Apple iOS 11 for iPhones, iPads & iPods: New & updated features

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Apple announced the latest version of its operating system for iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch, iOS 11 at the WWDC event earlier in the year in June, and it has now released the software update for compatible smartphones along with the announcement of its new iPhones at its event earlier in September.

iOS 11 was not the only software update released on September 13; Apple also released watchOS 4.0 for its Apple Watch smartwatches and tvOS 11 for its Apple TV television sets.

Apple iOS 11 brings a new Files application that helps to organise and manage files better. Siri now has enhanced features, and compatible devices now feature Voice Translation, Unified Control Center and more.

Even though Apple releases regular software updates for its devices, the iPad doesn’t get many new features or updates in an upgrade, and iOS 11 is the biggest software release ever for the iPad, bringing with it advanced ways to multi-task and use Apple Pencil.

Devices compatible with Apple iOS 11

The following Apple devices are eligible to receive the software update to iOS 11:

  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6 / Plus
  • iPhone 7 / Plus
  • iPhone 8 / Plus
  • iPhone X
  • All iPad Air models
  • All iPad Pro models
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod Touch 6th generation.

Apple iOS 11 Features

Apple iOS 11 iPad and iPhone

App Store

  • All-new App Store designed for discovering great apps and games every day.
  • New Today tab helps you discover new apps and games with stories, how-to guides, and more.
  • New Games tab to find new games and see what’s most popular with top game charts.
  • Dedicated Apps tab with top picks, dedicated app charts, and app categories.
  • App pages include more video previews, Editors’ Choice badges, easier access to user ratings, and information about in-app purchases.

Siri

  • New Siri voice is more natural and expressive.
  • Translate English words and phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish (beta).
  • Siri suggestions based on your usage of Safari, News, Mail, and Messages.
  • Works with notes apps to create to-do lists, notes and reminders.
  • Works with banking apps for account transfer and balances.
  • Works with apps that display QR codes.
  • Hindi dictation.

Camera

  • Portrait mode now supports optical image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash.
  • Photos and videos will take up half the space with the new HEIF and HEVC image and video formats.
  • Redesigned set of nine filters optimized for natural skin tones.
  • Automatically identify and scan QR codes.

Photos

  • Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure Live Photo effects.
  • Mute, trim, or choose a new key photo for Live Photos.
  • Memory Movies automatically adapt content for portrait and landscape orientation.
  • More than a dozen new memory types including pets, babies, weddings, and sporting events.
  • People album is more accurate and stays up to date across devices with iCloud Photo Library.
  • Animated GIF support.

Maps

  • Indoor maps for major airports and shopping centres.
  • Lane guidance and speed limit information with turn-by-turn directions.
  • One-handed zoom with double tap and swipe.
  • Interact with Flyover by moving your device.

Do Not Disturb while Driving

  • Automatically silences notifications while driving and keeps iPhone silent and display off.
  • Optional iMessage auto-reply to alert selected contacts that you’re driving.

New features designed for iPad

  • An all-new Dock provides quick access to your favourite and recently used apps and can even be shown on top of active apps.
  • Dock resizes so you can add all of your favourite apps.
  • Recently used and Continuity apps are available on the right.
  • Enhanced Slide Over and Split View.
  • Apps can be easily started in Slide Over and Split View from the Dock.
  • Slide Over and background apps now run simultaneously.
  • Apps in Slide Over and Split View can now be placed on the left side of the screen.
  • Drag and drop.
  • Move text, images, and files between apps on iPad.
  • Multi-Touch to move multiple items at the same time.
  • Spring-loading to move content between apps.
  • Markup.
  • Markup works across documents, PDFs, web pages, photos and more.
  • Instant markup anything in iOS – just place Apple Pencil on what you want to mark.
  • Create a PDF and markup anything that can be printed.
  • Notes.
  • Instantly create a new note by tapping on Lock Screen with Apple Pencil.
  • Inline drawing available by simply placing Apple Pencil in body of a note.
  • Search handwritten text.
  • Document scanner autocorrects for skewing and uses image filters to remove shadows.
  • Table support to organize and display information.
  • Pin important notes to the top of the list.
  • Files.
  • All-new Files app to browse, search and organize files.
  • Works with iCloud Drive and 3rd party cloud file providers.
  • Recents view for quick access to recently used files across all apps and cloud services.
  • Create folders and sort files by name, date, size and tags.

QuickType

  • Flick down on letter keys to enter numbers, symbols and punctuation marks on iPad.
  • One-handed keyboard support on iPhone.
  • New keyboards for Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Georgian, Irish, Kannada, Malayalam, Maori, Odia, Swahili, and Welsh.
  • English input on the 10-key Pinyin keyboard.
  • English input on the Japanese Romaji keyboard

HomeKit

  • New accessory types including AirPlay 2 speakers, sprinklers and faucets.
  • Expanded occupancy, time and accessory based triggers.
  • QR code and tap to pair accessory setup support

Augmented Reality

  • Augmented reality technologies that apps from the App Store can use to deliver content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.

Machine Learning

  • Core machine learning technologies that apps from the App Store can use to deliver intelligent features with machine learning data processed on device for high performance and user privacy.

Other features and improvements

  • Control Center redesign brings all controls on one page.
  • Control Center custom controls including accessibility, guided access, magnifier, text size, screen recording and Wallet.
  • Apple Music now helps you discover music with friends. Create a profile so friends can listen to playlists you’ve shared and see the music you listen to most.
  • Apple News now includes Top Stories picked just for you, recommendations from Siri, the best videos of the day in Today View, and great stories selected by our editors in the new Spotlight tab.
  • Automatic Setup signs you into iCloud, Keychain, iTunes, App Store, iMessage, and FaceTime with your Apple ID.
  • Automatic Setup restores device settings including language, region, network, keyboard preferences, places you frequently visit, how you talk to Siri, home and health data.
  • Easily share access to your Wi-Fi networks.
  • Storage optimization notifications and free up space in Settings for apps like Photos, Messages, and more.
  • Emergency SOS calls emergency services based on your current location and automatically notifies emergency contacts, shares your location, and displays your Medical ID.
  • FaceTime lets you capture Live Photos from the other person’s Mac or iPhone camera.
  • Easily check Flight status in Spotlight and Safari.
  • Definitions, conversions and math support in Safari.

Accessibility

  • VoiceOver descriptions support for images.
  • VoiceOver tables and lists support in PDFs.
  • Type to Siri support for basic search queries.
  • Spoken and braille caption support for videos.
  • Dynamic Type increases text and app UI to larger sizes.
  • Redesigned Invert Colors make media content easier to view.
  • Highlight Colors improvements in Speak Selection and Speak Screen.
  • Switch Control typing can scan and type whole words at a time.

You might want to be careful while upgrading to iOS 11, though, (especially if you depend on many 32-bit apps) as Apple has said that iOS 11 is optimised for 64-bit apps and 32-bit apps aren’t supported.

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