Cherry-picking the top features in iOS 11 | CranstonIT - Blog

Cherry-picking the top features in iOS 11

With every upgrade comes the opportunity to improve your user experience. The trick is to pick-and-choose just those features and capabilities that offer you value and address your needs.

You’ll have just that chance with iOS 11, the most ambitious update yet from Apple®, offering a host of tweaks, upgrades and changes.

Open me first.

Let’s start with compatibility. You will need an iPhone® SE or an iPhone 5S or later to upgrade to iOS 11. That means all new iPhone shipments — right through the iPhone X arriving next month — will feature iOS 11 onboard.

After you install iOS 11 — either via Software Update on your iPhone or from iTunes® — you will immediately notice some new features. Dock icons no longer have names, and many Apple apps now have the same bold text design Apple brought to the Music and News apps in iOS 10.
More intuitive, more personal.

Although the new Automatic Setup feature won’t help you today, it will when you add a new iOS device. Automatic Setup can automatically transfer many settings from an older iOS 11 device. Similarly, the new Share Your Wi-Fi feature lets you share your Wi-Fi network’s password with another iOS 11 device that attempts to connect.

Here’s a huge feature -- iOS 11 can help you recover precious space. Choose Settings > General > iPhone/iPad® Storage and you can offload unused apps (while keeping their settings and data), automatically delete old threads in Messages, and discover how much space each app consumes. Deleting music from the Music sub-screen (tap Edit) will also help add space.

iOS 11 has also stepped up driver safety. The Lock screen is the default visual when you are in the car, thanks to the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. It blocks notifications and prevents you from using your iPhone while at the wheel, all while auto-replying to people who text you. Calls still come through to your car’s Bluetooth system, and texts from people designated as favorites can break through the texting cone of silence. Passengers can disable Do Not Disturb While Driving easily from a notification on the Lock screen. Drivers shouldn’t!

Swipe, Siri and SOS.

Apple's redesigned Control Center, accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen is back to a single page of icons. You can access additional options by pressing and holding on any set of controls and, even better, you can add (and remove) controls in Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.

Here are a few smaller changes you might appreciate.

  • Siri® sounds more natural, can do translations and uses on-device learning to understand you better and provide more useful results. And all new Siri features are encrypted end-to-end, so your personal informations remains … personal.
  • On an iPhone, a new Emergency SOS feature will call 911 and notify your emergency contacts of your location. It activates after you quickly press the Sleep/Wake button five times and swipe the Emergency SOS button. Tap Settings > Emergency SOS to set this up.
  • The password auto-fill feature now suggests stored login information for many apps right from the QuickType® bar above the keyboard. Manage this in Settings > Accounts & Passwords > App & Website Passwords.

Apps more capable.

Many of iOS 11’s built-in apps also receive significant changes.

  • Camera. New file formats will allow your videos and photos to consume less space. There are a few new filters, and Camera can finally scan QR codes, which simplify loading web sites, getting contact info and connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
  • Photos. You can now edit the video in a Live Photo and apply amazing looping, bouncing and long exposure effects. Photos can at long last play animated GIFs and has a new Animated smart album to hold them.
  • Files. This major new app replaces the iCloud Drive® app. Look in Files for access not just to iCloud Drive, but also to files on your device and in other cloud-sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
  • Messages. A new app drawer at the bottom of the screen tries to entice you to use iMessage® apps. Most are just stickers, but some may be useful.
  • Apple Pay. Later this fall, you will be be able to use Apple Pay® to pay and get paid right in Messages, or by asking Siri. There’s no app to download and you can use the cards you already have in Wallet. When you receive money, it’s added to your Apple Pay Cash card that lives in Wallet. You can start using the cash right away to make purchases using Apple Pay … or transfer your Apple Pay Cash balance to your bank account.
  • Maps. Apple has added indoor maps of some airports and malls to Maps. Plus, Maps now provides lane guidance on more complicated roads.
  • Notes. The new Instant Notes feature make starting a note as simple as tapping the Lock screen of an iPad Pro® with an Apple Pencil®, or the optional Notes button in Control Center. A note can now look like lined paper or graph paper (tap the Share button, then tap Lines & Grids). You can also scan a document. Then sign a note with Apple Pencil and send it on its way. Plus, Notes can now find text in Apple Pencil handwriting.

So go ahead and upgrade to iOS 11, but then do your homework and take your test drives. If you can find five or six sweet new features that make your life easier, you’ve done your job well.