Earlier this week, Apple released iOS 10, the latest version of its mobile operating system, to coincide with the launch of its new smartphones, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The software update can be downloaded on iPhones 5 and up.
iOS 10 adds a number of exciting features, including a redesigned lock screen and a major overhaul of its Messages application. Many of the features, like the ones below, will be useful to travelers.
iPhone users have long chided Apple Maps as being inferior to Google Maps, but Apple Maps is catching up. In iOS 10, Maps has been redesigned with a new interface and now integrates with third-party services like OpenTable and Uber. But one of its best new features: Maps remembers where you parked your car. It automatically drops a pin on the map when you park and get out of your car. You can also add detours to your route and search along your route for gas and coffee, features that were recently added to Google Maps.
Often on trips, you need to whip out your smartphone and take a picture. Your iPhone’s camera is easier to access than ever. Just swipe left from the lockscreen, and it will open.
If you take tons of photos on your trips but don’t spend a lot of time organizing them, the Photos app conveniently collects them by date and location. With iOS 10, your iPhone now analyzes the contents of your photos so you can browse your memories easier. A new Faces feature scans your photos for people in them and groups them by person. To access the People folders, click the Albums button of the bottom of the Photos app. You can also search your photos for objects such as “beach” or “sunset.” Just click the magnifying glass at the top of the Photos app.
Listening to music is an essential way to pass the time in the car or on a plane, and Apple has redesigned the Music app with an emphasis on usability. The new interface is simpler and the fonts are bigger and bolder, making it a cinch to play a song while still keeping your eyes on the road.
The iPhone’s built-in flashlight is a handy tool when you’re camping or spending the night in a hotel room and can’t find the light switch. In iOS 10, you can adjust the flashlight’s intensity to bright, medium, or low light. To access the flashlight, pull up the Control Center from the bottom of the screen; hard-press the flashlight icon to adjust its intensity. This feature is only available on iPhone 6s and iPhone 7.