iOS 11 has been out for about a week. I’ve had the chance to experience it, and here are some of my thoughts. This isn’t a comprehensive list, as there are lots of new features. They’re just the ones that normal people like you and me would notice easily or would find really useful. Please note that I’m using an iPhone 6 and an iPad Mini 4, so your experience might differ from mine. You’ll probably have more features if you have an iPhone 7 or 8!
The new UI is so snazzy
Right off the bat it’s very obvious that you have upgraded to iOS 11. This is because everything looks different. The passcode page looks different, unlocking your phone has a fade from black effect, there’s additional apps here and there, the control centre is more minimalistic etc. I tend to get annoyed whenever my phone’s UI changes, as I’ll take some time to adjust and get used to it. Not this time. The changes are pleasing to the eyes, and give a very modern feel (to my otherwise very old phone).
Oh Siri, what a nice voice you have
I was pleasantly surprised that Apple has made the effort to revamp Siri’s voice. I can only imagine what a herculean effort it must have been to record all these words and lines. iOS 11’s Siri has three different accents you can choose from – American, Australian, and British. As with the previous iOS, you can choose male and female genders as well. Not only is Siri now customisable, she sounds better and more human. I personally prefer the British female Siri’s voice.
I can edit screenshots immediately
I take a lot of screenshots. Whether it’s showing my wife the latest meme from Reddit or taking screenshots for an iPhone article on NXT, the screenshot function is my best friend. Imagine my surprise when I realise iOS 11 allows me to edit screenshots immediately after taking them! In case you haven’t noticed, whenever you take a screenshot a little rectangle appears on the bottom-left of your screen. Tap that, and you’ll be taken to a really useful editor where you can crop, enhance, and even doodle all over your screenshots.
Very useful for taking messages out of context. Or pointing out an important detail on an un-glam photo.
New picker makes it easier to use Apps in iMessages
Apple has revamped the way iMessages Apps work (which was already a really cool function to begin with). Now you can just open the app dock on the bottom of the message and easily select the app you want. Drag left or right to scroll through the list of Apps available and customise your message to your heart’s content.
A dock! Is my iPad my Macbook?
One of the most impactful changes that iOS 11 has brought is, in my opinion, the new dock on iPads. It basically brings the dock from the Mac to your tablet. Besides giving you more space to store Apps in, the dock is also used as a multi-tasking assistant. You can open up the dock while using any app to switch tasks seamlessly. It also gives you App suggestions by showing you your most-used Apps. Finally, dragging up on the dock opens up the new multi-tasking browser where you can close apps or switch apps, or just to access the control centre.
It’s so easy to type numbers and symbols on the iPad now
This one is my personal favorite. Instead of switching keyboards to input numbers and symbols, you can now do it by slightly dragging down on the corresponding alphabet. This is incredibly useful for typing stuff that requires combinations of numbers and letters, such as URLs and passwords. Also very convenient when you’re trying to compile something like a shopping list. It’s just a very good quality-of-life change in my opinion.
Run TWO Apps simultaneously on the iPad
You can now run two apps simultaneously on the iPad. Yes, you’ve heard me right. Simultaneously, not one after another. All you have to do is to drag an app from the dock onto the screen, and it’ll run in a tiny little window. For example you can take notes while you play a game. Use a calculator while you work on a document. Surf the net and make a Facetime call. The possibilities are endless.
Not all Apps work perfectly on the small window though, so this is something to take note. I’d suggest sticking to the official Apple apps for the small window and run third-party apps on the larger background.
Bonus: Where did auto-brightness go?
If you’re like me and like to control the brightness of your device manually, you’d probably be wondering where the “Auto-brightness” setting went to. I think Apple wants to help you to save on your battery’s life, so they’ve tucked it in an obscure little corner:
Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accomodations
That’s all I have for you for today. What awesome new feature has iOS 11 added to your life?