I’m going to get it out there. As always, no matter what Apple do, people will complain about the changes they make, and quite frankly, there’s nothing you can do about it. People expected, for some reason, that iOS 11 would undergo a major redesign and yesterday during WWDC, that didn’t happen. There are a few new UI elements in iOS 11 but as a whole, it looks, largely, the same as its predecessor, iOS 10. However, with major updates, Apple always add small changes and tweak things here and there and that’s why I think, when it’s released to the public, iOS 11 is going to be a very good update. I’ve been running iOS 11 beta 1 for 24 hours now and of course the battery life sucks and it feels very sluggish but it’s manageable. In this post I talk about some issues that have remained in iOS for a very long time but thanks to iOS 11, are no longer there.
100MB Limit for Applications Over CELLULAR Data has been Removed
For years now, Apple have restricted downloading apps over cellular data if they were over 100 MB and this annoyed a lot of people considering in this day and age phone carriers are offering 20, 30GB of data and a select few are offering unlimited cellular data bundles. There is a warning that appears before you download an app but it only appears once and you’ll never see it again afterwards.
Native Screen Recording
While this isn’t something a lot of users have been asking for, it has been mentioned quite a few times in the past and it’s a great addition. This will please people who play mobile games and record their footage. There is a timer displayed at the top (which sits below Status Bar) and once you hit the button to stop, it’ll save it to your Photos. Click here for a short example video.
Customisable Control Center
That’s right, it’s not a typo! Control Center has received another redesign and it’s all on one pane and this time, we can fully customise it. Take a look at the new Control Center. I’m not sold on it just yet but I’m sure it’ll grow on me and the fact it’s fully customisable kind of makes up for it anyway. It just has no hierarchy. Apple will continue to tweak it in upcoming beta’s anyway. You can now add the following to Control Center: Low Power Mode, Do Not Disturb While Driving, Screen Recording, Torch, Camera, Notes, Timer, Wallet, Accessibility Shortcuts, Alarm, Apple TV Remote, Calculator, Guided Access, Magnifier, Stopwatch and Text Size! There are also two new toggles which users have requested for a while and cannot be removed, a Mobile Data toggle and a Personal Hotspot toggle.
GIF Support in Photos App
There isn’t much to say about this one! It’s been a long time coming and now when you save a GIF to the Photos app, it’ll animate. It also puts it in a new folder called “Animated”. Get downloading!
New Video UI
iOS 11 includes a new video UI in Safari and with that, a new volume UI. That’s right, it’s no longer displayed right in the middle of the screen, it’s positioned, neatly, at the top-right of the screen instead. However, the old volume UI still remains when on the Home screen but I’m very confident it won’t be there in future beta’s or when it’s released to the public as Apple are probably working on implementing it elsewhere around the operating system.
Play Next Track Or Previous Track Using AirPods
This is undoubtedly a feature that should’ve been there since day one. Apple have added the ability to play the next or previous song with the AirPods by double tapping on them. This makes the AirPods near perfect in my opinion as this was the only feature that was missing. You can individually assign each AirPod to do a different action. I have my left AirPod set to “Previous Track” and my right AirPod set to “Next Track”. I honestly thought we’d have to wait until the second generation AirPods for this to be a reality.
iMessage Support in iCloud
Another small but significant addition. All iMessages are now stored in the cloud, with end-to-end encryption of course. So now, if you delete a message off your Mac, it’ll also delete it off your phone, and vice-versa. It was always annoying when I deleted conversations off my iPhone, turned to my Mac and they were still there and I had to delete them again. That’s no longer the case.
This feature was added in iOS 10.3 but Apple didn’t make it visible to the user. It can be toggled by long holding the globe icon (if you see no globe icon, you’ll need to add another keyboard) and it looks like this. It’s another great feature and is particularly handy if you have the iPhone 7 Plus. It can be assigned to the left or right. Something Apple didn’t add is a permanent numbers row above the letters keyboard but who knows, they might add it later on.
Any App Can be Set to “When Using” in Location Services
Certain apps, like the built-in Weather app and some third-party apps, like Uber would require your location at all times in iOS 10 and this would have an effect on battery life. Now in iOS 11, apps that had the option “Always” can now be set to “When Using”, which, as you can imagine, will save minutes (and possibly hours) of battery life throughout your day.
Type to Siri
Siri is a voice assistant but in iOS 11, you can type to Siri and ask her/him anything you’d normally ask. Siri has also a new Translation feature which will translate English to Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish and will rollout to more countries after its release in September. Siri also uses “on-device” learning to be more predictive about what you might want next. For example, you’re on Safari and are looking up a holiday in Portugal and you then find yourself using the News app next, it’ll find news and stories related from Portugal itself.
There are many more small additions in iOS 11 but these are the ones that stand out to me. iOS 11 might not look different but it has a notable amount of user requested changes. Stay tuned for more.