Apple’s new iOS 10 software for iPhone and iPad is here.
The fresh version of its operating system promises to breathe new life into tired old smartphones and tablets.
So, what are the features you should be getting excited about? Read on and we’ll reveal all.
For some time now, Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant app Siri has felt like a novelty. Not to mention nowhere near as smart as Google’s rival offering.
However, Apple has given it a boost in iOS 10, by massively increasing the number of apps that Siri works with.
That means that instead of only accessing Apple’s apps by speaking into your phone, you’ll be able to book a taxi with Uber and order food with Deliveroo.
At the showcase event, Apple showed off how you’ll be able to order a cab by simply firing up Siri and telling it to use Uber or Lyft to get you home.
This has the potential to make Siri a lot more powerful and a lot less like a gimmick.
Siri also now works within Messages and Mail and suggests intelligent replies. And it's got access to your calendar and address book too, so can discern if you're available for an engagement or if you're booked up.
The idea is to make your iPhone stay one step ahead, so making arrangements for dinner or a night out are easier. How this works day–to–day remains to be seen.
2 Apple Music
Apple Music has been given short shrift by music fans.
The streaming service’s iPhone app looked clunky and was too awkward for some.
Apple has addressed those concerns with a much cleaner new design, which makes the music controls more prominent.
A new ‘For You’ tab delivers easy-to-search recommendations of songs you might like, and there's a new ‘Discovery Mix’ playlist based on your listening habits too.
Not to be outdone by the likes of Google Photos and Flickr, Apple has given its Photos app a major overhaul.
At its core is a new tab called Moments which automatically pulls together pictures using facial, scene and object recognition.
The aim is to make it easier to see all of your holiday snaps or blurry weekend pub shots in one place, grouped accordingly.
There are also special Maps within Moments which show you where the images were taken and when.
Essentially, this all means you’ll never have to fiddle around making online albums again.
Think of Moments like an offline version of Google’s Photos service and you get the idea.
4 Lock screen
The main lock screen (that's the screen you see before you swipe to unlock your phone) on the iPhone has been given a tweak too.
The major change is that you no longer need to press a button to bring it up. The lock screen will now appear when you pick up your iPhone.
To make it easier and faster to access key features, you can also now fire up your camera by sliding right direct from the lock screen. Want news and weather info? You can get that by sliding left.
3D Touch, the iPhone 6s pressure-sensitive technology that lets you access key features by pressing harder than normal on the screen, also works on the lock screen too. The upshot is that can hold down on notifications to decide how you want to respond. Choose to dismiss, answer or ignore for now.
Of course, this only works for iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
5 Emojis and Messages
Apple couldn’t resist having a little fun with its messaging app.
In a move designed to compete Snapchat, the company revealed a series of fun new features, such as 'invisible' messages that you can only see if you press down on the blue speech bubble on screen.
Those bubbles can now be made smaller or larger to convey loudness, while a new emoji predictor and handwriting-recognition function make it a lot more like some of the better keyboard apps out there.
Most importantly, iMessage is now open to developers, so you can access information from other apps without having to leave the message you’re writing.
6 Apple Pay
Apple Pay has struggled to catch on, not because it isn’t smart, but because using contactless cards is much easier.
However, Apple is aiming to bolster its profile by letting you pay for the stuff you buy online using its secure payments system.
Until now, you’ve only been able to pay in shops or within apps. Wherever you see an Apple Pay button on a website when using your iPhone, you’ll be able to tap on it and pay by holding down on your handset’s Touch ID button.
Apple has teamed up with big names including Expedia and United Airlines, with more retailers to come.
This approach should make paying for things quicker than ever and give it an edge over Paypal, which currently dominates the world of online mobile payments.
7 No more Stocks app
One of the most welcome changes in iOS 10 is that you’ll be able to delete a string of Apple's own apps from your phone.
This means you can ditch apps you hardly ever use, such as Apple’s News, Maps and Stocks tools.
Until now, users who don’t want to see these apps have had to squirrel them away on a distant home screen.
The only essential native Apple apps, that you can’t delete, will be Phone, Wallet, Activity, Camera, Find iPhone, Health, Safari, Messages and Settings.
Apple says the changes won’t clear much space for other apps, but it’ll certainly make your iPhone feel a lot less cluttered.
8 Spam calls identified
Getting a call from a number don’t recognise usually means it'a nuisance caller.
Apple has built in a new tool to iOS 10 which can identify such numbers and warn you that it’s an unwelcome call, most likely from someone trying to sell you something.
It’s then up to you whether you want to answer. But at the very least, being alerted to nuisance calls should save plenty of hassle if you find yourself on the receiving end regularly.
The Phone app now also integrates VoIP chat services such as WhatsApp, making it easier to call pals using your favoured internet calling app.
There are also plans to offer voicemail transcription, so you no longer need to listen in on messages left by friends and, yes, spam callers.
9 Older iPhones and iPads welcome - within reason
iOS 10 will work on all iPhones from the iPhone 5 onwards.
All iPad Air and iPad Pro models are supported, but you’ll need an iPad 4th generation or higher or iPad mini 2 or higher for best results.
In terms of smartphones, that means iOS 10 will work with four–year–old phones, an impressive show of support for older models on Apple's part that Google simply cannot match.
Not all the features will work on older handsets, however. The iPhone 5 lacks a Touch ID button, for example, so Apple Pay won’t work online.
10 Out now. But you might want to wait
You can grab iOS 10 right now. And if you need any help, head to our dedicated [guide to downloading it](.
But be wary. There are early reports coming in that iOS 10 is bricking some phones, although it seems Apple may have fixed this issue already.
You may also want to wait until the stampede of would-be downloaders has died down. Hold fire for a few days until a time when Apple's servers aren't being overwhelmed and you'll be able to download the software much, much faster.