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iOS 11 - What you need to know!
Apple's iOS 11 was introduced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address on June 5, 2017 with its official release on September 19, 2017. By November 2017 52% of iOS devices were running iOS 11. This migration rate is slower compared with iOS 10 the year prior, this even-numbered OS had 60% user adoption by October 2016.
So, what's new with iOS 11?
The app drawer for iMessage has been redesigned, giving you a new way to interact with apps and stickers. Compatible apps and sticker packs are more apparent in iMessage. To make sure iOS is saving every byte of storage it can, all your messages will also be automatically synced to iCloud.
The contactless payment system known as Apple Pay will have its own iMessage app in iOS 11 so you can pay people directly within your messages.
Siri just got smarter. The helpful assistant is getting the watchOS 4 upgrades to make her machine learning algorithms even better.
Here are just a couple examples:
- Siri will suggest sending your location in a message to a friend
- Making a calendar event recommendation from a Safari search
- Translations, ask Siri how to say a phrase in a different language (in Beta)
This bring Google Assistant type functionality Apple has sorely needed. It's great to see competition like this between giants like Apple, Google and Amazon (with its Alexa assistant tech). When companies compete the consumer usually wins!
Siri is also getting a new male voice, it has a more advanced speech pattern, and deep learning AI makes this voice more natural than other Siri voices.
Photos and Memories
The iOS 11 brings better low-light photography, and also enhancements to Live Photos. You'll now be able to capture stills from a moving Live Photo. Also loops of Live Photos are possible, making longer moving images.
Something called "Memories" is being added to iOS photos. Machine learning rears its coded head here again, figuring out what events might be shown in photos (birthdays, graduations, etc) and helpfully categorizing them for you.
HomeKit and Control Center
Speakers have been added to HomeKit, now you can use AirPlay 2 to add/control smart speakers (if you own AirPlay 2 compatible speakers)
Multi-room audio support has been added to let you customize music play between rooms.
Control Center is getting a bit easier to use, combining the former 3 page layout down to 1 page. Nothing has been removed, everything was just resized and reordered. All the basics are at your fingertips, like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with 3D Touch support you can quickly access more settings and information.
Maps and CarPlay
Apple Maps is getting floor plan updates for malls, and more details for airports (such as security checkpoints) making it a bit easier to navigate. Maps also added speed limits, and lane guidance so your copilot can give you a heads up. Remember: never smartphone and drive.
Speaking of which, CarPlay adds a "Do Not Disturb" feature while Wi-Fi/Bluetooth detects you're in moving car. Only notifications from important contacts will be shown, otherwise it will remain a black screen. If you aren't the driver this feature can be manually turned off.
Apple Music and the App Store
As of April 2018 there are 40 million subscribers for Apple Music.
Added to iOS11 is a social feature to see what your friends are listening to. If you're listening to something you'd rather not let your friends see (like an all Nickelback playlist), simply adjust your privacy settings. This is certainly Apple playing catch up to Spotify, but functionality is functionality, so it's a nice, though a bit late, addition.
AppleKit lets developers add Apple Music access to apps, so be on the lookout for a deluge of music-related apps.
The App Store is getting a visual overhaul, with bigger, more prominent promoted apps. A "Today" section lets you see apps popular for the previous 24 hours. App pages are more fully featured and visual with big title cards, and in the case of games, videos of the app in action. The App Store is becoming more like the visually striking streaming services than previous versions of the App Store.
Precautions for upgrading
When updating always make a backup.
Be sure your device is plugged in, you don't want to have a battery failure mess up your OS or corrupt data.
Only certain Apple devices are able to upgrade to iOS11, below is a complete list (as of May 2018)
- iPhone 5S
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPod Touch (6th generation)
- iPad Air
- iPad Air 2
- iPad (2017)
- iPad (2018)
- iPad Mini 2
- iPad Mini 3
- iPad Mini 4
- iPad Pro