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iOS 10 preview: A sad present for a milestone birthday

Apple’s iOS is in its tenth iteration and nine years old, believe it or not. In tech years, that’s, what, 63 years old? At that age, you’re about as mature as you can be, and you really slow down the changes you make to yourself. That’s certainly the case with iOS 10, which has to be one of the smallest updates ever to the iPhone’s and iPad’s operating system — in the first public beta version, anyhow.

iOS 10’s version number seems misplaced given how minor the changes are this time around, and if the intent was to celebrate iOS’s double-digit milestone, this version doesn’t do that.

Most of iOS 10’s “big” changes are cosmetic, centered around its newfound love of clunky, overly bound Android-style widgets in the lock screen, notifications screen, Control Center, and what used to be the (useless) Search screen (swipe all the way to the leftmost screen).


The Control Center screen: iOS 10’s two screens are at left and iOS 9’s single screen is at right.

iOS lock screen

The lock screen: iOS 10’s two screens are at left and iOS 9’s single screen is at right.

iOS search screen

The search screen: iOS 10 is at left and iOS 9 at right.

iOS notifications screen

The notifications screen: iOS 10 is at left and iOS 9 at right.

Although the previous versions of these screens could have stood improvements, they at least were clearer and required less scrolling around to get things done than the new versions. The Android-style fixed widget containers overly constrain some features, like the calendar widget, into unusably small spaces.

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