Yesterday, Apple announced the iPhone 7, which will be available in the UK from Friday September 16th.

The phone launches with iOS 10, Apple’s brand new software update. However, you can download iOS 10 onto older devices from September 13th.

The release of a new version of iOS usually enables you to do more with your device and make you more productive. We’re looking at the business benefits here, and how the new features will save you time and make you more productive in your work day:

QuickType – A Serious Time Saver

You’ll be used to mobile typing shortcuts, where words are suggested to you above the keyboard based on the previous word you typed. QuickType makes this feature far more intelligent than ever before, using “deep learning” to take the whole sentence, and even the whole conversation, into account when suggesting words and information.

Most impressively, the feature is able to analyse conversations, pick up on details and use them intelligently to save you time. For example, you could be talking to a colleague about a lunch meeting, and your iPhone will pull out details like time, location and restaurant name to pre-fill a calendar event. When you go to create the event, you’ll notice all of the details you spoke about are already filled into a draft event.

Quicktype also offers you a very handy shortcut when someone asks “where are you?”. You’ll be able to tap an option that uses your current location and sends this to your contact. Great when you’re running late for work! If someone says, “do you have John’s mobile number?” Quicktype will offer it to you to send back in response, saving you from exiting messages, going to contacts, copying and pasting. That’s a lot of tapping and time saved!

In future, more QuickType features will likely be added to save you more time.

No Need to Waste Time Listening to Voicemails Anymore!

This is one of my favourite new features. I hate when I see I have a voicemail as it means I have to waste time dialling in, going through the slow and cumbersome menu, and then spending time listening to and deleting messages. The messages are rarely anything I need to know, but I always have to check to ensure I don’t miss a vital piece of information.

With iOS 10, now I don’t ever have to call voicemail! There’s now a new voicemail transcription feature, which will display voicemail messages as text on my phone, and allow me to delete the messages or call the person back without having to call my voicemail!

Your phone will also now indicate when an incoming call is possibly spam. This feature is great and will allow me to more easily avoid timewasting calls.

Live Broadcasting – Potentially Useful in A Work Setting

Live Broadcasting: This will probably be used most by gamers and social media lovers, but there’s potential business benefits too. The feature is already present in Apple’s code writing and learning app “Swift Playgrounds” – allowing users to broadcast tutorials so others can watch what the broadcaster is doing as they commentate over it.

This feature opens up all kinds of possibilities for the future depending on which third party apps can take advantage of it.

For example, you could present a Powerpoint presentation on your iPhone, speaking and appearing on camera, while remote users view the broadcast live on their iPhone, iPad or Mac. Teleconferencing is not new of course, but the ability to present materials and appear on camera, all made possible with just a phone, is an exciting prospect.

A much more useful Siri – Actually use Siri and save time

Siri now understands many different phrasings of instructions, and can work with third party apps, such as WhatsApp.

You’ll be able to talk to Siri normally, and have it understand. You could say:

  • “WhatsApp Jason and tell him I’ll be 10 minutes late.”
  • “Tell Jason I’ll be 10 minutes late with WhatsApp.”
  • “Send a message to Jason on WhatsApp and say I’ll be 10 minutes late”

All of the above and many other instructions will now be understood and carried out.

Siri can now also hail you an Uber, start and pause workouts with fitness apps like MapMyRun and RunKeeper, and also send money to contacts with payment apps.

Improvements to Apple Maps to get you around the city more effectively

As the iPhone insists you use Apple Maps by default when clicking on a location and navigating there, these improvements to the app are much welcomed. Maps will now have improved routing, taking traffic into consideration (allowing it to compare more favourably with Google Maps) and showing more points of interest to you so you can find the petrol station or bank on your way.

Vehicles with Apple CarPlay now get suggested alternate routes based on traffic conditions, and turn by turn directions will show on the car’s display so you don’t have to worry about propping up your phone or fitting it into a holder. Many cars are adding Carplay support, so your next BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari (as well as many others) will likely have the feature.

Maps will now be open to third party app developers too. This has real business use. For example, you could be using Maps to get to a meeting on foot and see that it’s a 20 minute walk. If you don’t have time you’ll be able to call an Uber, track the car as it comes towards you, and pay for your trip – all from within the Maps app. Expect more third party apps to build in Maps features. Maps might finally be a very viable alternative to Google Maps for your everyday navigation.

New Little Time Savers, it all adds up!

  • You can now view and interact with more apps from the lock screen using 3D touch
  • Raise to wake – Solves the problem of going right past your notifications when you press the home button and it uses fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone.
  • Rich lockscreen notifications using 3D touch, hard press – e.g. Accept calendar invites on the lockscreen. Hard press on uber notifications to instantly see where driver is on a map.
  • Clear all notifications button added to lockscreen. No need to individually clear notifications.
  • Dual safari windows on iPad – for those who use iPads, you can now have two safari windows side by side.

Does your business have a security policy in place that covers mobile devices?

Mobile devices are easily lost or stolen. If your employees use them for business use, what would be the impact of a device falling into the wrong hands? Could someone potentially access business data?

All businesses should have a security policy covering all elements of IT, including phone, tablets and laptops which may travel outside the business premises.