iOS 10.2 beta 1 brings some significant new changes to iOS 10. Headlined by over 70 new Unicode 9 emoji, the update is now available to iOS developers. A public beta version was just released as well. Have a look at 14 of the new features and changes in this brief hands-on video walkthrough.
I’ve found UI animations to be a little odd acting on my iPhone 7 Plus prior to iOS 10.2 beta 1. The update seems to have ironed out many of the peculiarities with the UI animations, although it’s still not 100% perfect.
Unicode 9 emoji characters
iOS 10.2 beta 1 features over 70 new emoji characters along with updated revisions to already existing characters. There’s a new clown emoji and a new drooling emoji, there’s bacon, a there’s even a person taking a selfie. How’s that for variety?
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The promotional images for the iPhone 7 are now available as wallpaper in iOS 10.2 beta 1. You’ll find three new wallpapers, which are based off of the original iMac candy shell colors.
New Videos app widget
A new Videos app widget is now available in Notification Center. The widget works similarly to the way the Music app widget works in iOS 10, allowing you to quickly resume content.
Transparency differences in 3D Touch quick action menus
Subtle transparency changes can be found when using a 3D Touch gesture on a Home screen app icon.
Hiding contact photos in Messages conversations
If you disable the Show Contact Photos setting in Settings → Messages, then the photos that used to appear at the top of Message app conversation threads will be hidden as well.
Notification Center/Widgets remember last location
With iOS 10.2 beta 1 installed, the Notification Center will now remember the last place where your left off. That means you can get directly to widgets when invoking Notification Center.
New Celebration full screen effect in Messages
A new full screen effect is found in the Messages app on iOS 10.2 beta 1. The effect, which is similar to the fireworks full screen effect, comes complete with taptic feedback on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.
New Home button accessibility setting
A new Press and Hold to Speak section in the Home button accessibility settings allows you to manage Siri and Voice Control response when pressing and holding the Home button. It is here where you can completely disable press and hold Home button response. I’m guessing that this will eventually allow users to retain Siri hands-free control while disabling the Home button press and hold action, but as of now, turning this setting off will disable Siri altogether.
New Siri splash screen
You’ll also notice a brand new Siri welcome/splash screen when enabling Siri from a disabled state.
Music star ratings
You can now enable Star Ratings for the Music app in iOS 10.2 beta 1. Simply head over to the Music app preferences in the Settings app, and enable the Star Ratings switch. From there, a 3D Touch on a track will bring up the option for rating a song.
You could always sort music via the Music app’s preference panel in the Settings app, but now you can sort while in the Music app. Another welcomed new addition is the ability to sort playlists by Type, Title, or Recently added.
Preserve Camera Settings
iOS 10.2 beta 1 adds a new Preserve Settings panel in the Camera app preferences. This will allow you to preserve the last used Camera Mode, Photo Filter, or Live Photo setting in the stock Camera app.
Quick reply text is saved when opening full Messages app
In previous versions of iOS 10, if you opened the messages app while in the midst of replying using the quick reply interface, all of your typed text would be lost. In iOS 10.2 beta 1, the text is carried over to the full Messages app.
If you’re a developer, you can download iOS 10.2 beta 1 now from Apple’s developer website. If you’re not a developer, yet still wish to try the beta, you may sign up for the iOS 10.2 public beta and start using it today.