Apple should codename iOS 10 'Twinkie' because it's full of fluff and filler

I know Apple doesn't give iOS releases cutsie codenames like Google does with Android, but if it did, I'd suggest iOS 10 be called "Twinkie" because of all the fluff and filler.

iOS 10: Apple should codename it 'Twinkie' because it's full of fluff and filler

Apple's iOS 10 feels like pointless filler and changes made for the sake of changes.

The public beta of iOS 10 came out the other day, and the first thing I did was download and install it to not only test devices, but also my main go-to iPhone (because why not? Live dangerously, YOLO, and all that). There was a hair-raising spot when my iPhone wouldn't automatically reboot, but a manual reboot seemed to sort the problem.

See also: iOS 10: Will it be the rebirth or the death of the iPad?

The good news is everything seems to work. My iPhone felt a little sluggish for a few hours, but this is normal and usually happens, because things like Spotlight have been working in the background to index my files and stuff.

Right now, iOS 10 is in the public beta stage, and since this is the Beta 1, it's too early to start commenting on overall performance or whine about bugs (if you want to whine about bugs, stick with the latest iOS 9 release and the bugs that you find in there). That means I'm going to keep this first impressions related to features in the new release.

So, how do I feel about this release? Right now, I'd say it's an underwhelmed "meh".

In some ways this is understandable. The really cool iOS 10 stuff will come when developers start to leverage things like Siri and the Messages app. Since it's far too early for that now, most of what I'm seeing in iOS 10 feels like pointless filler and changes made for the sake of changes. And Apple has made a huge number of small changes to iOS in this release that people will undoubtedly find annoying, at least in the short term.

And these changes begin right at the moment you start using your iPhone or iPad. Ever since Touch ID was introduced, you just tap the Home button, and then you're into your device, but with iOS 10, you can unlock the device and still be on the lock screen. You have to tap the Home button again to get to your apps. I get why Apple did this -- because people would just blow past anything on the lock screen, like notifications and such, but in iOS 10, Apple wants to make more use of the lock screen. But it feels more like Apple wants to force me to use the lock screen rather than make it a useful feature. You can still blow past the lock screen -- just tap and hold the Home button -- but I feel like I'm forced to change how I work because Apple wants to show me the new lock screen's cool features.

Then there are weird paradigm shifts within the user interface. For example, on the lock screen, I can now do a horizontal swipe to get access to the camera, but once in the Camera app, horizontal swiping is used to switch between different camera settings. Instinctively, I want to swipe out, but I can't and must use the Home button. It's a minor gripe, but it highlights a big disconnect between the developers who wrote the code for the lock screen and the developers who work on the Camera app.

Another example of this is switching from the Notifications panel, with its new look, to the search box, which retains the old look. Again, it's not a dealbreaker or anything, but it is quite jarring.

Same goes for that huge Night Shift button on the Control Center panel. Why does that button need to be so huge? Is this feature so important? More important than everything else on that panel? Who's idea was it for that to take up a fifth of the panel?

iOS 10 Control Panel

And what about the rich notification panels? Yes, they look great, but the more you have going on, the more you end up having to scroll. Yes, the new panels look nice, but they suffer from low-information density, and the idea doesn't work well if you have a lot going on.

And Apple seems to know this, because it's added a way to blow all the notifications away. This is a feature I'll be using a lot.

Apple's iOS 10 also has its fair share of oddball features, such as the Bedtime tab in the Timer app. The idea is you'll tell the app when you want to get up or how much sleep you need, then it reminds you to go to bed, and it wakes you up at the specified time. I get that this level of micromanagement might appeal to some, and that this would make a cool app, but I'm left wondering why Apple decided to bloat everyone's iOS 10 installation out with this feature. What's next -- a feature that reminds us to breathe? Oh, wait...

Then, there are the aspects of iOS that Apple clearly has no clue how to improve. The Settings app is one such spot. I remember when iOS first came out -- back then it was called PhoneOS -- and I was impressed by the simplicity of the Settings app. But over the years it's had so much stuff shoved into it that it's now a total mess.

iOS 10 Bedtime app

It is so bad that it's finally on par with the Windows Control Panel.

While I expect Apple to tinker with and refine iOS 10 between now and the release later this year, it's hard to shake off the feeling that most of the user-interface tweaks in iOS 10 are just fiddling with the interface for the sake of it and changing the way people work for the sake of having new features to push.

Right now, iOS 10 feels a lot like Windows 8, or the Star Wars special editions. You can feel there's been a real desperation to come up with new stuff to keep people interested. The ideas themselves are thin on the ground, so it becomes a case of tinkering with existing stuff in an attempt to make existing stuff look new.

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