New software upgrade for your older Lightning charging device or for that shiny new iPhone 7 set to release in three short days.

Unless you have been living in an underground bunker, you should be aware of the Apple Event 9/7/16, the pre-order frenzy of 9/9/16 and the upcoming shipments of the Apple iPhone 7 and 7+ in just 3 days.  However, this is possibly overshadowed by another big release today of iOS 10.  I am a huge fan of Apple and love the interconnections between my MacBook, my iPhone 6s plus (soon to be iPhone 7), my iPad Air 2 and my Apple Watch. With each update of the iOS system, we get to enjoy new features, new bells, and whistles. We are now at the end of the iOS 9 saga and are ushering in the new iOS 10.

iOS 10 First Impressions: Hello New Features, Goodbye 30-Pin Connection SupportI have had iOS 10 less than 8 hours and I am already noticing some major improvements.  This is not an all-inclusive list of new features, as there are too many to address in a single post.    First, prepare for a monster of a download. iOS 10 is a whopping 1.1 GB of data, yes that Is GIGABYTE.  Even the download information screen noted that this was the biggest release of iOS ever.  This update brings message enhancements, redesigned maps, better photo management, more immersive and involved SIRI, new music app features, a New Home App to control your smart home accessories. The quick type keyboard promises multi-lingual typing, new emoji and smarter autocorrect changes.   Simply reading the announcement from Apple made this 1.1 GB seem too good to be true.

Promises are great, but they do not provide you with much substance.  I have downloaded the IOS 10 and it took me about 2 hours on my work network (Guest Access WifI).  My first impression is my phone seems faster, but the battery seems to drain faster as well.  I started the download with 87% power and ended with 54% power, at the end of the download (not connected to charger).  The home button seems more responsive, the touch unlock seems faster and the swiping, the screen changes, the return to home all seem to work better. Changing between apps and double tapping the home screen, swiping up for the apps, seems to work much better.

I have been excited for SIRI for a long time and even more excited about the idea of what SIRI could potentially do for you.  I previously felt it was not that well executed, especially since Alexa is much more immersive. Where are you, Jarvis?  I have used the verbal “Hey Siri” access, to set memos, call people and to send messages.   Now you can utilize the verbal commands to set up an alarm, to open applications, to learn how to pronounce names, to find those nearby, to show selfies (neat feature) and to set relationships.  I really like that you can turn on/off Do not Disturb, Bluetooth, wifi, airplane mode.  Not only do you have access to these, but you can now use more phrases than the previous set methods.  Bluetooth on, Turn on Bluetooth, Turn Bluetooth on all activate the Bluetooth slider.

iOS 10 First Impressions: Hello New Features, Goodbye 30-Pin Connection Support

The new Siri commands were very fun to play with.  Before I realized it, I was at 6% and scrambling to charge my phone.  Once you set the names of your family, you can ask questions about them, such as how old is my wife, when is my wife’s birthday, etc.  Unfortunately, most of these questions will require that you unlock your phone.  You can tell Siri  “Hey Siri, my wife’s name is Danielle” and it will update your spouse, brother, sister, mother, father etc.  Ask SIRI “Hey Siri what can you do?”  She will tell you that you can call someone with the phone, you can FaceTime them, launch apps, send messages, set calendar points, find sports facts/figures, show photos, get directions, check movies, play music, hear reminders, send email, check the weather, check stocks, access contact information, find my friend, set a note, search the web, discover answers to math questions and facts/figures, access iTunes, post to Facebook and twitter.   Siri is much more immersive now, allowing you to open apps and interact much more. Now you can increase/decrease the screen brightness.  You can tell SIRI to “Set Volume to maximum/minimum”  “Set brightness to minimum or maximum, 50%.”  This feature is convenient and does provide a little improvement to SIRI.  I would love to have a much more verbally controlled device.  Ask her if you need an umbrella tomorrow and she will display the weather.  “What does the weather look like this weekend/“  She notes “It will be cloudy this weekend. It will be especially rough on Saturday, as the rain and thunderstorms continue and the temperature drops to 66 degrees F.”

iOS 10 First Impressions: Hello New Features, Goodbye 30-Pin Connection SupportAnother of the major updates that I have noticed are the swipe screens. When you swipe up, you will notice across the bottom, you will still have the flashlight, compass, calculator and camera.  Night shift now has its own bar, air play mirroring and airdrop have their own buttons.  There is a brightness slider and you can access airplane mode, WIFI, Bluetooth, nighttime mode and screen lock very quickly.  Swipe left and you can access music. Swipe right again and you will access favorite accessories. From the main screen, swipe down from the top and you will notice a new right and you will  be taken to a summary page with a search bar across the top.  Here you will notice calendar, Siri app suggestions and news, weather, batteries of connected devices, data usage, and you can edit options.  You can still swipe down from the middle of the screen to search.  You are now able to eliminate your notifications quicker by using 3D touch.  Gone are the days that you had to swipe away individual notifications.

You can access apps through Messages, you can send stickers, you can use tap backs, heartbeat sensors and you now have much more emoji support.  3D press the blue arrow and see the options from gentle to SLAM.  iMessages is definitely enhanced with this update.  I have not yet had an emoji battle, but apparently, the new IOS 10 uses intuitive emojis to allow you to express yourself even more personally.  One of the features I read about, but did not utilize was invisible ink.  The reader must swipe their finger over the text or photo to see the message.   In the lock screen, you can swipe to the left and easily access the camera.  This is actually easier than the prior IOS.  Whats new in photos?  Now, you can relive your best memories with automatically created photo collections and people albums.  Essentially the IOS now groups similar pictures into these pools.  Also, you now have the ability to edit Live Photos.

iOS 10 First Impressions: Hello New Features, Goodbye 30-Pin Connection Support

These features may seem to be exciting, but alas it is not to be accessible universally.  Those of us with 30pin devices must say farewell to Apple IOS updates. IOS 9 is your final OS experience and Apple is now a lighting only club.  I am personally surprised that my iPad 2 is still functional in 2016, but it limps along and works for my children to watch amazon prime and some YouTube channels.   I look forward to the iPhone 7 and beyond and am truly excited for what Apple has in store for 2017.  This is my first few hours with the new IOS and I am already loving the changes.

For more information on iOS 10, visit apple.com/ios/ios-10.

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