This is what we’ve been waiting for. iOS 11 was announced in all it’s glory yesterday during the WWDC keynote. And it looks really good. Tim Cook made an awkward “turn it up to 11” reference. Which got some laughs, but I thought it was thinly veiled. Tim Cook’s comedy aside, iOS 11 looks pretty cool. Here are the highlights:
- Redesigned Control Centre
Instead of having to swipe to the right to find all of your stuff (ie. Music) you can now access it all through the redesigned control centre. While that might not seem like big news, they are also giving us 3D touch. Simply tap on one of the tiles to expand it to full screen. Once that tile opens, you can further control your device.
- iMessages in iCloud
Now you can sync your iMessages between devices because they will be stored in iCloud. In addition, you can access Siri and your Photos on all of your devices in the same way. Which sounds a bit like common sense. I mean, one of the big “things” with Apple is it’s ability to work across devices. Pick up where you left off on your MacBook. So why is this taking so long to do? Obviously this is rhetorical question, but it does beg the question as to why this wasn’t included in a previous update.
- Do Not Disturb While Driving
This is really incredible. And safe. Apple is releasing a version of “Do Not Disturb” but for driving. Once enabled, the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature automatically recognizes that you’re in the car and disables any notifications. It only shows a black screen. If you aren’t driving the car, there is an option to tell your phone that you’re not driving and disable the mode for the drive. This is done through Bluetooth technology to see if you are connected to your car and Wifi to determine if you are moving. The Do Not Disturb technology you can let any contacts you select to bypass the the DND.
- Siri is a lot smarter
And she also sounds better. Wait.. I shouldn’t qualify Siri as a female. Apple has given Siri a male voice as well. While at the same time enhancing the current female voice. Both voices sound more natural. Apple has also been updating Siri in other ways. Siri can look at what you’re doing in Safari and suggest other things related to that topic. For example, if you looked up the New York Yankees because you wanted information on one of their players. Siri will also make recommendations for you as to when they might be playing in your area. Further, Siri will also translate your questions into French, Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese. Another update for Siri, however, is that it is now available to more developers. And that could mean any number of things, which I look forward to seeing.
- App Store Redesign & Person to Person Apple Pay
While this is neat, I’m not sure that there is much to it in terms of functionality. It looks similar to Apple Music, so hopefully it doesn’t get too confusing. This one is really neat. Apple Pay now supports person to person payment through Apple Pay. The feature is integrated into iMessage so you can quickly send money to a person. If you are receiving money, the cash is put into your Apple Pay Cash card, which can be used for other Apple purchases, or sending money yourself. You can also transfer the money to your bank account.
- Indoor Mapping
Apple Maps can now give you indoor maps of malls and airports. Both of which I would find very helpful. Why? There are times when I only want to go to one store in a mall. And I might not be overly familiar with that mall. So instead of parking at the wrong entrance and wandering around for hours, I would like to know where exactly in the mall it is, therefore minimizing my wandering time. I would find this helpful in airports as well, but they are usually well signed.
There are actually many other updates to iOS 11, but I think those are the big ones. iOS 11 isn’t scheduled to be released until the fall, but Apple is definitely drumming up some business in the meantime. I personally can’t wait for the update!