By: Andrew Tropeano

This past Tuesday Apple released iOS 10 ahead of the launch of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2.

While Apple has touted this as the biggest iOS release ever, I’m not sure that’s exactly accurate as iOS 7 was a pretty major departure from anything previous. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some major changes though.

Luckily we’ve got a handy guide here to lead you through the valley of the iOS. Here are some of the major new features you’ll want to know about.

Home Screen

Let’s start where everybody starts: The Home screen or Lock screen. This has been totally redesigned and without some basic understanding you might feel lost.

For years we’ve swiped right to enter our passcode or simply touched our fingerprint to unlock it. You’ll find neither of those will work like you’re used to.

When you swipe right you’ll see a Widgets window with calendar notifications, Siri app suggestions, News, etc. In order to bring up the passcode screen you’ll have to press down on the Home button.

You’ll also have to click the Home button to get it to open with your fingerprint. Simply laying your fingerprint won’t open your phone anymore. It may say “Unlocked” at the top but clicking on it is required to finish the job.

Don’t worry though you can change this Touch ID feature back to how it used to be. Simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button and then turn on “Rest Finger to Open.”

One last thing on the Home screen that might throw you off (I’m certainly trying to get used to it) is the missing camera icon in the bottom right. This made for quick and easy access. Luckily Apple didn’t deep-six this altogether. All you have to do is swipe left on the screen and voila!


Messages has been overhauled and it’s taking some real getting used to. Sure there are a couple small changes like changing the revolver to a water gun (lame) and generally more defined emoji’s but the major changes are in the icons to the left of your message field.

The usual camera icon is there which allows you to take a picture or video or select from your photo library. This has been updated but is pretty intuitive.

Instead, let’s look at the icon to the right of that. It looks like a heart with two fingers on it. This is Sketch. When you select it you’ll be taken to a sketch pad where you can draw whatever you want in a variety of colors. Tap the up arrow in the bottom right to make the pad bigger.

Tap one of the hand icons on the right for a list of things you can do on the pad like pressing with one finger to create an animated fireball or tap and hold with two fingers for your heartbeat. Thankfully they’ve also included a heartbreak animation because sometimes you just need a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and animated sketches to get you through hard times.

Screen effects are available for anyone with an iPhone 6s or 7, though I’ve heard some with the 6 have had access to this feature. To access these effects, type your message and then hold down the send arrow. A list of bubble options (Slam, Loud, Gentle and Invisible Ink) will pop up. Choose one of those or pick from a screen effect by selecting “Screen” at the top where you can fill the recipient’s screen with confetti, balloons, laser shows, etc.


Photos has a whole new layout. The new Memories feature creates albums like “Best of Last 3 Months” and other albums collecting photos of places and events.

Your albums layout is now square boxes instead of a list up and down. “People” is a particularly cool new feature that identifies each person in your photos and creates an album for each one.

Probably the coolest new tool though is the ability to search your photos. By tapping the search icon in the top right you can enter key search words and it will find photos that match that word. Like search for “car” and it’ll bring up photos with cars in them.

A quick note on the camera, it will no longer stop your music when you open the app to snap a photo. So, you know, thank God.
So those are some of the major changes in iOS 10 and how to navigate through them. Hope that helps!

Let us know how you like the brand-new iOS 10 and any tips you want to share with us!