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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  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - link

  • Dennis Travis - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - link

    I am shocked someone did not badger them about the HTC10 review.
  • dsumanik - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    I will save you the trouble of reading it:

    There will be pleasing photos of the new iphone held up in front of leafy trees, and closeups on top of a flat ironed grey cloth of a pristine black iphone with zero fingerprints. There will also be a token shot of the phone turned on underwater.

    Next it will address the loss of the lightning connector, saying that this will eventually be so much better for the industry as a whole (while completely ignoring a move to USB-C is what would have been for the 'greater good').

    Then it will go on to point out how many more things that have been improved that are getting overshadowed by the loss of the headphone jack and that the author really feels "this is the best iphone ever" and how wonderful the storage upgrade that should have happened 3 years ago is, really making the phone a much better value.

    The screen with "wide" color is going to be so amazing that it will be completely forgivable it's only 1080p. The new colors and minimized antennas will completely make up for the fact that the design hasn't changed in 3 years. It "really will feel like a new phone". Oh and the stereo audio is gong to be amazing. You will have to hear it in person to understand how loud and clear it is.

    Finally it will not mention that since the phone can play headphones with a simple adapter, there is in fact a DAC still on board, added to the fact that they crammed in another speaker in there it really makes the "we did it to save space" argument a total lie, because id sure as hell rather have a headphone jack than another speaker.

    In fact, the review will completely fail to mention that being as apple is a headphone company, if they truly were after 'a wireless future' they would simply stop manufacturing wired headphones, and could have done so years ago. It will completely ignore that stopping sales of traditional wired headphones would hurt beats profits, making the purchase of the company bad for stock holders, making this move the biggest form of hipocracy ever.

    But thats ok, it's for the best. You'll want the new iphone, headphones be damned. You know you will, and youll buy it because apple told you to buy it, because they know whats best for you and the anandtech review will just confirm what youve alredy believe:

    The iphone 7 is the best phone ever and it makes you a cooler, smarter person just for having one in your pocket.
  • m16 - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    What on earth does that rant have to do with iOS? You're on the wrong article.
  • Dennis Travis - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    Dude, sorry, you have lost it. And like was said this is the IOS10 review, NOT the iphone 7. Why the rant? Do you have proof Anandtech is paid to give Apples stuff great reviews, or could it quite possibly be they really do perform that well!! :D Grin
  • dsumanik - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    dude, thats what josh ho does for every iphone review, go read em lol...its supposed to be a joke
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - link

    I enjoyed it!
  • Derjis - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    Did you guys even bother reading the previous comments, or did you just immediately feel the need to jump in with a "GOTCHA!!!!"?
    dsumanik is responding to a comment about when Anandtech will have the iPhone7 review done.
  • bodonnell - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    I'm so sick of people whining about the bloody headphone jack already. Don't like it, don't buy it.
  • Donkey2008 - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - link

    @bodonnell - Exactly. Just like the people whining about the 16GB iPhone. Need more space? Then buy the fing 64GB model or go buy an Android. Problem solved.

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