When Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage during the World Wide Developer Conference back in June, everyone was anxious to hear if Apple’s newest software build was going to contain as many features as had been touted in most Apple & Mac fan sites. The boss did not disappoint, as a lot of the features that were announced showed how Apple developers thought about convenience, as well as the future of how we’re going to be interacting with next level iOS apps.
Cook also went ahead to confirm that this release has a lot more to offer iPad owners, describing iOS 11 as a “monumental leap for iPad”. The update is definitely going to be a game changer, with technology that’ll allow app devs to make the first few steps towards augmented reality.
Now, as with most updates, there are bound to be a good number of improvements that won’t really make that much of a difference for the ordinary everyday Apple user. Bearing this in mind, we went ahead and had a look at these features, and narrowed them to a selection of 5 that we’re sure you’ll be glad to get to use. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 things you should look forward to on iOS 11:
1. Apple Pay Integrated into iMessage
Granted, Apple might have taken a cue from Facebook Messenger or even Venmo, but accessing a payment service within iMessage is something we’re sure a lot of users will be looking forward to. Apple Pay allows you to make person-to-person payments, and it looks like the history of transactions will only remain within the messaging app. The money doesn’t get transferred to the recipient’s PayPal or bank account. Instead, the cash lands into an Apple Pay Cash Account, which can then be accessed and the money moved to another bank account if the owner wishes to do so.
As it is, the service is quite popular in the UK. They even had their transaction limit lifted to allow payments over thirty pounds (about $40 dollars). With this new upgrade, it appears like Apple might be giving a shot at a money management service in the future. Only time will tell.
2. Automatic App Deletion
Many of us have the habit of trying out a new app from the App Store, and forgetting to delete it once we decided that we really won’t be using it going forward. This habit ends up taking a lot of space on your phone, and for users that have only 16GB to share out, this might end up creating a big problem. iOS 11 steps in to solve this issue through its Offload Unused Apps feature, where any apps deemed to be rarely used are removed, but the user documents and files within the app are retained. The deleted apps will appear as grey icons on your homescreen. Restoring them only takes a tap, and they’ll be up and running within no time.
3. Contextual Learning by Siri
Your favorite virtual assistant just got a lot smarter. Based on data picked up as you use your phone, Siri offers suggestions that are relevant to the stuff you’ve shown interest in while browsing the internet, or even while typing a message. These recommendations will appear in the auto-suggestion bar & you’ll see them when you’re using native apps like News, Messages, Safari and Maps.
Aside from that, frequent travelers will also be able to get some assistance whenever they’ll need to say something in a foreign language. Siri will help translate words or phrases from English to French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and Chinese.
Anyone who finds talking to their phone a bit weird will now be able to type what they would have said and Siri will respond the exact same way. iOS 11 allows users to turn on type to Siri, and a message box will always appear whenever the Siri screen is active.
4. All Your Files in One Place
Apple finally delivered a way to access all your files from one place, and make changes that will reflect across all your remote storage platforms. Dubbed ‘Files’, you’ll get to see whatever’s on your iCloud as well as your Dropbox, OneDrive or any other supported 3rd party app. The change is a decent upgrade from the previous iCloud Drive app that was featured in iOS 10 and earlier versions.
Files bears a close resemblance to what Finder is on a Mac, but when used in either an iPhone or an iPad, one of the cool things you can do is drag and drop multiple files into a location within the app. Once remote access to your Mac is properly set up, you’ll also have access to your desktop documents and folders. The feature does have limitations, for instance you won’t be able to access photos and videos taken by your iPhone or iPad camera. You’d have to navigate to the Photos app for these.
5. Driving Assistance
Apple is doing its part to reduce the number of road accidents that happen due to drivers being distracted by their phones. iOS 11’s new Do Not Disturb While Driving feature is able to block out incoming texts, calls and notifications to keep you 100% focused on the task at hand. This feature can either be turned on when your phone detects acceleration, or when it automatically connects to your car’s bluetooth. If you get a text message with the feature on, your contact gets an automated reply informing them that you’re driving, and that you’ll text back as soon as you arrive at your destination. If you’re a passenger, you might have to turn off the feature manually by navigating to Settings > Do not disturb > Manually and toggling to off.
There have been a number of improvements that have also been made on Maps that are meant to help drivers navigate a lot more easily while on the road. One of them is lane guidance, where drivers get to see what lane to stay on so that they don’t miss any necessary exits on their routes. The speed limit for select roads will also be visible, so that you know just how fast you can go without breaking the law. If you get tired of the constant step-by-step navigation instructions, you can just opt for the light guidance feature where you get to see the whole route in full display.