First impressions of iOS 10, macOS sierra and watchOS 3

As a registered Apple developer (though I am still learning) I have access to the GM (Gold Master) which should be the versions released on September 13th for iOS and watchOS and September 20th for macOS.

Since beta software can be buggy and cause problems I don’t install it on hard drives or devices which I rely on.  So I only had the iOS beta on my iPad and the macOS beta on a separate external hard drive and would boot up occasionally to check out.

After the September 7th Apple event I did finally install the GM on my iPhone and watchOS on my Apple Watch and yesterday installed macOS on my internal hard drive.

First my thoughts on iOS:

  • I love the “raise to wake” feature on iPhone.  Unfortunately I don’t think that is on any iPads.  Just pick up your phone and the lock screen comes up, no need to press the home button or the power button.
  • Lock screen is a bit different.  If your device has Touch ID all you need to do to unlock your device is press a stored finger on the home button and it will immediately unlock.  You can also access everything in your Notification Center and your camera from the lock screen.  There are options in Settings if you don’t want that access from the lock screen.
  • Notifications are different.  Instead of the black background they are white.  Depending on the app, you can do more from the notification as well.
  • For more info on what’s new and improved in iOS 10, click this link.

Next watchOS 3:

  • Definitely faster than previous versions.
  • “Time Travel” which allowed you to see past/future forecasts for example is gone.
  • Quick Contacts is replaced by a dock, which allows you to access apps more quickly.
  • You can now unlock your Mac with the watch.  You do need to set up 2 factor authorization on your Apple ID in order to use this feature.  Click here to find out how to set that up.
  • For more info on watchOS, click here.

Last, but certainly not least, macOS Sierra:

  • Siri is finally on the Mac!  Click the Siri icon in the menu bar and ask what you want.  It will mute any playing audio or video and also quiet the fans.
  • You can play videos from a web page in the corner of your screen.
  • Copy from your Mac to your iOS device.
  • Access your desktop folders in iCloud.  There is a setting for this and does require your iCloud plan to have sufficient space.
  • For more on macOS Sierra, click here.

This is just a brief summary of features that I’ve found and tested and doesn’t cover tvOS since I don’t have an Apple TV..

I encourage you to update your Apple devices when the new operating systems are generally available.  Before doing so, it’s a good idea to backup your device either with iTunes for iOS devices or with apps like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! for you Mac system.  This way if tragedy strikes you can restore your device.  To clone your system, I would suggest putting the clone on an external hard drive.  You can pick one up starting at about $50 for a 1TB drive.

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