Here are a few thoughts:
This one is probably the craziest of them all. The messaging pane has been totally overhauled, allowing 3rd-party apps within chat (I’m a fan of Sea Battle, the Battleship equivalent by the GamePigeon app), plus other special effects like invisible ink texts or texts arriving in a flash of confetti as it gets opened.
You can now also “react” to messages received, like on Facebook. Your options are: “heart”, “thumbs up”, “thumbs down”, “haha”, “!!”, and “?”. You can access these options by using 3D Touch.
Apple re-stylized all the emojis to look more like the Android emojis. I’m not a fan. I’ve always appreciated how the Apple emojis didn’t look like the other platforms. They also added several new emojis. The most notable ones have been the squirt gun, the gay pride flag, skull and crossbones, and a male/female version of nearly all people emojis.
In the new messaging system, you can also type a word, switch to the emoji keyboard, and replacement prompts highlight words in orange that have a corresponding emoji!
Apple has overhauled several of their own apps. Photos and Apple Music have a totally new look. I’m not a fan of the new Photos (it’s a knock-off of Google Photos, which I use heavily), and no one likes Apple Music. Yes, that’s a bold statement, but why would you, when options like Spotify make way more sense? But luckily, the iPhone now lets you delete native Apple apps, like Stocks. Careful, though. If you delete an app like Calculator, it won’t be available when you swipe up anymore.
Apple has developed the Home app for things like smart lightbulbs or garage doors. You can now collaborate in Notes, similar to a Google Doc. I’m not sure if there’s live editing or not, however.
The native clock also comes with a new Bedtime feature, where you say when you want to wake up and how long you want to sleep, and then you can set reminders on when to get to bed. It also tracks the quality of your sleep.
Apple has opened a lot of options for 3rd-party apps. Spotify, for example, now has more accessibility options. WhatsApp also responds to Siri now. Facebook has now taken the iOS update and allows you to upload a panoramic photo from your iPhone, and it turns into a 360° degree photo on the Facebook platform!
The thing that’s tripping a lot of people up is the new lock screen and home button. The default setting upon updating your phone is the “Raise to Wake” feature (To disable: Settings➔Display & Brightness➔Raise to Wake). It as a very anti-Apple feel to it. Personally, I hate it. I liked it to begin with, because all you had to do was lift your phone up into a vertical orientation to see notifications. But that also means you can turn on things like the flashlight from your pocket, since the screen can be activated by orientation.
The second half to the Raise to Wake feature is the new unlocking system. To get to your iPhone’s home screen, you put your thumb on the home button to activate the Touch ID function, but the phone won’t actually open to the home screen without clicking the home button. The point of it all is to be able to interact with apps from the lock screen rather than opening your phone to the app itself, but I haven’t met anyone who likes the new unlocking method.
Apps also open and close much faster, which is nice. There is a double-pane home menu when you swipe up. This is also great for Spotify users, since you can swipe left to access your Spotify music.
3D Touch—There are lots of new options there. Play around with it!
And lastly, possibly my favorite feature is that when someone leaves you a voicemail, your iPhone takes its best guess as to what the message says and writes up a transcript for you!
Now Get Out There, and Use It!
I hope this helped! iOS 10 is seriously the biggest update Apple has launched in a long time. This ought to be a decent guide in helping you maximize some of the newer options available!