Apple announced the successor to last year’s iOS 10 at WWDC 2017 in San Jose — iOS 11, obviously. The update is the biggest iOS software release to date, especially for iPad. With iOS 11, Apple finally showed its commitment toward Augmented Reality (AR) as a feature among hundreds of updates coming to iPhone and iPad this fall.
To start off, Siri on iOS 11 is more human-friendly now, with its voice at least. Apple says Siri has new male and female voices that are more natural and expressive, thanks to the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It can also translate phrases into different languages, including Mandarin, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Based on your usage pattern, Siri now learns your behavior, offering more personalized search results and suggestions when typing in Mail, Messages and other apps.
The update for Photos and Videos is an array, as it lets you create seamless live photo loops and bounce effects, long exposures, choose the best frame to use as the featured still, and use optical image stabilization, flash, and HDR in Portrait mode. If you’re on iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, then you’ll be more than happy to know that Apple has introduced a new technology called High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) that reduces the file size of every photo taken on the device.
Apple Pay on iOS 11 is better than ever. With the arrival of iOS 11 this fall, you’ll be able to make person-to-person payments from within iMessage or using Siri. The service, currently available only in the US, brings in Apple Pay Cash account, where you’ll receive the money and can use it to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web. You can even transfer it directly to the bank account, if you wish.
In fact, iOS 11 can now automatically detect when you’re driving (thanks to machine learning, again!) and help you stay focused on the road with Do Not Disturb while driving. As simple as the name sounds, the feature automatically silence notifications and keep the screen dark, which can be interrupted by a simple tap on the screen. You can also send an auto reply to contacts in your Favorites list when DND while driving is active.
As mentioned above, the iPad becomes even more powerful with iOS 11. Apple has drastically improved multitasking on iPad, offering a new, powerful Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and files from any screen by swiping from the bottom of your screen, and a redesigned app switcher. While it uses artificial intelligence to predict which app you want to open next, the Dock welcomes as many apps as you’d like to add. Drag-and-drop feature comes useful when you want to open up an app from the Dock in slide-over mode, or transfer text and content in between the running apps in the same mode. And finally, your split-screen configuration will not be altered while in the recent apps view.
Apple Pencil now comes with a tight integration with iPad. There’s support for inline drawing and a new Instant Notes feature that opens Notes right from the Lock Screen — all you need to do is tap Apple Pencil on the display. The App Store also received a major design overhaul.
Remember iFile on your jailbroken iPhone or iPad? Well, this time Apple has soldered its own file management app on iOS 11, which allows you to access nested folders, recent files, search, and cloud services such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.
Apple didn’t announce any VR/AR headset, but it did show its interest for AR. The Big A introduced a new platform — dubbed ARKit — for developers to create high-quality AR experiences for iPhone and iPad using the built-in camera, processors and motion sensors. ARKit is available for developers now alongside iOS 11. Developers registered for Apple Developer Program can get their hands on iOS 11 Beta at the dev center. Public beta will follow later this month.