Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2017 kicked off yesterday with CEO Tim Cook addressing the keynote. Apple made a host of announcements regarding software and hardware. In terms of software, the highly awaited iOS 11 was announced with its developer preview released, while the public beta set to release later this month. iOS 11 will be released this fall as a free update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and the iPod touch 6th generation. Here’s a look at the top features iOS 11 will bring forth to your iPhones and iPads later this year.
Siri gets smarter and more human-like
Siri will get a more natural sounding voice in iOS 11, and will receive a new visual interface. Siri will also get a translation feature for different languages like Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. This feature is currently in beta, and Apple will be adding more languages eventually. Siri will also offer suggestions based on your personal usage of Safari, News, Mail, Messages and more. For example, according to what you’re browsing on Safari, Siri will suggest related material on the News app, Mail, Messages and more apps.
iMessage gets iCloud sync, and more
iMessage on iOS 11 will get iCloud syncing so your stored messages will be available on other devices when you sign in. Also, if you delete one message from your Apple device, it will be deleted from other existing devices as well. iMessage apps, which was introduced in iOS 10 will have a more organized format now. In iOS 11 the iMessage App Drawer will be redesigned making it easier to search and navigate between your favorite apps. ALSO READ: WWDC 2017: Apple launches HomePod home speaker
You can do more with Apple Pay on iOS 11, but in the US only
Apple Pay’s usage will be extended in iOS 11 as users will be able to make payments right in the Messages app. iOS 11 will also enable users to ask Siri to make payments using the credit and debit cards saved in their Wallet. The money one receives will be stored in their new Apple Pay Cash account which can be used to transfer money to someone, make purchases via Apple Pay in stores, apps and also on the web. One can also transfer the money in Apple Pay Cash to their respective bank accounts. Apple Pay Cash will however, be available in the US only. ALSO READ: WWDC 2017: Apple watchOS 4 announced; gets new watch faces, app updates, and more
Apple Maps gets better navigation features
Apple’s native Maps app in iOS 11 will be able to provide indoor mapping for places like major malls and airports. In iOS 11, Maps will also provide better navigation while driving like speed limit, lane guidance so that one can avoid missing a turn or an exit. Another new iOS feature for driving will be the integration of Do Not Disturb mode. Apple says that your iPhone will detect when you may be driving and will automatically keep the screen dark and silence the notifications. One can also set an auto reply to their favorite contacts for when in driving mode. ALSO READ: WWDC 2017: macOS High Sierra announced
Portrait Mode on iOS gets new additions
iOS 11 will allow users to take better Portrait Mode images with optical image stabilization (OIS), True Tone flash and HDR. Live Photos gets new Loop and Bounce effects that create continuous loops, and Long Exposure which can capture both time and movement. Memory under Photos will be optimized to play in both portrait and landscape mode. Also, more memories like photos of pets or birthdays will be automatically created. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users on iOS 11 will get a new feature called High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF). This technology reduces the file size of every photo taken on these two devices. ALSO READ: WWDC 2017: New iMacs with better displays, VR support, USB Type-C port announced
More iPad features
iOS 11 on iPads brings a new customizable Dock that will provide access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen. The app switcher will also be redesigned making it easier to move between active apps. On Split View where two apps are simultaneously used, iOS 11 will now allow users to move files, images, and text between the two apps. The iPad also gets a new Files app which will store all your files in one place from different storage places like iCloud Drive, Box, Dropbox and more. Apple Pencil also receives some upgrades as it will now support inline drawing. One can also access Notes from the Lock Screen itself by tapping Apple Pencil on display. ALSO READ: WWDC 2017: All new iPad Pro 10.5-inch, 12.9-inch Retina display with HDR video support announced
Augmented Reality on iOS 11
Apple is bringing augmented reality (AR) to iOS 11 as it announced a new ARKit for developers at WWDC 2017. With ARKit, developers will be able to use the built-in camera, processor and motion sensors of iPhones and iPads to bring high-quality AR experiences on these devices. ARKit comes bundled with the latest computer vision technologies allowing developers to build virtual content that can be used for gaming, shopping experiences, industrial design and more. ALSO READ: WWDC 2017: Apple finally joins the augmented reality space with AR Kit
It doesn’t end here
A brief look at some more features coming with iOS 11 includes a redesigned App Store. iOS developers will now get their stories discovered on App Store. The Control Center on iOS 11 too gets a redesign, and a new Lock Screen will provide a more convenient way to view your notifications. AirPlay 2 is enabled with multi-room audio allowing users to easily control speakers using the Control Center, the Home app or Siri. The Home app also gets support for more accessories like AirPlay 2 speakers and will receive new triggers for better automation. Apple Music subscribers on iOS will be able to create a profile and share it with their friends. The iPhone also gets a one-handed keyboard mode while iPad users will get a new QuickType keyboard with iOS 11.