The momentum of the mobile space has changed in the past year. As the market for high end smartphones approaches saturation, the focus on the software side has moved from massive feature expansions to refinement and optimization. We saw great examples of this with both iOS and Android over 2014 and 2015. Whereas iOS 8 and Android Lollipop were heavy with feature releases, iOS 9 and Android Marshmallow were much lighter. Following up to a large feature release provided both teams a good time to reflect upon their development directions and a focus on improving the user experience.

2016 marks a very special year for iOS. After launching as iPhone OS back in 2007, iOS has gone through many iterations and a name change, and has now arrived at version 10. Although version numbers are somewhat arbitrary – Apple has been on macOS 10 for sixteen years now – the tenth major release for an operating system is still an important and exciting milestone. It means that a platform has withstood the test of time, and ideally has had ample opportunity to mature. At the same time however, because it’s a milestone, it’s a reflection on both the past and the future; what has come before, and what is yet to come. For Apple and its eager customer base, iOS 10 embodies this well: the company is in a position where they need to deliver a substantial update, if for no other reason than to satisfy expectations.

With iOS 10 it's difficult to describe what Apple has focused on. It's really one of those OS releases that makes changes to every part of the system. There are big design changes, and big app changes, plus new features and APIs so developers can make even better applications. On top of all that there are performance improvements to bring back the smoothness to areas where it was lost during Apple's rapid redesign and feature boosts in iOS 7 and 8. 

With feature-rich releases it can often be difficult to decide where to start the discussion. To keep in line with my previous iOS reviews I'll start off with a look at what changes Apple has made to the iOS UI before moving on to feature changes at the app level and then finishing with changes at the developer level. Without any further delay, lets dive into the new refined design of iOS 10.

Refining The Design of iOS
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  • robinthakur - Friday, September 23, 2016 - link

    Exactly, I have an S7 edge currently until my iPhone 7 arrives, and what have I customized? Widgets on the home screen and layouts, nothing else. What equivalent does Google have for Swift Playgrounds which is as polished and useful, pray tell? The polish is what gets users using the features rather than being hidden in Android somewhere. e.g. Apple Pay vs Android Pay, there is no comparison.
  • jdickey - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    If you have a phone older than an iPhone 6 (maybe even 6s), beware.

    On my 5c, notifications are continually getting messed up. Many apps' notifications don't show up in Notification Centre, and you won't know they're there until you unlock the phone. (Great for people sending you dozens of IMs asking "why aren't you replying?!?") Once you do unlock the phone, notifications often get "stuck"; I once had a Facebook IM "(Your friend) has sent you a message" notification that didn't go away for DAYS after I'd already replied to the message.

    Typing is slower than in iOS 9, and the keyboard often "freezes" with a key highlighted as it normally is when you touch it. Three or four seconds later, any keys you've typed since getting "stuck" play back as though nothing had happened and you intended to type 'a' 35 times.

    I'm seeing these and other problems that I never saw before with iOS 9 betas, let alone official releases. For a company that BUILT ITS BRAND on quality and on the primacy of customer experience, iOS 10 is an appalling reminder of how things can Go Horribly Wrong.

    Here's hoping that a 10.1 update comes out SOON and fixes more existing issues than it creates new ones. The Apple from five years ago would never have released a system in this state. I'm not holding my breath waiting for improvement. The main reason I continue to be an iPhone customer is that most of the direct competition I see (e.g., Samsung) have even steeper downsides.
  • korben44 - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    I had an iPhone 6 for about a week.... Sold it and went back to my Lumia 950 XL. Windows 10 Mobile is just better, in my opinion. Again, that's just my opinion. I had ios 10 from beta to release and still feel the same way. Meh.
  • SomeDude2552 - Saturday, October 1, 2016 - link

    FaggotryTech with another article about FagOS. Amazing.
  • Bolang - Thursday, December 1, 2016 - link

    iOS 10 is best.
  • jasonwilliams016 - Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - link

    Thanks for the review. Please let me know the
    <a href="">iOS 11</a> release date and review it soon.
  • oranos - Saturday, February 11, 2017 - link

    It's too late. Android has now surpassed in all relevant categories. Experience, features, smoothness. There is no more catching up for apple. The spread will only get worse now.
  • arvinzx20 - Monday, March 13, 2017 - link

    Base in my experience IOS 10 is good latest update of apple and i think ios 11 will also release this year..
  • arvinzx20 - Monday, March 13, 2017 - link

    When ios 7 is release before they have many bugs in this version unlike right now ios 10 still the best.
  • Punit - Saturday, July 1, 2017 - link


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