Apple announced the latest version of its mobile operating system in early June. The iOS 11 beta test version will get a thorough work over from developers and enthusiasts before getting a full public release, which should happen this fall.
The new operating system is packed full of upgrades and new features. Here are five useful tricks you can expect to use after upgrading to iOS 11. Just keep in mind that some minor details could change between now and the operating system’s final release.
1) Type with one hand
We’ve all been there. You’re holding your smartphone in one hand and a powdered doughnut (or some other messy snack food) in the other. You try to type a message or an email, but it’s tough to reach the entire keyboard with just one thumb. That’s OK because iOS 11 has a solution to this problem.
Touch and hold the emoji key on the revamped QuickType keyboard, choose one-handed typing (the icon looks like a small keyboard with an arrow on one side), and enjoy the convenience as the keys scooch in closer to your thumb. You can choose to have the keyboard squeeze over to either the right or lefthand side of the screen depending on which hand you’re using.
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2) Translate with Siri
Apple’s voice assistant Siri will get quite a makeover for iOS 11, including “a new, more natural voice.” Siri is also learning some new tricks, notably the ability to translate for you. You will be able to give Siri a voice query like “How do you say where is the bathroom in Spanish?” and it will generate a translation you can use to communicate when you need it.
Siri’s new translation skills will be especially handy for world travelers, but it’s a great solution for overcoming the language barrier wherever you might be. The voice assistant will be able to handle queries for Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and German.
3) Record your screen
Apple will finally let people record the goings-on on their displays with a built-in Screen Recording feature. This creates a video record of everything on the screen while it’s running. This feature in the beta version of iOS 11 is available in the control center settings where you can choose to add “Screen Recording” to your available control center options. Then you can open your control center and select the icon (which looks like a circle within a circle) and start recording.
So why would you want to record your screen? This is a big thing for gamers who like to catalog their exploits, but it’s also handy for artists who want to track the creation of their digital work, or for anybody who wants to make a step-by-step tutorial or just simply share something fun from the phone.
4) Dock your favorite apps on your iPad
Apple calls iOS 11 “a monumental leap for iPad.” In 2015, the company introduced a professional line of iPads aimed at power users, but the operating system felt a little dated on the new machines. There’s a big improvement on the way with iOS 11's introduction of a dock at the bottom of the screen. This will be very familiar to anyone with a Mac desktop or laptop computer.
Swipe up from the bottom to access the dock and you will see a lineup of shortcuts to your favorite apps. You can choose which apps will appear here, but the system will also offer up suggested apps, including ones you used recently. This lets you move between apps with ease, which is a multitasker’s dream come true for the iPad.
5) Find all your iPad files
The new operating system marks the debut of the Files app. No longer will you have to hunt around to find your photos, screenshots, spreadsheets, and documents. Files will collect them all together in one convenient location. The app allows you to tag files to help with organization.
The Files app can also bring together files from other sources, including popular cloud storage services like Dropbox and Box. Once again, this brings some much-needed Mac-like functionality to Apple’s tablets.