Apple launched 11 as its new mobile platform at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 in June. The new operating system is designed not only to suit the advanced hardware of the iPhone 8 but also to deliver a fresh experience on older Apple devices. The list of existing iOS devices that are compatible with the new version includes the iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro range, iPad fifth generation and the iPod touch sixth generation. While the public release of iOS 11 will start rolling out following the launch of the new iPhone on September 12, the platform is available as a preview build to give you a sneak peek at its new enhancements.
As an upgrade over iOS 10, the new update has various new features. The software update is touted to be the "biggest AR platform" with some progressive augmented reality (AR) experiences. Further, there are enhanced functions to make iPad a more useful device than ever. If you are keen to know how the new platform will enhance your existing Apple device, here are the top 11 features that come preloaded with iOS 11.
New Control Centre
The very first major change you would observe in iOS 11 is a consolidated Control Centre that comes with bubble-style buttons on the full screen. There are controls to enable or disable network options, access music tracks and allow AirPlay mirroring. The new Control Centre also includes a couple of horizontal sliders that help you adjust brightness and volume.
You can customise the panel by selecting from a collection of 18 additional controls that give one-tap access to Alarm, Apple TV Remote, Calculator, Flashlight, Low Power Mode, Voice Memos and Wallet among others. Additionally, there is 3D Touch integration to expand the available controls with further options.
Lock screen with notifications
To provide you with a single screen for all your notifications, Apple has tweaked the Lock screen in iOS 11. This is a merger of the original Lock screen with the Notification Centre that covers the homescreen once you swipe from the top. A swipe up from the middle of the display shows you all the recent notifications. Also, the "Today" view of the existing Notification Centre that includes widgets such as Apple News and Weather is accessible from the new Lock screen with a single swipe gesture to the right.
Apple has brought Automatic Setup to iOS 11 to lets you easily switch to a new iPhone or iPad by holding it near your existing iOS device. You just need to position an on-screen image in the frame of your new Apple device to import your personal settings, preferences and iCloud Keychain passwords. This process works similar to the way you connect an Apple Watch with your iPhone for the first time.
Apple's iOS 11 has an enhanced Siri experience that leverages advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence. The new version of Siri is capable of translating American English into Chinese, Spanish, French, German and Italian. It also works with Apple Music to play your favourite track or solve music trivia intelligently. The digital assistant uses your browsing data from Safari to even suggest you an interesting news topic to read or set a Calendar reminder once you book a flight or reserve a restaurant seat online. Further, Apple is bringing more realistic human voices with natural and smoother tones. There is an Accessibility option that even allows you to type your Siri queries instead of speaking them aloud.
Tweaked QuickType keyboard
The new iOS update comes with an upgraded QuickType keyboard that includes a one-handed typing feature. This new addition allows you to type using your left or right hand. You can simply activate the feature by a holding down the emoji key.
With iOS 11, Apple has redefined its classic Dock to let you access your favourite apps from any screen on your iPad. You can bring the new Dock on top of any of the active apps on your iPad by swiping up from the bottom. This enhances your multitasking experience. Additionally, you can customise the default Dock by adding your important app icons. The new Dock even suggests you with the apps that you opened recently on your iPad or the last used apps from your iPhone or Mac. You can also drag a Dock icon upwards to open a new app right on top of an existing one, and if Slide Over or Split View is already in use, the iPad will show two windows simultaneously. Alongside the new Dock for iPad lineup, Apple is reportedly bringing an enhanced Dock for the iPhone 8 that will completely abandon the use of a home button. It is said to have looks similar to the new iPad Dock.
Updated Files app
The default Files app on iOS 11comes with a unified search bar that allows you to find the content stored locally on your Apple device as well as searches through the stack available on cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and One Drive among others. The updated Files app in iOS 11 also has iCloud Drive integration to offer you direct access to your iCloud files and folders.
Better Live Photos
Live Photos, which is among the prominent features of iOS since the launch of the iPhone 6s in September 2015, has been revamped in iOS 11. It comes with a slider that allows you to pick only the best moments from your animated images. Similarly, you can select from the new Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure options to make your memories run the way you want them to.
The new iOS version comes with a redesigned app drawer within the Messages app that you can swipe across to share stickers, emojis, apps and games with your contacts. The app also has two new screen effects, namely Echo and Spotlight, which give more focus to what you want to highlight in your message thread. Plus, there is Apple Pay integration within the Messages app to let you send and receive money seamlessly. This feature is so far limited to the US and requires an Apple Pay-compatible device.
Enhancements all around
Apart from the above list of the most notable additions, Apple has brought some other significant features to iOS 11. There a redesigned App Store that segregates apps and games into two different sections and sports a new 'Today' section to showcase new app content on a daily basis. Apple has also added a new Apple Music that shares audio playlists within a group and comes with a 'For You' section to offer a public profile similar to a social network. Furthermore, iOS 11 carries a new Notes app that comes with an Instant Notes option for the iPad Pro family and activates with a tap of the Apple Pencil on the lock screen. The app also has a built-in Document Scanner that helps you store your documents virtually by refining its edges and removing tilts and glares.
With all the above changes, are you ready to install iOS 11 on your Apple device? A comment section is available below for your initial feedback on the newest iOS version.