Officially released on September 13, the latest update to Apple’s mobile platform is a little bit special. You’ll find countless new features, app updates, fresh functionality, tweaks, and tricks to help you refine your experience on the iPhone or iPad. Even if you’re familiar with iOS, it’s going take you some time to feel your way through all these improvements and unlock all the hidden gems, so we’re here to help with some handy iOS 10 tips and tricks.
Related: How to get the iOS 10 beta right now
Handy iOS 10 tips
How to get a quick look at notifications
With iOS 10, you don’t need to press any buttons to get a look at your notifications — you can simply pick up your iPhone and the screen will come to life. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and toggle on Raise to Wake.
How to remove stock apps
For the first time ever, Apple has added the option to remove some stock apps that come pre-installed on iOS devices. Simply tap and hold on the app icon until it starts wiggling, tap the “X” in the top-left corner, and then tap Remove to uninstall. Unfortunately, though you can remove things like the Mail app, you can’t make a third-party alternative the default for things like “Mail to” links on web pages. However, you can always reinstall any stock app that you remove via the App Store.
How to use Split View in Safari
If you’re using Safari on your iPad, you can tap and hold on the screen and choose Open in Split View from the resulting menu to get two different web pages side by side. Each works completely independently of the other, too, with its own address bar and tabs.
How to get a good night’s sleep
Our mobile devices have been eating into our shuteye, but Apple has recently included a couple of ways to help us get a proper night’s rest in iOS 10. For starters, the Clock app is much darker now, so it won’t hurt your eyes. There’s also a new Bedtime tab at the bottom which hooks up with the Health app to monitor your sleep. You can tell it how many hours you want to sleep, and it even has a Bedtime Reminder option, so you can have your iOS device tell you when it’s time for bed.
You can also use Night Shift to filter out blue light near bedtime, so that using your iOS device doesn’t wake you up as much. Night Shift actually popped up in iOS 9.3, and you can turn it on via Settings > Display & brightness > Night Shift.
How to collaborate on notes
Launch the Notes app to begin writing a note, and you’ll see that there’s a new share icon in the top right. Tap on it, and you can choose to add people to this note. You can send links inviting people to join a note via email, Twitter, and a host of other services. This allows everyone to edit the note and see the changes in real time.
iMessage tips in iOS 10
How to set effects for messages
When you compose a message in the iMessage app, you can decide how the bubble will animate on your recipient’s screen. Simply tap and hold on the send icon after you’ve written a message and you’ll see the options for Slam, Loud, Gentle, or Invisible ink. These bubble effects can also work with images that you’re sending.
When you tap and hold to get the effects to come up, you can also switch from Bubble to Screen at the top and apply full-screen effects, complete with audio. Simply swipe to look through the full-screen effects that are available.
How to quickly respond to a message
If you’re in a hurry, or just want to quickly react to an incoming message, then simply double tap on it and you’ll see a wee menu pop up above the message. Here, you can send a quick thumbs up, a laugh, or something else, and it will appear on top of the relevant message.
How to send photos in iMessage
Tap the camera icon in the iMessage app and you can take a photo to add to your message, or add recent pictures from your gallery. Swipe left to right to access your camera or gallery app. If you tap on a photo in the composition field, you’ll also get the option to Markup or Edit it. This functionality is ideal for quickly highlighting something.
How to share web links or YouTube videos in iMessage
If you paste a web link or a YouTube link into one of your messages, then it will expand the link to show an image of the content. The person on the receiving end can then tap on it and read the article, or have the video play directly within the iMessage thread.
How to use Digital Touch
Tap the heart icon with the two fingers on it in iMessage and you can quickly draw small animations in different colors. There are lots of gesture shortcuts, all of which are listed on the right-hand side. If you tap the arrow in the bottom right, you can also switch to full-screen mode to create more complex animations. While in full-screen mode, you can even tap on the video icon in the bottom left and draw on top of a live video.
More Handy iOS 10 Tips
How to find out what Siri can do
If you’re new to iOS 10 and want to figure out everything you can use Siri for, all you need to do is ask Siri “What can you do?” and you’ll be shown a list of apps it can control, as well as the necessary voice commands.
How to use the new Control Center
Apple has made small tweaks to control center in iOS 10. Access it by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Previously, control center was just one page showing icons and sliders for everything you could enable, adjust or open, but with iOS 10 it has grown to two pages. Page one shows the screen brightness slider, AirPlay, Airdrop, and shortcuts to apps like the Camera and Clock. If you swipe from right to left, you’ll go to a second page that contains all of the music controls.
How to quickly open the Camera app from the lock screen
You no longer need to tap and slide up from the transparent camera icon in the bottom right corner of the lock screen. Now, it’s simply a matter of swiping from right to left anywhere on the screen.
How to change your flashlight’s brightness
You’ll need an iPhone with 3D Touch capabilities to utilize this. Start by opening the control panel, then long press the flashlight icon to bring up Bright, Medium, and Low brightness settings.
How to speak your messages instead of typing
In iOS 9, you had to press and hold the microphone icon while in the Messages app in order to record and send audio messages to other iPhone users. In iOS 10, you only need to tap the microphone icon and speak as you would normally, then tap Done to send.