iOS 11 announced at WWDC 2017, promises powerful new features

Apple / iOS / Mobile / Tech

iOS 11 will be coming to select iPhones, iPads, and iPods this fall.

As though there were ever any doubt, today at WWDC 2017 Apple took the wraps off of the new and improved iOS 11. The mobile OS is available as a developer preview today, and will be rolling out as a free update to select iPhones, iPads, and iPods this fall.

Apple touts iOS 11 as the biggest update ever for iPad, with powerful multitasking features, a new Files app, and more ways to use the Apple Pencil. iOS 11 also integrates AR capabilities into your phone or tablet. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering had this to say about iOS 11:

With iOS 11, we’re delivering the biggest AR platform in the world, and it’s available today for developers to begin building AR experiences using ARKit for hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users. iOS 11 gives iPad users the powerful app functionality they need to take advantage of everything iPad is capable of, and brings hundreds of new features and incredible updates to the iOS apps iPhone and iPad users enjoy every day.

Lots of the improvements focused on the iPad experience, as well Apple Pencil improvements.

Aside from the AR updates, Siri may be seeing the biggest change. In iOS 11, users will be able to choose a new male or female voice for Siri, who has also been graced with more natural and expressive conversational skills. Siri will also learn more about you based on your use of Safari, News, Mail, Messages and more to become more helpful in her suggestions for you.

Improvements are coming to the camera app as well. Improvements include:

Loop and Bounce effects look like a quick and easy way to create looping animated gifs.

With iOS 11, Portrait Mode images can be taken with optical image stabilization, True Tone flash and HDR, so every shot looks even more professional. Live Photos are more expressive with new Loop and Bounce effects that create continuous video loops, while Long Exposure can capture time and movement. In Photos, Memory movies are optimized to play in both portrait and landscape orientation, and more memories, such as photos of pets or birthdays, are automatically created. With iOS 11, Apple introduces a new technology called High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) that reduces the file size of every photo taken with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple Pay will also get some highly requested abilities with payments to friends and family. Payments can be made directly through iMessage, or users can ask Siri to pay someone with any payment accounts available. Money will be transferred to a new Apple Pay Cash Account, which can then be used to make other payments using Apple Pay, or transferred to a connected bank account.

iOS 11 will also include improved driving controls. More specifically, controls that will mute any notifications and prevent the screen from flashing while you’re driving. Users can also set auto-respond messages to contacts letting them know they’re driving and will respond at a later time.

Additional improvements coming to iOS 11:

  • App Store is redesigned to make discovering apps and games easier than ever before. Through in-depth features and interviews, App Store editors will uncover the stories behind iOS developers, and the incredible apps and games they create.
  • App Store for iMessage has a redesigned app drawer for more convenient access to apps and stickers, so it’s easier to decorate messages, share a song and more.
  • Control Center offers more customization, enabling quick access to frequently used controls all on one page, and a new Lock Screen delivers a more convenient way to see Notifications all in one place.
  • Apple Maps adds indoor maps for major airports and shopping centers around the world and lane guidance to avoid missing a turn or exit.
  • Home supports more categories of accessories including AirPlay 2 speakers and more ways to automate your home with new triggers.
  • AirPlay 2 offers multi-room audio enabling users to easily control speakers using Control Center, the Home app or Siri.
  • Apple Music offers more ways to discover music with friends. Subscribers can create a profile so their friends can follow them, listen to playlists they’ve shared and see the music they listen to most.
  • Apple News is even better at keeping readers informed and entertained with personalized top stories and suggestions from Siri, great stories curated daily by Apple News editors in the new Spotlight tab and the best videos of the day in Today View.
  • One-handed keyboard mode on iPhone makes typing on the go even easier and a new QuickType keyboard on iPad delivers quick access to numbers, symbols and punctuation.

Early reports coming in say that the developer preview for iOS 11 is pretty unstable, but that’s of course not stopping anybody from giving it a whirl. Have you tried out iOS 11 yet? Or are you going to wait for the stable update this fall? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Apple
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