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With iOS 10, Your iPhone’s Basically Just a Lockscreen Now

If you want to drive yourself crazy, have someone tweak a setting or two on your phone. Nothing major, just remap a gesture or swap a homescreen icon. Only then will you appreciate how you take everything about your phone for granted.

This sums up my first day with the beta of iOS 10, which arrives this fall on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads. For the antsy, there’s a public beta starting today, so you can start getting used to all the newness now. Swipe to unlock is dead, replaced by the far more awkward move of pressing the home button. I’m still not used to swiping right to left instead of up to reach the camera, which I do a zillion times daily. Swipe up to get to Control Center, and nothing is where it was in iOS 9. I spent my first hour unlearning things I’ve done for a decade.

There are lots of small changes in Apple’s mobile OS, and plenty of big ones, too. They aren’t as obviously, colorfully noticeable as iOS 7, which arrived in 2014 with new ideas about how software should look. But iOS 10 is more important, because it’s full of new ideas about how you’ll use your phone. It overhauls Messages, introduces a lockscreen that is more than a security checkpoint, and makes notifications and widgets something you’ll actually use. As a result, the iPhone finally feels like more than a beautifully decorated home for your favorite apps.

It feels like a single organism, shifting and changing to meet your needs.