Apple’s iOS 10 Beta Hints at Lots of Change – Not All of It Welcome

Apple's iOS 10 Beta Hints at Lots of Change - Not All of It Welcome

Apple is releasing a new version of its mobile operating system this fall, bringing the company up to a nice round number: iOS 10.

Ahead of launch, Apple is allowing anyone to test the software and give their feedback. First, I would not recommend that most people download this beta. Bugs are par for the course with all early software and could try the patience of those who don’t test imperfect things for fun. Many apps behave strangely with the beta since it hasn’t gotten its final polish yet.

That’s particularly true with this system. After a week with the beta, I’m confused about where Apple is heading with this update. It’s true that this build is, by definition, not ready for primetime and it would be unfair to fully review it. But it is still basically the same software that will hit millions of devices in just a few months and is just not as good as I’ve come to expect from Apple.

(Also see: How to Download and Install iOS 10 Beta on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch)
There are many things I like. Apple has enhanced the Health functions to track sleep, among other new data. This system also lets you erase icons for some of the pre-installed apps (Tips, Watch, etc.) that many relegate to a permanently unused folder on their phones anyway.

Apple has also done some work on Messages, that makes it easier to send music, sketches, .gifs and photos. You can also send very large emoji. It’s sort of silly, but definitely fun.

The features are welcome changes. That can’t be said of other tweaks to the system overall, which seem to move away from the logical, simple design that make Apple stand out in the first place.

Many menus and navigation screens have gained extra panels in iOS 10, which have the effect of making each individual pane more simple, but complicate navigation overall. For example, the control center that appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen now has two sections — one with the Bluetooth, brightness and other familiar panel controls, plus a second just for music and volume.

These controls used to be on one screen, and there was no real reason to add a second. In fact, it took me a couple days to even realize the volume control was there at all.

These menus look a lot like the bubbly, almost empty layout you see on notifications for the Apple Watch. But sparse design makes sense on that small of a screen. While it’s understandable – even admirable – for Apple to want to unify the look of its systems across devices, it hasn’t been done in a user-focused way. That’s unusual for Apple.

(Also see: iOS 10 Features: 10 Big Ones Unveiled at WWDC 2016)

Apple has also changed the lock screen so that richer notifications can be accessed on their own screen with a simple swipe to the right, in addition to being accessible by dragging down from the top. You can also search for apps from this new section on the lock screen. That’s a win for convenience, but not for privacy. I changed the widgets that I put in my notifications screen because they felt more exposed in the new layout.

Others may want to turn off the ability to get the notification center on their lock screen altogether, through settings in the Touch ID and Passcode menu.

Many of these complaints may sound like small cosmetic gripes, and admittedly some of them are. Others, though, are more serious. And all illustrate my genuine puzzlement about why Apple is changing the feel of a system that has helped propel it to such great heights.

There’s still time for the company to squash the bugs and refine the software — something that will definitely happen. But if the rough sketch of the beta is anything to go by, users will have to prepare for changes that may confuse them once the fall comes.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Apple, Mobile Operating System, iOS, iOS 10, iPad, iPhone
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Huawei Hints at 2 Phone Launches at Thursday Event; Won’t Be Part of Mate Series

Huawei Hints at 2 Phone Launches at Thursday Event; Won't Be Part of Mate Series

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Huawei’s Richard Yu teased two smartphone launches at the IFA event
  • Company’s executive clarifies new smartphones are not from Mate series
  • Evan Blass says Huawei to launch smartphones Nova and Nova Plus

Huawei’s Device CEO Richard Yu has reportedly posted teasers regarding two smartphone launches at its event on Thursday, just ahead of the start of IFA 2016 on Friday. However, the company executive has also clarified that these smartphones will not be Mate S2 and Mate 9 as suggested in some earlier leaks.

The teasers posted on Chinese social networking website Weibo were spotted by Android Pure, and don’t reveal much about the upcoming smartphones but do suggest that one of them will be sporting a square camera panel at the back while the other will be sporting a circular rear camera setup.

On Monday, popular tipster Evan Blass suggested that Huawei will be launching two smartphones under its Nova series, named Nova and Nova Plus, along with MediaPad M3 tablet at IFA.

The Nova series by the company will reportedly be aimed at its female users.

One of company’s executives has also confirmed that the smartphones that will be launched ahead of IFA will not be from Huawei’s ‘Mate’ series and said that they will be from an entirely new series of smartphones, as reported by Android Headlines. According to the report, new smartphones from Mate series will be launched in two months and the company will also introduce a new version of their Android-based Emotion UI.

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It will be interesting to see what the upcoming smartphones from Huawei have to offer but for any confirmation regarding their features, we will have to wait for official announcement by the company on Thursday.

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Tags: Huawei Nova Smartphones, Mobiles, Android, Huawei IFA Event, Huawei Smartphone Launch

 

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