Apple revealed the newest version of their OS, iOS 11, yesterday at their annual Worldwide Web Developers Conference (WWDC). iOS 11 will bring many updates to iPhone and iPad devices, including improved usability and new capabilities.
Here are the most exciting updates from iOS 11:
- Improved safety features
- iOS 11 hosts a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that silences notifications and darkens a device’s screen during transportation. This is accomplished by sensing movement in a car via Bluetooth or WiFi. Once the feature is activated, the device responds to any messages with an automated response explaining the user will respond once they get where they’re going. If a message is marked as urgent, the device will alert a user so they have the opportunity to respond.
- Augmented Reality
- The new operating system will host a platform called ARKit, which Cook described as “the largest AR platform in the world.” Through this, developers will be able to utilize visuals for a full AR experience on both iPhone and iPad devices.
- Improved maps
- The updated Maps app will include floor plan details for major buildings, including certain shopping malls and airports. The app will also include “lane guidance” to improve directions while users drive their vehicle.
- Direct payments in Messages
- Messages users will now be able to directly pay their friends using the messages app and Apple Pay, creating potential for Apple to compete with Venmo and PayPal. Apple has not released the process of direct pay, but mentioned the payments will be loaded onto an ApplePay cash card.
- Updated design
- Both the Control Center and App Store will have new designs that prioritize user experience. The Control Center will now have the ability to turn on airplane mode and adjust audio, as well as the option to view tools in a single view, unified notifications and a new upward swipe gesture. The App Store has new daily featured content and an improved games section. Along with these design upgrades, Apple will introduce a one-handed keyboard with better access to symbols and numbers.
- Smarter Siri
- Siri is anticipated to give a more personal experience through machine learning and artificial intelligence in the iOS 11 update. Siri will now offer suggestions by accessing Safari, News, Mail and Messages activity. Siri also has an updated voice, and the ability to translate English phrases into certain languages.
- Improved photos
- iOS 11 will bring portrait mode, previously only available on the iPhone 7 Plus, to all devices and new Live Photos options, such snippet editing and trimming. High Efficiency Image File Format will also be available for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus devices, and promises to reduce the file size for better storage options.
- New access to Apple Music
- Apple Music users will now be able to share and contribute to playlists with friends, and create profiles to follow others, similar to Spotify. Along with improved user experience, Apple has opened Apple Music to developers so that their music catalog can be accessed in apps.
iOS 11 is available for developers to preview this week, but will be available for users to download later this fall.