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iOS 10 Released with Focus on Communication

Apple officially released iOS 10 yesterday and -- as developers have known for some time -- the company's flagship mobile operating system comes with a new focus on communication of all kinds.

New communication functionality is made available via extensions that let custom-developed apps integrate with stock iOS apps such as Siri, Phone, Maps and especially Messages, which Apple said is the most-used iOS app.

iOS 10 sports new Messaging extensions called iMessage apps and Sticker packs that help users share content, communicate in new expressive ways and collaborate better.

"An iMessage app provides an interactive experience within the context of a Messages conversation," Apple's developer guidance says. "iMessage apps enable people to share data and media, collaborate on shared tasks, and play games with one another."

Stickers, meanwhile, let users communicate without typing or inserting emojis, as they provide graphics or animations that can be integrated with messages, photos and even other stickers as another way to express emphasis and emotion.

Siri Fetches an Uber
[Click on image for larger view.] Siri Fetches an Uber (source: Apple)

Siri, the "intelligent personal assistant," has also been opened up to developers. "For the first time, developers can build on the intelligence Siri offers and let users interact directly with apps using just their voice," Apple said. "SiriKit helps developers easily design their apps to work with Siri for messaging, phone calls, photo search, ride booking, personal payments and workouts, or use Siri to control CarPlay apps, access climate controls or adjust radio settings within automakers' apps."

Yet another form of communication, Notifications, have also been improved with the introduction of a new User Notifications framework. For example, developers can leverage a new expanded detail view activated by 3D Touch. The view provides easy access to notification information and lets users act on a notification without leaving their current app.

Beyond communication-related enhancements, other extensions are provided for custom keyboards, home screen actions, widgets and several more.

Developers can check out Apple's What's New in iOS site for further updates on using the SiriKit, proactive suggestions, speech recognition, app search enhancements, widget enhancements, Apple Pay, security and privacy and many more.

Further developer guidance can be found in:

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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