iOS 10 beta 3 impressions

I decided to try iOS 10 on my iPhone SE for no particular reason and so far the results have been more than positive with beta 3. The SE is not exactly the best device to take full advantage of the changes iOS 10 brings thanks to the lack of 3D Touch and the smaller screen, but there are moments of great care shown in the design which tick boxes I didn’t know were there.

From a stability point of view, everything works and I have not suffered any system crashes, slow-downs or anything else of note. All of my important apps work perfectly (TomTom, PocketMoney, Pocket Casts etc) and only Jawbone UP is a problem at this time because it no longer synchronises with my tracker. It is possible that a recent update to the Jawbone app caused this, but I will continue to see what has caused it to stop completely. Overall, iOS 10 feels like iOS 9 to me and I already have faith that I can use my main device every day without worrying about losing the functionality I need.

Messages has been touted as the main improvement in iOS 10 and I must say that my wife and I are enjoying the new features. Childish maybe, but when you consider the kind of conversations you may have with your partner or children, it adds a certain amount of variety and personalisation to the experience. Sadly, some of the features do not seem to work on the SE at this time; full screen effects, invisible ink etc are missing so I am hoping that they appear in a later release. I can see no reason why 3D Touch would be needed for them to work so we shall wait and see what appears in the near future.

I like the way notifications are displayed on the lock screen and in particular the way you can deal with a new message (on many apps) without needing to enter the associated app itself. There is a consistency about the appearance now which flows through the new News app, lock screen and Music app. The text can be far too large in places, particular on the SE, but I really do like what I see overall. And I like what I hear with bizarre tones to key presses which sound quirky when typing quickly. Despite there being a sense of Windows Phone now and again (shudder), visually and audibly I am enjoying the changes even if they are minor overall. What is important is that Apple has addressed areas that were not good before and left the decent stuff alone.

There really isn’t much else to say about iOS 10. I could talk about all of the other features like the water ingress warning, control centre colour changes and the fact you need to press the home button to unlock the iPhone now, but it is probably better to just try it and find out the changes as you go along. I am not suggesting that you should try it because it is a beta and it could be a nightmare for you, but for now I am satisfied that it is a worthy update that adds some more fun to the iOS experience and which closes some of the gaps that were there in iOS 9.

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