Apple is due to reveal its latest operating system for iPhone and iPad, iOS 10, during its annual developers conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next month.
Details have been unusually thin on the ground so far, but here we round up all the alleged leaks and rumours of new features and tweaks we’ve heard to date.
The big iOS reveal tends to take up the bulk of the conference’s keynote presentation, which this year will take place at 10am PDT (18:00 BST) on Monday June 13, and will probably be introduced by Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering.
Apple Pay support for mobile
Apple Pay, the company’s contactless payment platform, is rumoured to receive an update allowing users to make payments through mobile sites, as well as in-app purchases and transactions via contactless terminal in shops. A new security option of verifying identities by entering a passcode, alongside the current method of fingerprint scanning, could also be in the pipeline.
Touch ID, the fingerprint scanning technology behind Apple Pay, could also be spruced up to enable you to remotely unlock MacBooks or Macs – tentatively called Remote Touch ID.
Hey Siri, read me my voicemail
Reports suggest digital assistant Siri may be updated to handle your voicemails, transcribing them to read without having your ring your inbox and select the message you want to listen to.
The update would be in line with Siri’s speculated integration with OS X software for Mac, which Apple is rumoured to have been testing for several years, but is now ready to reveal to the world with OS X 10.12, which will also made an appearance at WWDC.
Siri has become a key search and navigation method in both Apple Watch and Apple TV, where text input is severely restricted by the display size and having to tap in individual letters via remote. On Mac, Siri could be used to make quick web searches, open apps and make phone calls.
Earlier this month, Apple was granted a patent for customising a digital assistant’s reaction to different users, which could be used in the future to ensure younger users are only shown age-appropriate apps in the App Store or programmes on Apple TV, for example.
Digital Touch for iPhone
Digital Touch is a fun little feature for the Apple Watch which allows you to draw a small picture with your fingertip and send it to a friend, alongside sending them haptic ‘taps’ andyour heartbeat .
At present it can only be used Apple Watch to Apple Watch, but iOS 10 could see it extended to iPhone users too, given their capacity for 3D Touch technology, providing the user with tactile feedback after applying varying degrees of pressure to the display.
Stock apps be gone?
One interesting rumour is how iPhone owners may soon finally be able to hide Apple’s default apps for good .
The 32 apps, including Apple Watch, Stocks and Compass, are currently undeletable, as chief executive Tim Cook has previously said getting rid of them could render the handset unusable as some are linked to other native apps.
For example, deleting Apple Maps could hinder Siri’s ability to give accurate directions, and getting rid of the phone app could leave you unable to make calls.
Apple appears to have recently added keys to iTunes metadata, suggesting the apps could be hidden on a more permanent basis than just storing them in folders. The lines of code read “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp,” and are currently set to “false”, according to AppAdvice .
Cook has previously acknowledged how frustrated users are at not being able to adequately hide the defaults, saying: “I recognise that some people want to do this, and it’s something we are looking at.”
“We’ll figure out a way [for you to remove them]. … It’s not that we want to suck up your real estate; we’re not motivated to do that. We want you to be happy,” he added.
Apple Music update
A new, more intuitive version of Apple Music will be revealed, including an expanded version of radio service Beats One among other significant changes, according to Bloomberg . Design chief Jony Ive and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor have reportedly stepped up their involvement with the platform, which Apple is likely to be banking on as a future money spinner as iPhone sales slow .
This could result in a design overhaul, focused on simplicity and ease of switching between tabs.
Home Kit overhaul
iOS 10 could also be the first time we see HomeKit fully realised – Apple’s connected home framework first released as part of iOS 8 . Now that more smart devices exist which support the platform, now could be the time Apple chooses to tie up loose ends with a redesigned Home app.
When can I download it?
While developers can start building apps for the beta version of iOS 10 following its unveiling, the rest of us can download the full version in the autumn, as per Apple’s usual release cycles. The next iPhone, the iPhone 7, will ship with the new software in September, and, as per previous releases, it will be made available to other iPhone users shortly after.