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What Apple already told us about the software on the new iPhone and Apple Watch

We may not yet have had a good look at the iPhone 7 or Apple Watch 2, but we do have a good idea of what it'll be like to use those devices.

Apple will likely be unveiling the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch 2 at its September 7 event, and despite the company's penchant for secrecy, we already know quite a bit about what the new toys might have in store for us.

Back in June, the Cupertino, California, tech giant drew back the curtain on iOS 10 and WatchOS 3, the software set to power the two new devices.

Here are a few of our favorite features from the new software:

iOS 10

Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Interactive messages: The new Messages app will show images and videos if you post a URL, predict emoji and offer fun things like messages hidden with invisible ink you need to rub with your finger to reveal.
  • Sort your photos: iOS 10 uses facial recognition to automatically sort your photos into albums of people, places and events.
  • Siri opens up: App makers can now use Siri to control third-party software. Apple's virtual assistant might soon be sending messages via WhatsApp or helping you make tough swipe calls on Tinder.
  • New keyboard tricks: Siri's also getting smarter and will now be able to anticipate what you might be typing to help out with making dinner reservations or searching for a phone number buried in your address book.
  • Lock screen as hub: From the lock screen, you'll be able to instantly jump to your camera, widgets, the new home app or a notification.
  • Delete unwanted default Apple apps: Picture the screen real estate you can free up. Just picture it!
  • Better maps: Apple's updated Maps might be giving Google a run for its money. Baking in alternate routes, Uber functionality, traffic info and points of interest will go a long way to helping Apple catch up in the navigation game.

For a full rundown of everything iOS 10 has in store, check out our roundup here.


James Martin/CNET
  • Seven times faster performance: Apps on your wrist shouldn't be suffering from any failures to launch, with Apple cutting down on the delays before an app opens.
  • A face fit for fitness: Not only is there a new fitness-tracking watchface, you can share your details with friends and family if you want to brag. Or need someone to keep you honest.
  • Control Center: As with iOS, WatchOS 3 now provides quick access to battery life and settings for Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb and more.
  • New interface: The side button on the Apple Watch now brings up your App Dock, swiping up gives you your settings and more. A total interface revamp makes the Watch way more intuitive to use.

For more on the Apple Watch's new operating system, check out our earlier impressions here.

It wasn't just software for mobile devices on show in June. Apple also unveiled extensive upgrades for TV OS for Apple TV and MacOS Sierra, the new version of its desktop platform. Don't expect any hardware announcements to go along with those, though. The safe bet is Apple keeping it all focused on the Watch and iPhone 7.

You can catch our live coverage of the Apple event at 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday, September 7.