A little more than three weeks after releasing the first beta of iOS 10 to developers, Apple has dropped the second beta in their laps. Before we get to the changes in beta 2, it’s important to note how big an upgrade iOS 10 is going to be. The new operating system, which ships this autumn, will include dozens a major new features and even more smaller improvements.
Major new features include a completely overhauled Messages app with animations and bigger emoji, the ability to book reservations for places like restaurants in the Maps app, a completely redesigned Apple Music experience, advanced 3D Touch widgets, a brand new lockscreen and notifications, contextual predictions, a redesigned News app, massively improved Photos app with machine learning algorithms that can detect people, places, and objects in your pics, Apple Pay for the web, and, oh yeah, a Siri SDK that allows third-party apps to interact with the company’s personal digital assistant.
With all that in the first beta, just what could they pack into this second beta they just released? A lot, given that “beta” is synonymous for “not finished.” Though Apple showed off all those cooled features listed above at WWDC, most of them aren’t yet finished and will be tweaked and refined along the way until we get to the official public launch of iOS 10 in September. Until then expect to see many more iOS 10 betas—probably around six or seven in total. So, what did Apple add in this second iOS 10 beta? Here’s what we’ve found:
The Messages app store is now live
This is one of the big new features of the Messages app in iOS 10. Messages can now work with apps made by third parties and embedded within Messages itself. This allows developers to great chatbot apps or apps that, for example, let you pay friends money you own them simply by texting them.
The Messages app store is separate from the regular iOS App Store and for now it just features a few sticker packs from Apple. These are essentially custom emoji icons you can use in Messages. Among the custom emoji apps you can now access are Classic Macs, Hearts, Hands, and Smilies.
New 3D touch shortcut icons in Control Center
Apple is massively expanding what 3D touch can do in iOS 10. It’s now used to show more detailed widgets when pressing on an app’s icon and you can also use it in Control Center now too. With iOS 10 beta 2 Apple has added icons along with the textual labels when you 3D touch the flashlight and clock buttons.
You can now register for organ donation in the Health app
A huge new features in iOS 10 beta 2 comes in the Health app. Inside the Health app you’ll now find a button that allows you to quickly register as an organ donor. The new feature was prominently promoted in the press by Apple, who even went so far as to releasea press release for it:
““On average, one person dies every hour in the United States waiting for an organ transplant because the demand for lifesaving transplants far exceeds the available supply of organs — and one donor can save as many as eight lives,” said David Fleming, President & CEO of Donate Life America. “By working with Apple to bring the National Donate Life Registry to the Health app on iPhone, we’re making it easier for people to find out about organ, eye and tissue donation and quickly register. This is a huge step forward that will ultimately help save lives.”
Over 120,000 Americans are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant — and every 10 minutes, a new individual is added to the national transplant waiting list. Each organ donor can save as many as eight lives and heal many more through the gifts of tissue and eye donation. In the absence of donor registration, families are left to make the decision about donation in what is often the worst moment of their lives, the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one.
“Apple’s mission has always been to create products that transform people’s lives. With the updated Health app, we’re providing education and awareness about organ donation and making it easier than ever to register. It’s a simple process that takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Together with Donate Life America, we’re excited to deliver this new feature to iPhone users in the US with iOS 10.”
The Health app on iPhone provides a complete view of your health and fitness data all in one place. The app includes Medical ID, which makes critical health information available in case of emergency to first responders and is accessible from the iPhone lock screen. Medical ID can display categories like medical conditions, allergies, medications, blood type and emergency contacts. And with iOS 10, Medical ID offers the ability to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with Donate Life America.”
Mail gets a new updated filters icon
Another small change in iOS 10 beta 2 is the addition of a new filter icon in Mail—a small but welcome change.
There were also plenty of smaller design tweaks in the beta, and as we said earlier, you can expect more major and minor tweaks as the iOS 10 betas continue to roll out over the summer.