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Top iOS 11 features we’re excited about

When Apple highlighted all the noteworthy improvements for iOS 11 during WWDC 2017,  we certainly felt excited about the latest updates to this software that runs across its mobile platforms, the iPhone and the iPad. With all the improvements and updates coming our way, it looks like Apple “cranked it up to 11” with the next iOS.

Here’s a list of all the new features we’re excited about on iOS 11.

New iMessages features

The Messages app drawer will be easier to access and navigate in iOS 11 requiring just a single tap. Messages will be synced across all Apple devices as well with “Messages in iCloud.” Another feature making its debut in iOS 11 is person-to-person payment support via the Messages Apple Pay app.

Smarter Siri

Siri will get more nuanced speaking voices and will be smarter too with “on-device learning.” This means the voice assistant will try and predict what you’re going to do next based on your past activity. Siri will also do English voice translations for a number of languages including Chinese, Spanish, German, French and Italian. More languages are expected to be added at a later time.

Camera and Photos apps get new iOS 11 features

iOS 11’s Camera and Photos apps are getting tons of new features.

A new video and photo compression format (HEVC and HEIF, respectively) will be introduced in iOS 11 that will cut the file sizes to half with the same quality. New filters and effects will be introduced including long-exposure mode, loops and bounces in Live Videos. A new Depth Kit for the iPhone 7 Plus also makes its debut for more depth-sensing effects.

Redesigned Control Center, Unified Lockscreen, and Notifications

iOS 11 will bring big design changes to the Control Center with a taller interface with more functions crammed into a single page. With the use of 3D Touch, users can access more options on each button.

The lock screen and the Notification Center will be merged into one screen, just scroll up on the lock screen to access your latest notifications.

Apple Maps

The new iOS 11 Apple Maps will soon show 3D layouts for malls and major airports. These indoor maps will show a growing number of mall floor plans, to help you navigate your local shopping center. Indoor maps will also rollout for major airports around the globe.

Apple Maps will be introducing a handy Speed Limit visual indicator and a much-needed Lane Guidance for navigation, great for avoiding confusion during freeway navigation.

CarPlay’s Do Not Disturb Mode

Apple CarPlay in IOS 11 will get a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode, which locks down your iPhone when you take the wheel. By using a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sensing, this mode can automatically detect if you’re in a moving car, locking your iPhone with a blank screen. The mode will also postpone notifications with an option to inform other people who are trying to contact you that you are driving.

HomeKit 2 with new “Speaker” support

HomeKit 2 makes its debut on iOS 11 with an all-new “Speakers” category. Aside from your smart home appliances, HomeKit 2 will control multi-room speaker setups (similar to a Sonos system) via AirPlay 2.

Apple Music’s new Social Features

Apple Music on iOS 11 gets a social component as well, which lets you see what your friends are currently listening to. Related to HomeKit 2’s music component, Apple Music will also allow users to check out “Up Next” shared playlists.

Redesigned App Store

Apple’s App Store is getting a big makeover for iOS 11. Three new tabs will be added to the store – Today, Games and Apps.

The Today tab will highlight what’s new or trending on a particular day, great for showcasing apps and discovery. This tab will also feature how-to guides, tips, tricks and daily articles from Apple’s own editorial teams.

App types will be separated into two tabs – Games and Apps. These tabs will have top charts, lists of in-app purchases and videos.

Individual app pages will have more available videos, more visible ratings and reviews and prominent badges.

 Augmented Reality Kit

Apple is making a push for Augmented Reality with the introduction of the ARKit for iOS 11.

ARKit will give developers a standard platform for incorporating Augmented Reality in iOS 11 apps. ARKit will also allow for improved motion tracking and light awareness for a more natural and convincing AR experience. Expect these new iOS 11 features in apps like Pokemon Go soon.

iOS 11 iPad upgrades

There are a number of iPad-centric upgrades to iOS 11, as well – an app dock that can auto-suggest and accommodate more app icons, drag and drop support between open apps in split-view mode and a quick way to access alternate characters on an iPad keyboard. Notes will also get a built-in document scanner.

The Apple Pencil will also get a continuous markup mode for hand-drawn notes on screenshots. Basically, everything you can print from the iPad you can markup.

New Files app

iOS 11 on iPad will also introduce a new file manager app simply called “Files.” Although not a full-featured file manager, this app will allow users to organize documents and files stored on your iOS device. Aside from iCloud files, this app can also track files in third-party storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.

What do you think? Are you excited for iOS 11?

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