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I have to start with a confession, that as Starling’s biggest Apple fanboy, I will probably be first in the virtual line for both of today’s announcements from Apple – the next generation of the iPhone and iOS, so may be somewhat biased.

At Starling Bank, our engineers have been busy building our iOS app (don’t worry, Android is being built as well – our biggest Android fangirl made me write that). While we won’t be sharing too much about that here, we think there are a number of new features in this latest version of Apple’s software that are pretty exciting.


The biggest change introduced in iOS 10 is the updated iMessage app which has had a fundamental upgrade, enabling it to compete against the growing number of instant messenger apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. There’s now the ability to share music, pictures/video (easier than before) and adding scribbles (using your finger) together with a new app store.

It is the iMessage app store which is a new shift in direction – when one of your existing apps works with iMessage then this is automatically downloaded into the iMessage app ‘draw’. Giving you new features to share with other iOS10 users. This is the beginning of a new app eco-system and we all know what happened the last time Apple introduced an app eco-system!

For our customers, we see the potential for them to be able to make a payment via iMessage in future versions. There is no excuse when a friend owes you money for them to ‘text’ any more!

Siri & SiriKit

Apple have opened up Siri to third parties to enable the user to make voice commands to non-Apple applications like Starling. Perhaps you want to get a balance; make a payment or see your last transactions.

We believe this could be the thing that finally gives an engagement boost to the often critiqued Siri feature. It will move from a niche feature to the next level in human interface. Watch this space as other app developers join us to develop more functions and features for Siri.

Enhanced 3D Touch

When the 3D Touch interface (adding pressure to a touch) was introduced on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus there was a moment when people thought this was technology for the sake of technology rather than addressing a real customer need. With iOS10, Apple has addressed this challenge head on and made it integral to the whole user interface. We think customers will love it (ok, I think I will love it). The ability to have context sensitive data directly from pressing the app icon is terrific way to get information and initiate those commonly used functions.

Our designers have been working with this and here’s a snapshot when you use 3D Touch on our app icon.

Mockup of 3D touch with Starling app icon

This shows your balance and your daily spend but also gives you three common features – make a payment; lock the card and also let you know if you have any up and coming payments (both Faster Payments and Direct Debits). You can also easily add the widget onto the notification screen for quick access to the information. Having been working and playing with iOS 10 beta we can’t wait to get hold of the final version and continue to build our app for you.

Oh. And by the way, as well as all of the above, there are some other really cool changes like Maps, Music and News which have all changed and are fun to explore, and be sure keep an eye for our smart and beautiful Starling app to make your iPhone 7 complete.

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