WWDC, the annual World Wide Developer’s Conference which features new software and hardware. Apple has announced: iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4, and some new and updated hardware for the Mac and iPad.
Let’s take a look at what is new in iOS 11:
iOS 11 focuses a lot on productivity in the operating system, new features and some design changes. When installing iOS 11 on the iPad, it makes productivity on a tablet with a desktop experience but all still within the iOS that still feels similar (if you have used iOS before) comparing to the competition with the Microsoft Surface.
- All of the essential controls, music, and other utilities are now on a single page, showing only the most important controls that you will need.
- In order to view more and/or detailed controls, you would need to use 3D Touch.
- You can customise the control and utilities that you would like to use the Settings app.
- Via the Control Center, there is Screen Recording. It allows you to record the screen while using your iPhone as a video and saves in your Camera Roll as a video.
- Apple Pay: You can now send payments to your friends via Apple Pay. This is a feature where you can ‘transfer’ money to their account without having to go through banking apps. And of course, it uses your Touch ID to make an authentic transaction. When you receive money, you can either use it at merchants like normal as ‘Apple Pay Cash’ or transfer it to your bank account.
- It is now in the cloud. The messages will be stored in iCloud and you will have access via all of your devices. End-to-end encryption of course. If there are messages that you want to delete, it deletes from every device.
- The App Drawer or the selection of different stickers is now fixed on the bottom of the screen, below the text area. A single tap and swipes let you see and use them instantaneously.
- To promote more apps from developers, Apple has designed the App Store, with a new section, ‘Today’ that features “APP OF THE DAY” and “GAME OF THE DAY” that allows you to explore and discover new apps on the App Store every day.
- Games now get their own section in a tab. You can explore new games, featured games, and view games from their top individual categories.
- Apps get the same treatment with their own section too. Exploring new apps and promoting apps with new updates and features.
- A new voice, for both male and female and for the different languages.
- Translation. However, it is still in beta with current support for English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish.
- Siri uses on device learning. It helps you to organise, get search results and etc. One example mentioned during WWDC, if you have just booked a reservation, it can and will automatically suggest adding to your calendar and there is so much more. The device learning, or rather machine learning, can now be synced across all of your devices. And of course, it is end-to-end encryption.
- Using High-Efficiency Video Coding (HVEC) for videos and High-Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) for photos which provide 2x the compression and high quality for both.
- Improvements to Depth Effect with better image quality, low light performance, optical image stabilisation, True Tone flash and HDR, featuring Depth API for developers to create and edit.
- When using playing memories in Portrait mode, it now identifies the ‘key’ and focuses on the person or object and show although the image is taken in landscape.
- In Live Photos, you can edit them with: Trim, Selecting key photo, Mute, Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure.
Maps: (Feature not available yet in Beta 1)
- It now supports Indoor mapping, (which Google Maps has them too!) and there is Directory and Search in the mall and browsing them by floor. It currently supports in 11 cities such as Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Tokyo and Washington D.C and with many more cities to come.
- Airports are supported as part of the indoor mapping as well and with a few major airports in the cities as above.
Navigation: (Feature not available yet in Beta 1)
- It features the speed limit on the road so that you don’t get a speeding ticket. Also now with land guidance, it tells you which lane to take to your destination so don’t miss any turns or exits.
- Do Not Disturb While Driving: To better prevent text while driving, in iOS 11 it will detect via Bluetooth if it is connected to the car and also using Wi-Fi doppler effect to see if you are moving. It will prompt the feature and you will not see any notification with an auto-reply to the sender that you are driving.
- If there is something urgent, the sender can reply ‘urgent’ and it will get through so the driver can have a peace of mind too.
- If you’re a passenger, you get through too by tapping
- Multi-room audio. That means you can play music to your different speakers in your Home and/or Room. Example having AirPlay speakers and speakers connected to your Apple TV, you can now play music to all of them. A feature that is currently in iTunes.
- Now, you and your friends can add and contribute songs to your Shared Up Next playlist for Apple Music and play them to the speaker.
- It is now social, knowing what your friends are listening to and you can set them to either private or public.
- Available as part of iOS 11, allowing developers to really make use of the API to create the different types of AR apps and games.
- Bolder Fonts: Similar to iOS 10’s Music app, it now runs on almost every app. It brings more of the subject of content.
- Supports only 64-bit Apple devices and apps: iOS 11 only supports 64-bit devices and apps. That means the iPhone 5 will only support up to iOS 10, similarly to the iPad 4th Generation which was removed from the list of compatible devices since iOS 10. Apps appear to have a pop-up informing users that the app is no longer supported in iOS 11.
- QR code in Camera App: Scanning of a QR code is now supported in the main camera app. Launch and point the camera to the code and safari notification will pop up, tap to launch Safari with the URL link.
- One-Handed Keyboard: You can select either left or right and it ‘compresses’ the keyboard to the sides for a seamless one-handed usage.
- Signal Icon: It has been changed back to using Bars that was used before iOS 7, then using the dots replacing the bars were part of a redesign overhaul.
iOS 11 + iPad
Multitasking: You can do lots of tasks at the same time on your screen. 4 apps at the same.
- Split Screen: Safari + Pages
- Slide Over: Mail
- Picture-in-Picture: Video app (or other video content)
This is one of the basics of using the powerful processing power on the iPad with multitasking. This feature is not limited to the Pro models but also to the iPad Air 2 and the 2017’s 9.7 inch iPad that was released in March.
The new featured Files app, allows you to Drag-and-Drop files to your other apps. You can now also select Photos to your Mail and other supported apps too, aiming to make the iPad to replace your desktop.
For a normal day-to-day user without the need for a desktop experience, iOS 11 on an iPad can potentially replace it. Although the iPad is not made to replace the desktop, but it can perform powerful simple and basic tasks such as watching a video, editing a document, reading and sending mail. All on one screen.
iOS 11 on the iPad powers like a desktop and it is one of the best mixes between macOS and iOS though it leans more towards to the latter which there is little to re-learn which are only the gestures to fully making use of multitasking.
iOS 10 and earlier version has already brought the use of these multitasking features and picture-in-picture, thus it wouldn’t make using iOS 11 on the iPad feels foreign.
To get in depth of iOS 11 on the iPad, do read, “iPad Pro + iOS 11: Can it be a laptop?”, which would be released soon.
Devices That Will Run on iOS 11:
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5s
- iPad Pro 12.9 inch (All models)
- iPad Pro 10.5 inch
- iPad Pro 9.7 inch
- iPad 9.7 inch (2017) – 5th Generation
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air
- iPad mini 4
- iPad mini 3
- iPad mini 2
- iPod touch 6th Generation
iOS 11 is a refinement of iOS 10, heavily focusing on user features and enhancements and focused on developers with tools, such as ARKit that uses new features to benefit for users. The upgrade is almost similar to iOS 9, bringing refinements from the major re-design of iOS with iOS 7.
As iOS 11 is currently in Beta version, certain designs and features is not finalised yet and subject to changes before releasing that will most benefit its users.
iOS 11 will not be available to the public until the Fall which is some time during September to October. However, if you are a developer, you can download the Developer Beta today or you can sign up and join as a Public Beta user at Apple’s Beta Program, likely to start installing iOS 11 from late June onwards.