Apple iOS 10 will start rolling out today to all customers, and iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (6th gen) users will be able to install the new software on their devices. Apple has already rolled out the final build of iOS 10 to all those who were testing the public beta version, and now the iMessage App Store has also gone live for the early testers.
Public beta testers are those who had already installed the beta build of the new OS on their devices, and naturally Apple has rolled out the final build for them first. For all other users who want the iMessage App Store, they’ll have to wait till iOS 10 actually rolls out for them later today. The early beta testers have also gotten the Super Mario Run Sticker packs on their iMessage app.
So what’s the big deal about the iMessage App Store, and what changes will it bring to the app? For starters, Apple plans to make iMessage a lot more useful and fun in iOS 10. iMessage will now have some new features which includes stickers, the ability to replace words with emojis without endlessly scrolling for the right one, sending GIFs, secret messages, scribbling on photos, and videos in a style similar to Snapchat.
But with its own App Store, developers will be able to create extensions for iMessage, and these apps will allow users to complete certain functions straight from an iMessage thread, without opening various apps and tabs. Cupertino has made the Software Development Kit (SDK) for Messages open to developers; these iMessage apps will be like a custom UI inside the thread and let a user browse, create stickers, even send media files inside a conversation. For example, ordering food, booking a table will soon be possible from within an iMessge group thread itself.
Apple is also bringing Apple Pay to iMessage, and this will have a big impact in markets where the service is live.Users in US might be able to order food, split a bill via Apple Pay straight from iMessage itself.
Third-parties like JibJab will offer customised offerings in messages; while Apple will add animations like balloons, confetti or fireworks to take over the screen for celebrations. There’s also handwritten style notes, invisible ink to send messages, which are only revealed after a friend swipes over it.
Apple iOS 10 will start rolling out tonight for all users in India.