The ‘Secret Browser’ Inside Apple’s iOS 10

As mobile usage increases, we've grown to rely on visuals such as emojis, GIFs and stickers to better articulate the feelings, thoughts and tone behind the words we type. This visual language has moved well beyond simple entertainment -- it's becoming a language that many are becoming fluent in and turn to in everyday conversations.

Apple's upcoming iOS 10 launch will be a seminal moment in this evolution: Making visual expression within iMessage simple and powerful on one billion Apple devices across the world, while posing unique opportunities (and threats) for the industry and accelerating the shift from public to private sharing.

Apple's Messages platform will accelerate the larger movement of messengers into the "new browser," further expanding our language from text and pictures to GIFs, videos, stickers and dynamic embeds.

With iOS 10, people will have access to apps within iMessage that allow them to seamlessly add a visual layer to the messages they send -- everything from disappearing text to animated GIFs, stickers and videos. These apps are invoked natively from within iMessage, and can tap into many of the same OS-level capabilities as an app that sits on your homescreen. Beyond exposing a tray of app icons inside iMessage, the platform enables users to send fully programmable apps ("MSMessages") that are embedded in iMessage conversations that, when tapped, invoke a fully programmable and dynamic screen.

Apple is not the first to introduce this type of platform; Kik launched one of the first HTML5 Messaging platforms back in 2013, and Facebook Messenger pioneered messaging platforms. However, Apple brings two unique powers to bear: It owns and operates the largest and most-used messenger in North America as well as the underlying operating system itself, putting the company in a strong position to dominate the industry.

As more people take their conversations from the public...

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