Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 10, is available to download on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches from Tuesday, September 13.
The company announced the release date at a special event in California last week, where it also unveiled the long-awaited iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch 2.
Apple has previously described iOS 10 as its “biggest iOS release ever”.
The new software was first announced at the tech giant’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference ( WWDC ) in June, and includes a range of exciting new features.
It will come pre-installed on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but can also be downloaded onto older Apple devices – so even if you’re planning to stick with your old iPhone, you can still benefit from the software upgrade.
Apple normally releases the latest version of iOS a week after the September product launch, and a few days before the latest iPhone goes on sale.
This year is no different, with Apple announcing that iOS 10 will be available to the public on Tuesday, September 13.
iOS 10 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 5 and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod touch 6th generation.
The download is available from 6pm in the UK (10am PST).
Perhaps the biggest change coming with iOS 10 is a series of major updates to Apple’s messaging app .
iMessage now has its very own App Store which means that you’ll be able to do things like order food, book flights and send money without having to leave the conversation you’re in. You can also play YouTube links from within the iMessage app.
Another new tweak lets you send a message in your own handwriting. It’ll even animate at the other end just as though you were writing it in front of your friend.
A new “invisible ink” feature allows you to send a photo or video that remains hidden until you swipe over it.
Taking its cue from the massively popular Japanese app Line, Apple has added stickers to messaging. These are like large emoji that can be added to photos or just sent on their own. Some of the cartoon-like stickers are even animated.
Also similar to Line, Apple has introduced predictive emojis. The keyboard will automatically highlight a word, the all you need to do is tap on it to replace it with the relevant emoji.
You can also change the way your message bubbles look, making them larger if you to want to “shout” or smaller for whispering.
Apple’s aging voice assistant is starting to look a little long in the tooth compared to some of its younger rivals but it’s getting a new lease of life for iOS 10. Apple has opened up its virtual assistant to third party apps so that it can now do things like book taxis.
There are a few third-party apps that already work with Siri, but the selection is incredibly limited, so the new function should make Siri a whole lot more useful.
This handy new feature automatically transcribes voicemails so that that you don’t have to go through the hassle of listening to them.
It’s not clear now accurate the voice recognition will be, but if it works well, this is a feature that could save iPhone users a lot of time.
After a rather lukewarm reception at launch, Apple’s Spotify rival is being completely revamped with a new interface .
A cleaner design has been created that should it make it much smoother to navigate and it’ll also display song lyrics as you listen to a track. Apple has also added a search tab to make it easier to find things.
The update software lets you view photos and video, and even respond to messages straight from the lock screen.
What’s more, the “raise to wake” feature will display all of your notifications on the lock screen as soon as you pick up the handset.
Apple Maps were laughably poor when it was first launched, but has since seen a series of upgrades to make it more useful – like mapping things in the right place.
The news software sees Maps redesigned with larger buttons to make it easier to use, while ‘Extensions’ will enable you to book restaurant tables or book a ride with Uber directly from the map.
The tweaked app will let you search for things like petrol stations and restaurants along your route and Maps will even tell you how much longer it will take to arrive.
It will also make automatic suggestions on where you’re likely to go and the best route to take to get there.
iPhone users can FINALLY plan detours on Google Maps – so there’s no excuse for not picking up dinner on the way home
Last but not least, iOS 10 includes the ability to remove Apple’s default apps from your Home screen.
Apple didn’t actually announce this during its keynote session at WWDC, but eagle-eyed Apple watchers noticed the former default apps are now available to download from the App store – meaning they can be deleted.
How to download
When the time comes, you’ll get a notification on your Apple device, telling you the new version of iOS is available to download.
Before starting the download, you’ll need to check you have at least 1GB of storage space on your device, and it’s best to back up your data in case anything goes wrong.
You can do this by going to Settings > iCloud > Backup, and checking whether the iCloud Backup tab is switched on.
At the bottom of the window, there should also be a timestamp of when the last backup was performed. If it has been a while, tap “Back Up Now” to get your latest data into iCloud. This will only work while you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Alternatively, you can back up your data through iTunes, by plugging in your iPhone into your home PC or Mac, and pressing “Back Up Now.”
Next you need to check the speed of your internet connection – a WiFi connection is best if possible – and make sure your device is plugged in so that it doesn’t run out of battery half way through the installation process.
You can then start downloading the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install. Once the iOS 10 package is downloaded, an alert will pop up giving you the option to install now or later.