iOS 10: Initial Impressions

I'll preface this post by saying, "Hello, my name is David and I am an Apple fan boy." That being said, I don't blindly follow Apple (and all of their products) off of the proverbial cliff, so I guess that also makes me not as hardcore of a fanboy as some others? And before all you Samsung lovers come after me with flaming pitchforks — yes, I've used recent Androids, and no, they just weren't my cup of tea.

Speaking of tea, let's dish about Apples recent operating system update. I've been using iOS 10 since lunch (about 9 hours) and I thought I'd round up some of my initial impressions — both good and bad. 

Let's start with the shade, hunty: 

1. Notifications

Overall, I hate the new look of the notifications. Granted, I am pleased with how they pop up along the top of the screen (and a gentle swipe down shows part of your conversation while allowing you to respond without leaving your app — an improvement over the previous rendition), but the notifications tab is a clusterfuck of bubbles. Even for people without anxiety, this new look will leave you jonesin' a Xanax.

2. New emoji design

I was beaming from ear to ear when Apple went with the flat design in one of the older updates. (Thin fonts, layered-looking panels, etc.) It felt clean, modern and minimal to me. With iOS 10, some of the emoji are back to looking more 3D and (in my opinion) they look worse. It may just be one of those, "It'll grow on me and in a few weeks it's going to be my favorite thing", but not now.

3. Music App

Again, I loved the thin fonts and minimal designs of previous iOS generations. But upon opening the Music app, users are now greeted with this BIG ASS BOLD FONT for each tab. I honestly thought that a setting changed in accessibility — because this looks like something right off of my dad's phone. I happen to like the look of the tiles in the library, but dislike how you have to click the album and then the song, rather than just starting the song or playing the album on the first click. (If you've found something I'm missing, help a brother out!)

4. Doodles in iMessage

FOUL! This is so ugly! 😷 Ok, maybe I'm being a little dramatic and hypercritical — but that's who I am! 😘 I dislike this feature a lot. Not only does it take up half of my message bar* (so I keep accidentally clicking it) but it just doesn't seem to flow well with the rest of the design. We have emoji, Snapchat and now Instagram stories — do I really need kissy lips, taps and doodles from my friends on iMessage too?

*You can slide it to the left so that it just shows as an arrow, silver linings people!

New favs:

1. Widgets Tab

Despite loathing the new notifications, I LOVE the new Widgets tab. It's designed now as more of a control center, versus an afterthought. The layered panel looks clean, and with a slightly different opacity the headers for each section clearly stand out. Notifications can take a page from this book, and maybe group all of one type of notification (like Instagram) into one bubble. Looks much cleaner to me than before — and will now actually be utilized.

2. Read receipts based on the contact

I like having read receipts on, but some people take my lack of an immediate response as a diss. Truth is, I'm either busy doing something else — like you know, working — or I don't feel like responding at that moment. It's not a diss, but maybe something juicy just happened on Grace & Frankie. Having the option now to disable or enable read receipts for certain contacts is gold.

3. Keyboard click sounds

This sounds so trivial, I know, but the sounds got their first update in I don't even know how long. When typing now, users hear different sounds based on the key pressed (letters, space, backspace) versus the previous keyboard clicks of iOS 9. Even the lock sound is a bit different. Something small, but overall, I feel that it's all a little bit softer sounding, and definitely a little more refined.

4. Email threads

Between my day job, personal, business, blog and school, my email inbox can only be described as Whack-A-Mole. The design is similar to the widgets, showing each message as a panel on top of the opaque background, making it much easier to find and reference a message or allows me to prioritize who's message in the thread I get to first.


As I continue to explore the new OS, I'll keep you updated on what I'm fawning over or cussing at. Also, stay tuned for next week's BOLT⚡️ where I share my initial impressions on the iPhone 7 Plus!

Have you updated to iOS 10 yet?

I'm interested to know your thoughts — shout out on Instagram or Facebook and let's chat about it!