What’s new in iOS 11-
Introduced on June 5, 2017 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 11 is the next-generation version of iOS. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said on stage, the update takes the best and most advanced operating system and turns it up to 11.
iOS 11 brings subtle design changes to interface elements throughout the operating system. Text is bolder, apps like Calculator and Phone have a new look, and the Lock screen and Control Center have been entirely redesigned.
The Control Center is customizable and there are options to include a wider range of settings. It’s no longer split across multiple screens, and 3D Touch integration has expanded, so you can do more without needing to open the Settings app.
As for the Lock screen, it’s been merged with Notification Center. Swiping down on the screen to access notifications now brings up the Lock screen. Today view continues to be available with a side swipe, and everything generally looks the same – there’s just no separate Notification Center anymore.
Siri has a more natural voice and is more intelligent than ever. Siri learns user preferences and syncs that information across multiple devices, allowing the personal assistant to learn more about you and anticipate what you want. Siri can also translate English into different languages like Spanish and Chinese, and there’s deeper Siri integration with Apple Music.
For the iPad, Apple has introduced a host of new features that make it more capable than ever before. A persistent Dock at the bottom of the display a makes it easy to launch and switch between apps, and there’s a new App Switcher that’s similar to Spaces on the Mac, letting you see everything you’re working on at a glance. For iPad Pro owners, the Apple Pencil does more, and several apps, like Mail and Notes, support inline drawing.
Drag and drop lets you drag content like images and links from one app and drop it in another, and on both the iPad and the iPhone, there’s a new Finder-style Files app for managing files. Files lists all files stored locally, in iCloud Drive, and in third-party cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
There are new keyboard features, like a one-handed keyboard on the iPhone and a “Flick” option for typing numbers and symbols more quickly on the iPad, and many of the built-in apps have new functionality.
Notes features searchable handwriting and document scanning, Maps gains lane guidance, speed limit info, and indoor maps for malls and airports, while Apple Music includes options to see what your friends are listening to. The Memories feature in Photos is smarter than ever, and in the Camera app, Portrait Mode and Live Photos have been improved with new capabilities.
HomeKit now supports speakers and there’s a new AirPlay 2 protocol that includes multi-room functionality. Do Not Disturb has been expanded to encompass driving, muting notifications while a vehicle is in motion, and Messages has been improved with a new App Drawer that makes it easier to access Messages apps and stickers.
Messages is also gaining support for a new person-to-person Apple Pay feature that lets you send money to friends and family right through an iMessage, and iMessages themselves are now stored in iCloud, sync across devices, and take up less storage space. Photos and videos also take up less space through the adoption of new HEIF and HEVC formats.
The App Store has been completely revamped
in iOS 11, and there are now two distinct sections for apps and games. There’s also a new “Today” view that features new content on a daily basis to make it easier to discover fresh apps and games.
Apps can do a whole lot more thanks to several new APIs Apple is introducing, including CoreML and ARKit. CoreML provides machine learning tools to developers, while ARKit lets developers build complex and richly detailed augmented reality features into their apps.
iOS 11 is limited to developers at the current time, but Apple plans to release a public beta in late June. iOS 11 will see a public release in the fall alongside new iPhones.
Before iOS 11 was unveiled, rumors suggested it would see design changes. We didn’t get a complete overhaul to the design language, but there are indeed subtle design updates throughout the operating system.
Many built-in apps have been refined with darker lines and bolder fonts, with Apple moving away from the thin fonts that have dominated since iOS 7. Some apps, like Phone and Calculator have new designs with darker fonts and round buttons sans borders, while others, like Reminders and Calendar, remain entirely unchanged. Still others, like Messages, Podcasts, and Apple News, feature smaller design tweaks.
Important UI elements like the Control Center and the Lock screen have seen the most significant updates.
In iOS 10, Apple split the Control Center, accessed by swiping upwards from the bottom of the display, into multiple windows. In iOS 11, it’s back to a single consolidated window and it has an entirely new look with bubble-style icons. There are two top sections for basic networking options and Apple Music controls, plus sliders for volume and brightness. Smaller icons are available for rotation lock, Do Not Disturb, and other options.
Instead of taking up just the bottom half of the display when brought up, Control Center now takes over the entire iPhone screen. Because the Control Center is no longer restricted to half the display, it can offer access to a wider range of functions, which can be customized.
In the Settings app, there’s a section for choosing which features you want to be able to access in the Control Center, and there are quite a few options available. Low Power Mode can be added to the Control Center, for example, and there’s even an option to add an Apple TV remote.
- Accessibility Shortcut
- Apple TV Remote
- Do Not Disturb While Driving
- Guided Access
- Low Power Mode
- Screen Recording
- Text Size
- Voice Memos
You can add all of the options to Control Center if you want, or just what’s most relevant to your usage habits.
Along with new customization options, Control Center also has expanded 3D Touch access. A 3D Touch on one of the icons brings up additional options. For example, with the Music icon, play controls are accessible by default, but with a 3D Touch, a bigger playback window opens up with song info and more granular control options.
3D Touch options are available for all of the Control Center settings that are more complex than just a simple toggle on/off button.
While the Control Center takes up the full display on the iPhone, it works differently on the iPad. A swipe up from the bottom of the screen opens up the App Switcher, where Control Center is located on the right side of the display in both landscape and portrait mode.