Earlier this week, Apple introduced a new version of iOS officially to the world at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2017). Apple iOS 11, the next iteration of the iPhone and iPad operating system that’s coming later this Fall, is hiding a lot of new features. As is usually the case, the tech giant highlighted only the best features in the keynote, since it is not possible to mention all of the features coming down the iOS pipe.
The iOS 11 version is available for developers right away with the public beta. As we have got our hands on the new iOS 11, here we would like to share some of the coolest iOS 11 features that Apple hasn’t yet told you about.
1. Automatic Setup
One of the biggest inconvenience in buying a new iPhone will be solved, thanks to Automatic Setup. iOS 11 will make the process of upgrading to a new iPhone much easier.
During setup, by simply holding a new iPhone or iPad near an iOS device or Mac you already own, you will be able to transfer your information – like your personalized settings, messages, apps, as well as your iCloud Keychain passwords using the Automatic Setup feature.
2. App offloading
Deleting apps that are gathering dust is useful for reclaiming storage space and generally keeping your iPhone or iPad running smoothly, but before iOS 11 appeared, deleting apps also meant erasing the settings and other related data for an app. Not so anymore.
If you go to iPhone Storage from the General menu in Settings, you can tap on an app then use a new feature called Offload App—this seems to delete everything but some key settings. Apple has also included an option to uninstall rarely used apps automatically when you’re low on storage.
3. Autofill passwords for Third Party Apps
Signing into a new app can be a pain, but Apple will be bringing iCloud Keychain out of Safari and make it accessible to third-party apps. Once you have loaded iOS 11, look for the key icon when you’re signing in.
4. Calculator App and Icon Redesign
There is now a redesigned icon and app UI for the calculator app. It now has circular buttons that look more like the keypad in the Phone app. The new icon has a retro feel to it.
5. Customizable Control Center
The Control Center in iOS 11 gets better. Control Center is actually customizable and users can select what’s displayed in Control Center.
Go to Settings > Control Center and you’ll be able to add and remove several actions like Alarms, Magnifier, Notes shortcut, Text Size, Screen Recording, and so on.
6. Do Not Disturb While Driving
‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ is a new feature that automatically activates when you are in a car. It automatically disables notifications from everyone except your Favorite contacts. When someone tries to contact you via iMessage, the feature allows the phone to respond with an automated text message telling them you’re driving and can’t respond just now.
7. Drag Multiple Apps in iPad
iOS 11 on the iPad brings some additional improvements that won’t make their way to the iPhone.
With iPad’s new App Switcher, you can now select and drag multiple apps at a time. Just tap and hold apps you want to drag till they jiggle. Tap on one app icon and drag it. Now tap on other app icons and they’ll be selected as well. Now go to another page and release your finger to drop them all.
8. Instant Wi-Fi sharing
Sharing your 45-digit Wi-Fi password is one of the most irritating things in the world. iOS 11 is going to make that easier.
Just bring the Wi-Fi password screen of iOS 11 device (that’s not connected to the Wi-Fi) nearby to an iOS 11 device which is already connected to that Wi-Fi network. Now, a new pop-up message is displayed saying that another iOS 11 device is attempting to join the network. A single tap on the already connected device will instantly send the necessary password over-the-air to the second device and fill in the necessary password fields.
The only requirement is that the iOS devices involved in Wi-Fi password sharing run iOS 11.
9. One Handed Keyboard
Every user of a Plus-sized iPhone knows how typical it is to type with both thumbs, which isn’t convenient. iOS 11 now brings built-in one-handed mode for the default keyboard – for iPhone 6 and higher.
Just tap and hold the Globe or Emoji icon to the left of the space bar. Then tap on the left/right docked icon to engage the one handed mode. This pushes the keys to the left or right, making it easier to type with one hand. The arrow that appears in the blank space lets you return to the normal keyboard mode when you are back to two-handed operation.
10. QR code scanning
The QR code reader in iOS 11 knows when it’s a WiFi network and offers to join. pic.twitter.com/pCHwGi1abF
— Dayton Lowell (@daytonlowell) June 5, 2017
Earlier, iOS users have to download third-party apps in order to read any QR codes, such as those used to do stuff like share your contact details with others, get access to Wi-Fi networks, go straight to websites, etc. Now, Camera app in iOS 11 can automatically scan QR codes. All you have to do is point the camera on a QR code.
11. Restricting app location tracking
Keeping tabs on your location is one of the most invasive permissions an app can ask for, even though a lot of them need it to function properly.
In present iOS devices, it’s only possible to turn location tracking on or off for a particular app (or off altogether on iOS).
But in iOS 11, there is a new option which allows location tracking, but only while the app is being used. To activate it, open the iOS Settings, select the app you want to deal with, then pick Location.
12. Screen Recording
Screen recording will come in handy whenever you wish to record a certain type of action on your phone and then post it online. And while it hasn’t been too difficult to do on iOS in the past, with iOS 11 it is built right in.
To activate it, just go to Settings app, and then to Control Center. Look for Screen Recorder and then add it to your Control Center.
It’s very easy to turn on screen recording. Tap the red button to start recording, and the title bar (blue bar at the top) to stop recording, and then the video is saved in the Photos app as normal.
13. Smart Invert
In the ‘Accessibility’ section of the ‘Settings’ app, under Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colors, you’ll find a new option called “Smart Invert.” It reverses the colors of the display except for images, media, and some apps. It’s quite similar to the Dark Mode that users have been hoping for, but it doesn’t extend to all UI elements.
14. Type to Siri
A new Siri functionality is introduced in iOS 11, that enables the options to type to Siri. If you go to General > Accessibility > Siri and turn on Type to Siri, you’ll now get a type only UI in Siri. With this, when Siri is launched, you can type out your question rather than speaking.
It is quite handy for those who can’t speak out commands normally, or for anyone who is in a quiet (or loud) space and can’t talk.
And yes, you can already type commands into Siri in iOS 10, but you need to tap on a previous (spoken) query and then edit it.
15. Unified Notifications
Also, Notification Center is now integrated into the Lock screen. You’ll now be able to access all notifications from the Lock Screen. So instead of swiping down from the top of the screen, you swipe up from the middle of the Lock screen, to reveal all notifications.
16. Apple Pay Cash
Apple will now let users pay each other using Apple Pay. It works using the iMessage app that is integrated into iMessage threads. You will be able to enter the amount, pay from your connected card and authenticate using Touch ID.
When you receive money using Apple Pay, it will go to your Apple Pay cash. You can use this wallet balance to pay for apps, to other users or to transfer to your bank.
17. AirPods Settings
The most common complaint about AirPods is their inability to change the currently playing song directly on the earphones, without invoking Siri. iOS 11 solves this by adding the ability to skip forward and backward between tracks with a double tap.
To activate it, simply tap the “i” next to your AirPods in Settings → Bluetooth on your iOS 11 device. You can now set a different double-tap action for each of your AirPods – Siri, Play/Pause, Next Track, Previous Track, and Off.
That means you can now choose a double-tap action separately for the left and right AirPod. For example, you can set one to engage Siri while another for Play/Pause.
18. Accounts and Passwords Section
There’s also a new “Accounts & Passwords” section in Settings that gives you access to all iCloud and Mail accounts. You can also access passwords saved in Keychain, accessible only after authenticating with Touch ID.
19. Bolder Text Everywhere
A smaller design change in iOS 11 that’s everywhere from the messages app to Notes app is the use of bolder typography, especially in headings.
20. Emergency SOS
Emergency SOS is now built into iOS 11, for all users. There’s an Emergency SOS option in the Settings app that allows users to turn on an “Auto Call” feature that will automatically dial the relevant emergency services when the Sleep/Wake button is pressed five times, quickly.
21. Revamped Storage Management Tab
The “Storage and iCloud Usage” tab is now just “iPhone Storage” and it now features at at-a-glance view of the storage space available on a device along with recommendations for improving storage space. You’ll also see when the app was last used.
22. Safari Settings
Additional privacy options are available for Safari in the Settings app. There’s an option to “Try to Prevent Cross-Site Tracking,” which is enabled by default, and there are also options for Camera and Microphone Access.
23. Unified Siri and Search Settings
In the Settings app, there’s now a single tab for Siri and Search, which is a more logical layout. There are also options for toggling on Siri suggestions for each individual app that’s downloaded on a device.
24. Slide Over feature in iPad
The Slide Over feature allows you to drag an app over another one without having to switch over. So if you receive a text message while editing a photo, you can slide the conversation over to the side.
25. Notes Update
There will be a new document scanner feature in the Notes app as part of the iOS 11 update. So when you take a picture of a document using the Notes app, you will be able to edit it using the markup tools.
26. Files App in iPad
Files seem more useful as a central place to find or delete files when your device runs out of storage space. There is a new Files app for the iPad that allows you to quickly find, open and edit your cloud files on iCloud Drive and third-party apps like Box, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Adobe Creative Cloud.
27. iCloud Storage in Family Sharing
If you have more than 200 GB iCloud Storage plan, you’ll be able to split the storage space with your Family Sharing account members.
What’s your favorite new cool feature in iOS 11? Share with us in the comments below.