New features in iOS 11
iOS 11 is due this fall along with the new series of Apple devices and gadgets. New features in iOS 11 are widely discussed as some of them are slightly improving the user’s experience, while some can be the real game changers. We’ll help you learn to get the most our of your iOS 11!
Design updates in iOS 11
First things first, there are gentle interface design updates across many apps and features in iOS 11. For example, fonts become bolder across the OS, Phone and Calculator apps have new look and feel, Lock screen and Control Center received a complete overhaul. We will describe this in more detail below.
The Control Center is now completely customizable, supporting a much wider range of settings. Unlike in iOS 10, the tool is not split across many screens any more. It also takes the whole screen, so much more icons can be placed there. You can add and remove the icons in the phone settings.
iOS 11 supports a much better 3D Touch integration for a more deep and satisfying UX. Tapping and holding an icon brings up a variety of additional actions, providing much better control over the apps and functions like Apple music. In addition, iOS 11 delivers a one-finger keyboard for convenient typing with a single finger.
The Lock screen has been united with the Notification Center, so swiping down to get to Notifications brings up the Lock screen. All the missed notifications are listed there and can be accessed with ease, while swiping upwards brings up the already read notifications. “Today” view is still accessible via a wide swipe to the right and the rest of the features are still there, they are just merged with the Lock screen now.
App Store got a complete redesign. Games and Apps are now separated, and Today view holds the newest apps and games, updated daily based on Siri’s recommendations. Game and App of the Day are featured, along with Apple’s editorial choices, interviews with developers, detailed tutorials and real-time reviews of the apps, to provide more grounded choices of new content.
Siri got even better!
Siri got a better-sounding male and female voices and the Apple AI algorithm received great improvements due to deep learning. This leads to much better results on learning user preferences, synchronizing them across multiple devices and predicting the user anticipations. Cross-device Siri sync will help it become smarter much faster. As always, Apple is all for privacy, so end-to-end encryption is used to ensure data security.
In addition, Siri can now speak and translate English into Spanish, German, Chinese, French and Italian, with more languages planned ahead. Another great thing about Siri is that Apple is finally delivering speech controls for Apple Music, in addition to syncable playlists, so that you can discover what music are your friends currently listening to, listen to it and share your playlists to them!
New features for iPad in iOS 11
iPad owners were not left unnoticed. iOS 11 introduces a bunch of useful and convenient features for improving work and entertainment using iPad. Simple swipe up closes any running app, the Dock in the lower part of the screen allows organizing apps into folders for convenience.
iCloud Drive was replaced and expanded into Files feature, mimicking the Mac Finder. Files provide access to local content on iPhone or iPad, app data, iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox. Files has open API, so developers can use it for simple integration to their apps and provide convenient exchange for photos, videos, documents, music and other content between apps. To say even more, Mission Control’s twin brother, App Switcher is here to allow browsing every launched app at once, and Drag and Drop feature is there to simplify the content exchange between apps.
iPad Pro owners get extended system-wide Apple Pencil functionality and all iPads now support in-app drawing in Notes and Mail. For example, Pencil can be used to instantly annotate any screenshot using Instant Markup feature (which actually works well on iPhones too). To say even more, Notes now provides handwriting and document scanning. Keyboard functionality was also greatly improved by adding “Flick” feature, enable more quick and simple typing of numbers and symbols.
Maps were also improved, due to Apple purchasing several mapping startups. It utilizes them by providing detailed indoor maps of public places like malls and airports, showing locations of bars, restaurants, security, restrooms, administration and other important indoor facilities. Driving also gets much easier, as iOS 11 is adding lane guidance and data on speed limits for a safe and convenient driving.
New apps and features for them in iOS 11
Do Not Disturb in a Car is a great new feature that works automatically and mutes all notifications when it detects a connection to a car Wi-Fi or movement with a car speed on a road. In this mode, calls and notifications are muted and auto-responded with configurable explanations. Important calls and messages can still go through by replying *urgent* to the autoresponder. Parents can also remotely configure the app to be always on on their children’s devices to promote more responsible and less distracted driving.
Remote automatic configuration is another great feature iOS 11 brings to the table. Just placing a new iOS device close to a configured one brings up an offer notification for synchronization. If a user agrees, all contacts, linked credit/debit card and preferences are copied automatically, removing all the hassle.
Paying through chat is now possible in addition to previous Apple Pay functionality. If banking cards are linked to the device, payments can be issued and paid directly from the chat, using finger scan for transaction authorization.
Core NFC feature greatly improves the everyday experience. It scans corresponding tags, which are surely to appear everywhere around us soon. For example, scanning a pack of oatmeals in a grocery store shows their expiration date, nutritional value, possible recipes and even can provide recommendations based on user’s health conditions, synced from corresponding apps. Yes, health data in iOS 11 can be collected and synchronized across all your Apple devices, for the purposes described above and a plethora of other uses.
In museums these NFC tags will provide a possibility to quickly get a summary of any piece of the exposition, which will drastically improve the experience of solo exploration, without loud groups, planned routes and tedious guides.
Apple AR Kit in iOS 11
Apple unleashed the full potential of AR for developers, providing a powerful AR Kit, which allows using all the sensors and systems of iPhones and iPads in order to create realistic and immersive educational and entertainment environments. When the camera is pointed at a flat surface like a table, AR Kit allows adding a variety of virtual objects on it. Tremendous computational power of iPhones and iPads ensures the developers are able to create any environment the user might desire to experience. We will describe the Apple AR Kit capabilities in more details in one of our upcoming articles.
HomeKit and AirPlay2 features
Home app and its development kit, HomeKit, receive support for various speakers now. This ensures smooth control of all audio devices in your house, either through Home app or via Siri. By the way, all the leading speakers manufacturers have already announced support of HomeKit in upcoming updates. Apple TV can also be used for accessing Home App and smoothly controlling various devices across your household.
AirPlay 2 fully utilizes this feature, so music can be configured to play on multiple speakers across the rooms, or select few at your current location, similarly to Sonos. Have the music following you across the house without having to install overpowered speakers!
This list is by far not complete, as iOS 11 introduces a huge number of new features and improvements, like password autofill for 3rd party apps, location tracking, Uber auto-location, emergency SOS, Wi-Fi password sharing and many, many others. We will describe them in more details in future.
As of now, iOS 11 promises to be a worthy successor to previous iOS releases, compatible with all devices (except for the oldest and currently unsupported models), and paving the way for iPhone 8. It is still under development, yet can be freely accessed and uploaded from Apple’s website, so every user can experience it firsthand. Here at Quantic Apps we are thrilled and inspired with iOS 11 new features and capabilities and look forward to developing great apps based on them! If you already have an concept for an iOS 11-based app and want to turn it into reality — contact us right away, we are always ready to turn your ideas to successful products!