Apple General News

iOS 11 Guide: What’s New?

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 16.34.48

The public version of iOS 11 is coming on 20 September @ 1am (Singapore time). You can update your iOS devices via over-the-air (OTA) or via iTunes. As it is a major software update, the file size will be large and the updating process will take some time.


If you are in the rush, it is not recommended to update to iOS 11 as it will take a longer time than the other software updates process to complete, and also just in case if the update encounters any errors.

As always, do a backup to iCloud and/or iTunes before updating your software in a case that the software update fails and to avoid any data loss. You may also encounter battery drain during the first few hours of use and it is considered normal as the iOS would need to re-index, like unpacking and labelling your items in place. 

While your device updates, so what is new in iOS 11? 

In June 2017, Apple announced the next major update of iOS at this year’s WWDC, iOS 11. It comes with lots of new and changes to the design and features of iOS and the biggest leap for the iPad, making multitasking even better.

You can read on all of that changes here

Here are the Changes and New Features in iOS 11:

1. Notification Center and Lock Screen

The lock screen now fades in from the bottom when you “Raise to Wake” or when you press the power button.

Now swiping down for the Notification Center, it will be similar to the lock screen and swiping up at the lower half of the screen brings up your past or earlier notifications.

Swiping right to the left side is where all the widgets reside. 

2. Control Center

It features a major redesign and all of the features are now on one page. There are also certain items that are customisable for its position in the Control Center. In iOS 11’s Control Center, it comes with a new feature, Screen Recording. It allows you to record your screen as a video. 

Wireless Radios:

The shortcuts for the wireless radios will be located on the top left with Airplane Mode, Cellular/Mobile Data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth being shown. Using 3D Touch or force-pressing brings out more menu items like AirDrop and Personal Hotspot. 


The music player is now on the top right in the Control Center. It will feature just the Song Title, Artist, the Play/Pause button and the Previous and Next track buttons. On the top right of the Music player, is the wireless icon. It is used for a shortcut to choose to play your media to your Bluetooth headphones/speakers or Apple TV.

Using 3D Touch or force-pressing brings out the full music controls.

Toggle Items: Rotation Lock, Do-not-Disturb, Screen Mirroring, Brightness and Volume Controls

At the middle of the Control Center features the Rotation Lock, Do-not-disturb, Screen Mirroring buttons, the Brightness and Volume controls. Except for the Rotation Lock and Do-not-disturb buttons, when you 3D Touch or force-press, it allows you to toggle more settings and/or show the controls larger at the center of the screen. 

Other Items: Customizable Controls

The items at the bottom of the control center allow for it to be customized. That includes adding, removing or re-arrange items. There have also been new features added to the Control Center for quicker access. The clock features have been separate to allow easier access to each of the functions.

They are:

3. iMessage

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. 

Apple Pay: (Available in later version of iOS 11)

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. 

iMessages in the Cloud: (Available in later version of iOS 11)

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.

4. App Store


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.

5. Siri

Siri now has a new voice, for both male and female and for the different languages. Also, with a new user interface. 


Next, 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.

6. Camera

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. 

7. Photos

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. 

8. Maps


Now with 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.

9. Navigation

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 on “I’m Not Driving”.

10. Airplay 2:

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 on 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.

11. Apple Music:

 It is now social, knowing what your friends are listening to and you can set them to either private or public. 

12. AR Kit:

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.

13. Other Features:

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, it can perform powerful simple and basic tasks such as watching a video, editing a document, reading and sending emails. 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?”.

Devices That Will Run on iOS 11:


  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • 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:

  • iPod touch 6th Generation 


iOS 11 is a refinement of iOS 10, heavily focusing on user features, productivity and enhancements. It is also focused on developers with tools, such as ARKit that uses new features to benefit users. The upgrade is almost like iOS 9 coming from iOS 8, bringing refinements from the major re-design of iOS with iOS 7.

What do you think of iOS 11? Do let us know in the comments below!


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