Rule number 1: as with all Operating System updates, we advise you hold off for a couple of weeks at least before updating. This gives time for bugs to be fixed and patched, which is inevitable following a general release.
Rule number 2: always backup before updating – you won’t regret backing up but you most certainly will regret not doing it if things go wrong.
Apple’s iOS is a very rich smartphone ecosystem, packed with varied features and amazing technologies.
This iOS 11 Preview will tell you everything you would want to know about this smart, simple but advanced mobile operating system.
When is iOS11 launching?
iOS 11 launched on September 19 2017 and the update to iOS 11 will be free. However, not all Apple devices will be compatible with this new upgrade.
Below is the list of Apple devices that will be capable of installing iOS 11 after its release:
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5S
- iPhone 6 and all its variants
- iPhone 7 and all its variants
- iPad Pro
- iPad 5th generation, iPad Air, and iPad Air2
- iPad Mini 2, 3 and 4
- iPod Touch 6th Gen
What’s New in iOS 11?
Control Center in iOS 11
If you have been using an iPhone for a long time, you will have noticed several changes in the way iOS lets you access information. The aesthetic changes in iOS 11 are particularly focused on the Control Center. The style of the header for apps has changed. It is much bigger and clearly tells you where you are.
In the new Operating System you will see one large panel of buttons that lets you access the more important functions. One good thing about this new change is the buttons in the Control Center can be customized. However, you have limited options on what you can put in the Control Center.
A pressurized touch expands the Control Center to give you a better view of the options. You can view all notifications you missed by swiping upwards on your lock screen. However, the notifications are not grouped and you might be required to swipe upwards on the lock screen several times to see all pending notifications.
Multitasking in iOS 11
The App Switcher has changed so you will no longer see a horizontal list of “app cards”. Instead, you will see a large grid of app squares neatly arranged on the left of the Control Panel.
The dock can accommodate 13 folder icons or apps and you also have three additional slots that display your recent apps. The dock stays permanently on the screen no matter which app is opened and you can always bring it up by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen.
The Split view is now easier. You can bring any two apps on the screen side-by-side; first, bring the first app on the screen and then drag the second app and the iOS 11 will create and adjust the Split view mode for you.
The iOS 11 also brings a Slide Over app functionality where you can add one more app on the screen either on one of the apps in the Slide view or let the OS adjust 3 apps on the screen in equal proportions.
Files App in iOS 11
The most significant improvement in iOS 11 is file handling. The new Files App gives you easy access to almost all files in your device except the system files.
The Files App is available for any other app and it is easy to open or move files on the device. The iOS 11 also allows integration with third party files apps like DropBox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and others.
Earlier, if someone had sent you a PDF file in the mail, you had to perform several steps if you wanted to save it for later. You had only two choices: keep it in a box or save it to iCloud.
Now when you want to access a file, iOS 11 will display an Open dialog which lists applications with which to open the file. You can also drag files from your email and drop them in the folder of your choice.
Improved Siri in iOS 11
Siri is more than a virtual assistant. It is an intelligence concept that Apple has been pushing for the last few years, and Siri in iOS 11 sees significantly improvements.
Apple has been successful in incorporating machine learning in Siri, and it will soon remember your choices and guess your preferences. The machine learning will make Siri more responsive to your behaviors and desires. Armed with intelligence and powered by machine learning, Siri can also respond to your less than straightforward requests like a request to play music in a particular mood, such as ‘happy’, ‘sad’ etc.
Besides machine learning, Siri’s voice algorithm has also been improved. Siri sounds better and the voice is more human than in previous iterations.
If you don’t like hearing Siri, you can also give commands to Siri by typing on the screen. Siri can also work with other apps. For example, Siri can suggest stories from News app or if you register for an event in Safari, Siri will add it to the calendar.
Power tools in iOS 11
Apple has introduced several new enhancements to the iOS to make things simpler for users. For example, taking snapshots on social media networks is common and users will often want to crop photos before uploading.
Earlier, iPhone and iPad users would have to perform several steps to open a snapshot in the Photos app to crop and add any text or graphics. In iOS 11 whenever the user takes a snapshot, the system generates a thumbnail. Clicking on the thumbnail will enable Markup that allows you to crop the photo and write on it. Markup is a system level feature that can be used with or without Pencil.
iOS 11 also brings with it a document scanning feature. The user is not required to install a separate app to scan documents. All they need to do is point their device camera towards the paper document and the device will do the remaining work.
The user is not required to determine the best angle to scan the document, nor worry about light conditions. iOS 11 not only scans the document but it also opens the document in Markup so you can crop or write on it. Below are some new changes in the way of working:
- Safari features an anti-tracking mechanism that ensures ads do not follow you while surfing.
- If you are using Apple Maps, you can now scroll with one finger after double tapping the screen.
- The videos and Photos are saved in a new format that takes up less space.
- iMessage offers more stickers and add-ons and you can also send money using iMessage
- The Camera app has also improved with new filters
- The Live Photo feature has also improved and it is easy to search for a key photo in the clip and apply a filter to it
Summary of iOS 11
The new enhancements introduced in iOS 11 have certainly bridged some gap between traditional computers and the iPad; not all features will be available for iPhone and other devices. The iOS 11 is a step towards building a complex mobile ecosystem which is simpler and more user-friendly.