The Watch-ification of iOS

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read

I watched the Apple keynote yesterday and thought the new features of iOS 10 looked good, but it wasn't until I installed it on my iPhone that I realized just how eerily similar a lot of these new features feel to what I enjoy everyday on my Apple Watch.

Raise to wake looks a whole lot like the raise I do to see my watch face.

The new lock screen and rich notifications treat notifications as the primary way you interact with your phone. Again, just like my Apple Watch.

And then there's the lock screen widgets which feel like Glances (or I guess Dock apps now).

And all of this is great, and I think it could be the best part of iOS 10 in the long run. Yes, the iMessage stuff is great, and the Siri API is fantastic, but the lock screen is something that everyone uses upwards of 100 times per day, so adding power to that space is worth more than just about anywhere else on the phone.

Raise to wake is just convenient, and it breaks years of training myself to pick up my phone in a way that I hit the home or power button in that motion so that the screen is on when I look at it. aNow I just pick up my phone any which way and it turns on, it knows I want to see it (hey, phone!). It's basically saying, here's what's going on, what do you want to do?

And while this isn't terribly different from the current state of iOS 9, but iOS 10 now has rich notifications, which let you do a lot more than you could before. Up until now you were limited to basically entering text in a notification. This made replying to messages and tweets convenient, but there could be so much more done.

Now you can! iOS 10 allows app developers to build rich, app-like experiences that you can pop into without leaving what you're doing now. And if you see these notifications on your lock screen, you can still do this. So without even unlocking your phone, you can do a whole mess of tasks from replying to those same text messages to editing your todo list, to seeing where your Uber is, even to watching live NBA basketball games.

It's all amazing, and I feel I have to reiterate's all possible without even unlocking your phone. Whoa!