This past summer marked the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s original release. It certainly revolutionized the cellphone industry, Apple isn’t done revamping its masterpiece yet. Apple’s latest announcement of iOS 11 is the biggest leap forward since the iPhone 6 and iPad Pro. In fact, iOS 11, once released, will be available on both devices. DISCLAIMER: I have not tried iOS 11 personally. All the information shared in this article is from other sources. All these features discussed here were tested in the beta version. This means that Apple could change these features before iOS 11’s release this fall.
One of the first cool new features is Wi-Fi sharing. This allows users who are already on a Wi-Fi network to use Airdrop to connect new users. For example, if you don’t remember your Wi-Fi password and some of your friends are over and want to use your Wi-Fi, you just need to put your phone near your friend’s phones. Then when they pull up the password page, it will notify you that they want to join the network. You can then allow them on without having to exchange passwords. This can be helpful if it is one of those randomly generated passwords that are long and hard to remember.
Speaking of sharing things, one of the most popular things that was released with iOS 10 was the ability to easily share gifs on the messages app. With iOS 11, not only will you be able to share gifs Apple and other third parties have made, you can make your own with the camera and photos app. We all know about people getting famous for viral photos (Success Kid) and viral videos (Chewbacca Mask Lady). Maybe in the next few years, we’ll be talking about our friends whose gifs have gone viral.
Many cool new features exist for iOS 11. First, there’s “effects”. You can send a message and put a spotlight on it and darken the rest of the screen of the receiver. The most talked about one is the echo effect. When someone opens your message, their screen fills with message bubbles of your message. For all those group chats that drive you crazy, it’s several steps to turn on do not disturb. Now, Apple makes it easy. All you have to do is get on the messages app home screen where you can see all your messages from different people, then you just swipe the particular message you want to silence to the left. You will now have the option to delete it or “hide alerts”, which is essentially the do not disturb option.
If you use QR codes at all, you’ll love the new QR feature in the camera app. QR codes are little squares with messages or websites encoded in them. If you have a QR scanner app, it can tell you what the code says or take you to a website. For years, consumers have had to buy a shady app on the app store called QR Scanner, QR Reader for iPhone, Free QR Code Reader and Barcode Scanner for iPhone, or QE Code Reader by Scan. Now, this feature will be built in on the camera app.
Another change Apple touted was a “redesign” of the app store. From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty similar. They’ve moved some things around, but I wouldn’t get too excited. It’s more hype than truth. Next, Apple turned to Android for some inspiration. They combined the lock screen and notification center, something similar to what android has done for several years now. Apple also changed the volume box. Whenever you’re watching a video and want to turn the volume up, on every previous iOS, the volume box would get in your way. Now, the volume box is now a small indicator at the top right of your screen similar but smaller to Android.
Not only will you be able to use your camera for QR codes, you’ll also be able to use it as a document scanner. Now, through the notes app, Apple is allowing people to scan documents and upload its contents as a note. You will be able to find it through the spotlight search. Since the release of the Apple Pencil, Apple has decided to also make handwriting inside notes searchable.
Now that we have uploaded documents and handwritten notes to your iPhone or iPad, we’ve got to have a place to put it. Apple has the solution. Introducing the Files App. The Files app will store all contents you’d expect to find on your computer, everything from documents to pictures and even cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. If you have a Mac, it should look very familiar.
Many who have tried out the beta version of iOS 11 have said the update most improves the iPad by allowing users to multitask. This puts the iPad Pro on a level similar to the Microsoft Surface. Now, you can add up to 13 apps to your dock. The dock becomes more like the Mac Central Station. The far right on your dock will show the most recent apps you’ve used. This is an optional feature you can turn off. You used to not be able to see your dock if you are inside an app. Now, if you swipe or flick the screen bottom toward the center, the dock will appear. While the new files app, split screen (which came out in iOS 9), slide over, the expanded dock, and the new larger size (iPad Pro 10.5” and 12.9”), Apple is set to compete with the Surface and other tablet/pc computers.
I’ve saved my favorite two new features for last. First, the control center widgets have been redesigned and look a lot cooler. There’s less words and more symbols. You will be able to control your phone’s brightness and volume with the scroll of your finger on the control panel. You’ll be able to add screen recording, text size, magnifier, and many more options to your control panel. One of the other options is the last new feature, Do Not Disturb While Driving. I think this is the best new feature for iOS 11. When it is activated, your iPhone can detect when you are traveling at high speeds in a car or are connected to a car’s Bluetooth. It would then shut off push notifications from apps as well as text messages and calls. If a text is urgent, someone can reply “urgent” and it will go through. Since DND will be available on the control center, you will be able to easily turn it off if you are a passenger in an automobile, bus, or train.
I hope you enjoy this information about Apple’s new iOS. As you probably can tell, I love Apple and Apple products. This edition of the magazine, I focused on the iPhone and the new mobile operating system. However, there are tons of other cool products such as a Siri version of Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple HomePod, the new iPad Pro, and much more. You can check out these products at Apple’s website.
iOS 11: The Cool New Updates Expected To Come Out This Fall