lot that feels like MSN Messenger circa 2002. Someone’s birthday? You can send a screen-overtaking animation that blows confetti everywhere. You can also send a message that slams into the conversation and shakes the pages, or one that appears in invisible ink. I'm sure there will be folk who have an appreciation for such items, but I can't say that they've stuck in my mind.

On the whole, the updated iMessage is great. It’s busy, yes, but given time, hopefully Apple will see fit to streamline it to include only the features that work. It’s a step in the right direction, though.

Related: iPhone 7 camera in-depth

ios10 23

iOS 10 – 3D Touch finally makes sense

3D Touch was introduced to much hype with the iPhone 6S. It demoed well, but in day-to-day use it was limited. I tended to forget it was there, or it didn’t offer anything to make me use it.

This changes with iOS 10, where 3D Touch finally makes sense.

There are now 3D Touch actions dotted everywhere. The most useful is hard-pressing the "X" icon in the notifications tray to clear all. You can also 3D Touch the shortcuts in the updated Control Center to quickly alter the brightness of the torch, change the timer length and so on.

ios10 7

The only real issue with these improvements is that they’re not obvious. If you’re not told about them, you probably won’t notice they're there.

Widgets have seen a 3D Touch boost too. For example, in iOS 9 a hard press on the News icon would have merely thrown up text-based shortcuts; in iOS 10 it actually shows the latest news. I can check the morning news, and weather, without going into the app. This way of using widgets is, in my opinion, much cleaner than it is on Android.

Best Deals for Apple iPhone 7

  • Compare plans
  • amazon
  • ebay

iOS 10 – New lockscreen, Control Center and improved notifications

Three aspects of iOS that I’d say needed the most work were the lockscreen, Control Center and notifications. And as if the developers at Apple had looked deep into my mind, each has received an update. However, the big question is whether the changes made are for the better?

For the most part, yes. This is a huge step-forward, one that manages to improve the overall user experience no end.

I’ll start with the new lockscreen, which is more a visual update than a functional one. The iconic "Slide to Unlock" option is no more; now you have to physically press the home button to unlock the phone. This is a result of many people, myself included, feeling that the Touch ID sensor was so fast that you blazed past your notifications whenever you opened the phone. It now takes a little longer to get into the phone, but it works a lot better.

ios10 11

Apple has added "Raise to Wake", which is easily one of the most user-friendly of iOS's new features. The screen will burst into life whenever you pick up the phone.

The swipe-up gesture to quickly open the camera is gone. Now you swipe to the right; swiping to the left takes you to a new screen entirely. This is where all your "widgets" – useful tidbits of information pulled directly from apps – are located. Widgets aren't new for iOS, but the implementation is certainly better here.

This can be attributed to the improved quality of the widgets themselves. Apple has updated all of them, from Activity that shows your daily targets, to the weather slide that displays the conditions over the coming week. Older third-party widgets now look a little weird, with a strange discoloured border. Hopefully, developers will update these too.

The spruced up Control Center is probably the biggest step forward in terms of design, especially considering it was fairly useless before.

ios10 29

Access is still via a swipe up from the bottom of the screen, but it’s now split into three distinct panes. The first is familiar, with shortcuts and toggles, but it’s cleaner than before. This is because the music playback options have been moved to their own panel – a wise decision. There’s also a panel that ties into the new Home smart home controller app, which lets you quickly tune your connected tech without opening the app.

I’d still like to be able to add my own toggles, and the lack of a quick option to jump into Settings is bizarre, but the spread-out approach makes the Control Center much more functional.

Best Deals for Apple iPhone 7

  • Compare plans
  • amazon
  • ebay

Finally, there’s notifications. I have to switch between iOS and Android fairly frequently, and the biggest win for Google’s OS in my eyes is it’s far superior notifications system. Apple’s interpretation has always felt cluttered and aimed far more at the casual consumer rather than someone who has to deal with a constant stream of emails, messages and general alerts.

Related: Apple Watch 2: What you need to know

ios10 25

Even in iOS 10, Apple doesn't get close to Google's implementation of notifications. Nevertheless, the improvements are welcome.

3D-Touching a message pops out a quick-reply box complete with the rest of the conversation, so you can knock out a reply from the lockscreen, while the "Clear All" option is a godsend to those who have a messy inbox.

Best Deals for Apple iOS 10

  • amazon
  • ebay

BGuss72

September 14, 2016, 1:14 am

Meh. None of these "new" features appeal to me. At least not enough to want to jump on the iOS 10 bandwagon.

It's nice that Apple FINALLY is allowing us to delete their useless apps. Left swipe for quick access to camera is moot. What's the difference between that and the current swipe up frOm the corner?

The keyboard? That interests me. Is it more intuitive now. So when I hit "o", it won't be an "i" that comes up? Or "n" instead of a space? That I don't have slow my typing so that ios can catch up? Lol

The rest is useless to me. The one thing I was really hoping for, when it comes to the 3D touch, was to make a quick access to camera settings (framerates and resolution) right from the Camera app itself. Instead of having to keep switching back and fourth from camera app to system preferences. You'd think Apple would have thought of this really simple, yet very useful feature. Considering the iPhone 7 is built around the camera.

I miss Jobs. Not a lot of innovation from Apple. Not nearly as much when Jobs was at the captain's chair. Time for Apple to stop giving us what they want to give us. And start listening to its users. Plenty of great ideas thrown around over the years, but very few make it to fruition. Opening up being snatched up by the competition.

If they can't be innovative, they should at least stop with the useless glitz and glam. And work in improving what's already there that has been useful. Or could be very useful. This iOS 10 is not the special I was hoping for. Oh, and they just REFUSE to STOP pushing updates to my phone! If and when I want to update, I WILL UPDATE. I don't want crap I don't want or need on my phone without my permission. And fix the random reboots already.

Radosław Górny

September 14, 2016, 9:30 am

Notifications in iOS 10 look fugly. Who is their designer? :D

Ruthless007

September 15, 2016, 10:14 am

Moan, moan, moan.... Sounds like you should shift to Android!

It's interesting how you "miss Jobs", considering how much hassle he received when he was at the helm of the company, launching a phone that you had to hold a certain way, launching a tablet that was just a larger iPhone, releasing iOS 6 that was almost identical to iOS5, etc. etc.

Amnesia springs to mind.

lish bergeron

September 15, 2016, 4:01 pm

I HATE this update! The worst ever!!!!! For the first time I am disappointed with update.

It is COMPLICATE, annoying, hate the close sound (why did they change???!).

I hope Apple is not going to become complicate like android...
Please, Keep simple!!!

Stefan Fischer

September 15, 2016, 10:09 pm

this is not a good update at all

1. apple removed start rating for music for people like me who have their whole library sorted by star rating this is bad.

2. New music app feels like designers stopped somewhere mid design and just left it unpolished and not thought trough.

3. side swipe to unlock gone, vital for anyone who has often dirty hands

👎👎👎👎

Harsha Sai

September 15, 2016, 11:01 pm

Well, the concept of owning music and albums rather than renting them, and putting it all on the internet was Jobs' idea. So was the insanely popular iPod, and then the precursor of all smartphones, the iPhone. And all tablets are bigger phones genius, and the iPad is the most popular.

Adrian Mergard

September 16, 2016, 3:26 am

enlarge font in mail. Font is smaller than usual and is difficult for impaired persons to read.

Jeremy Semanhyia

September 16, 2016, 6:02 pm

They've removed the feature for suggesting the music app when headphones are plugged in. Second, I DON'T LIKE the new music app. It's horrible

Dj GJ

September 19, 2016, 5:30 pm

There is a locked lock screen and unlocked lock screen ?!?...WTF ? Who comes up with this suff, the swipe right to unlock is gone, bad....the left swipe is camera....bad, camera non removable from lock screen (unless you remove it from normal screen too)...it's like in supermarkets, you go there and get used to items on certain shelves....then they move them to others so you left wandering around looking for stuff like an idiot...I don't like ios 10 at all...

Samia

September 28, 2016, 5:45 pm

I like overall changes but what I found annoying is unlocking the screen by pressing Home Button. I tried to disable that but It didnt work. Changes are not much as compared to prev iOS version, I think i should have stayed with my prev version of iOS not the latest one.

leart

September 30, 2016, 2:56 pm

there is a way to increase the size of interactive text, like email, notes and even of the main menu, since iOS 6 (2012) Lol I guess you just have to chose your right text size

leart

September 30, 2016, 2:59 pm

if you hurry you can downgrade .. go to ipsw dot me, chose your device and download the ipsw for your device, open iTunes shift + restore to the downloaded ipsw and you'll be back to iOS 9, but you will end with a new device configuration .. the iOS 10 backup will not work on iOS 9.3.5.. good luck

leart

September 30, 2016, 3:04 pm

yeah.. I'm a designer obsessed with Apple mainly for their high class design.. but their new music app is the most ugly interface they pushed.. don't know, maybe they are just confusing the concurrence since android community is out there copying anything Apple lol and they will fix it later :P

Randommexi

October 1, 2016, 3:55 pm

i hate apple now. i'm getting a new phone. this "upgrade" was a giant step backwards. thanks....

Brooklyn Boone

October 3, 2016, 3:51 am

I like The update overall. But I extremely dislike that I have to press the home button for my phone to unlock. And I think that Apple should have left the control center the way it was, instead of me sliding to the right to access my music. Also Apple should add patterns to the selection of security on the phone.

Thomas ward

October 3, 2016, 10:51 pm

I can't get my I tunes music to show I upgraded my iPod touch now I only have music that I down loaded I pay every month for Apple Music now it just says loading

jonesy555

October 6, 2016, 12:12 pm

Feels like an update for the sake of it:

- Mail app is baffling. Worked perfectly before, now can't work out what is what. Conversations jumbled and hard to read what order the messages are in and which you've read. Truly terrible,
- Lock screen or is it unlocked...why bother with that?? I know you can change it but that still doesn't make it much better.
- In call, goes to a sort of lock screen but you have to tap the number to get the controls back. Again why? If you get mails/messages/notifications in call, these aren't displayed, phone just lights up or vibrates.

Jorge Medrano

October 7, 2016, 1:16 am

This update feels like those Android versions that have been heavily modified by the manufacturer. The worst is the lock screen: confusing, slow and cluttered. It took me forever today to deactivate an alarm. I guess IxD folks at Apple are fully functional the milisecond after they hear their alarm clock.

For me, it is the first Apple update that feels mediocre.

Alex Edwards

October 7, 2016, 5:35 pm

Personally, i'm unhappy with some of the things apple did.

Yes, the made some good back end moves but they've changed things that did not need to be changed.

The Contact Info bar is obnoxiously big. taking up screen area needlessly.
Dedicating a part of the lock screen to widgets was a completely stupid move to me. I always turned off the entire "today" feature because a lock screen was meant to keep people out of a phone, not give tid bits and reminders of your day and news.
Slide to unlock...this was a key feature for me for security, and it got dumped for a dedicated "today" widget screen I disabled anyway? What was wrong with pulling down for this screen?
The control center was great in 9.3.5. Consolidated, not huge but not so tiny it couldn't be used. And it was all one pane. Dedicated panes have made it more complex than it needs to be.

It feels like Apple's trying to force more use of Touch ID, something I don't like using to unlock a phone. I'm more content to stick with the PIN.

There's good like the added iMessage stuff. Though I don't use most of the stuff like gifs and enhanced Emoji much, I can see why this was added. I like the bed time feature in the clock app. I like the Siri dev options opened up and the deeper 3D integration. This does open a new world for Apps. but the short comings to me outweigh the improvements.

I'm not going to Upgrade my 6S, i made the mistake on my 5C and regret it. I wont go to iPHone 7 either. I'm content as it stands now to run my 6S until the Wheels fall off.

Michael

October 16, 2016, 3:46 am

m***** f***** piece of s*** ios 10 BS
nothing works okay anymore all is going crazy. Can't use my data after I leave the house, must restart the phone all the time for nothing, if I receive a youtube from my friends cant watch it on full screen just on one". It's f up

:(

October 17, 2016, 3:22 pm

This update is honestly ruining my life. My alarm only works 33% of the time, the messaging is slow. I feel like my life is falling apart and i'm blaming this update.

Stotri Thavanesh Huthesh

November 14, 2016, 4:53 am

People in many countries use bikes and scooters. Maps do not show narrower lanes that a two wheeler can use to reach a destination.

Google maps at one time allowed you to plot a bicycle trip. It worked in a silly way. If there was no dedicated cycle path it did not show that choice. WTF?

Now that is also gone and the walking path isn't always suitable for 2 wheelers.

Dumb @$$e$ made the swipe up interface colossally foolish. Who gave them the idea of swiping the first layer left to get the music player? Clowns.

Alarms sometimes slide down. There is no snooze or stop button in that. WTF are you supposed to do with that sliding alarm thing?

We miss Steve Jobs.

comments powered by Disqus