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The 13 most useful features in iOS 11

The 13 most useful features in iOS 11
Pojoslaw | Dreamstime.com Dreamstime.com

We've been telling you about Apple's newest iOS 11.4. It's the newest version of iOS 11 that came out last year.

You may be thinking that you know everything there is to know about iOS 11 by now. But do you know about these 13 secret tricks that will make it easier and faster to use iPhone features? Some you've used for years and others you've never used.

Keep reading for 13 tips you'll love. Don't skip No. 5 - you'll finally realize what seems so different about your iPhone, in a good way.

1. Better Live Photos

You've been using Live Photos for a while. It's the camera effect on iPhones where you hold the button down when taking a photo until it creates a mini-movie GIF.

Apple made some great improvements with iOS 11. One of those is choosing which frame of that GIF you see in stored files.

It used to be that you saw one image and couldn't change it. Now you can: Live Photo >> Edit >> slide images to the one you want >> select Make Key Photo >> Done.

You can also add new effects, such as a video loop, a bounce feature that lets you go back and forth between images and long exposure. Live Photos >> Effects >> choose Loop or Bounce or Long Exposure.

2. 2x photo storage

You can never have enough storage space, whether you're talking about your master bedroom closet or the storage capacity on your smartphone. For the latter, good news with iOS 11.

You will increase your photo and video storage capacity by almost twice as much as iOS 10. Click here to learn how Apple accomplished this.

3. Easier-to-use App Store

Apple improved the look of its App Store with iOS 11. It's now easier to read, with big, blocky fonts and streamlined features.

One cool new tab is Today, which shows you apps that might be of interest to you. There are other tabs, too, notably Games.

4. Funner iMessage

Apple's iMessage has had loads of emojis and GIFs that you can add to your messages. Now, it's easier to find those fun features.

With iOS 11, Apple organized the app drawer to make it easier to find stickers, emojis and so on. In fact, it's so easy to find emojis, you may be tempted to never send an iMessage again without one.

5. Siri sounds better

If you're like most Apple users, you've asked its voice-activated assistant for help many times. You might've asked for driving directions, store hours or a funny joke.

Of course, Siri is useful and fun until its stilted, monotone voice gets irritating. Apple transformed Siri in iOS 11 with a less robotic voice.

That came courtesy of machine learning and a voice actor recording 20 hours of content. Those recorded speeches, jokes and answers were broken down into half-phones, or tiny measurements of sound.

Siri now compiles those sounds, rather than a single word at a time. The effect is a smoother, more natural sounding Siri.

6. Improved keyboard

Apple improved its keyboard in a couple of major ways. One, it suggests words as you're typing, including words that you recently used.

You can also use the keyboard with one hand. Hold down the emoji key until you see that option.

7. Manage control center

You've been able to call up shortcuts on your iPhone for a while. You swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal them.

Apple improved that control center with iOS 11. Now, you have a bit more flexibility in choosing which shortcuts you want to see and where they're placed in the control center.

8. Simpler notifications

Swipe down from the top of your iPhone to see recent messages and your missed messages. They're all in one place on iOS 11, instead of in separate tabs in earlier versions of iOS.

9. Do not disturb

Apple's do not disturb while driving feature is intended to ensure your family and you are keeping your eyes on the road. When you get texts, calls and messages, your iPhone is silent when you're driving.

Do Not Disturb can be irritating when you're waiting for an important call and forgot that you set up Do Not Disturb. It also used to be a little difficult to find.

Now, Do Not Disturb is in your control center. It's easy to find and turn on and off.

10. Faster set-up time

We live in a fast world. You might find yourself growing impatient after a few seconds for tasks that used to take minutes or hours to accomplish.

With iOS 11, you'll be pleased to know that it's much faster to set up your iPhone than in the past. You just hold it up to another iOS 11 smartphone and your iCloud passwords, settings and preferences are copied onto your new iOS 11 device.

11. Improved Apple Maps

Apple has long been criticized for its Maps. If you're not accustomed to using it, it can feel like a poor imitation of other maps, notably Google Maps.

However, Apple has been improving it with features like indoor maps, such as shopping centers, and improved directions that include which lane you should be in.

12. Less distracting volume button

Your iPhone used to have a highly distracting, large volume button that would pop up in the middle of the screen when you were changing volume. Now, it's smaller and moved up to the right-hand side of your smartphone screen.

13. Instant passwords

You can easily find a Wi-Fi password with iOS 11 if someone is already using it. Stand close to them so your iOS devices are close to each other and it will copy the Wi-Fi password to you.

Bonus: Win your choice of an iPhone X or a Galaxy S9

Everyone wants the latest and greatest smartphone. I have exciting news! I’m giving you a chance to own the latest phones from Apple or Samsung valued at $1,000! Enter now and once per day until August 20, 2018 for your chance to win your choice of either an iPhone X or a Galaxy S9. Don't miss out on this opportunity!

Click here to enter for your chance to win your choice of smartphone.

What you need to know about the latest iOS upgrade before you download it

Apple has launched its newest iOS 11.4 with major fixes to problems plaguing your iPhone. These include messages that are out of order and difficulty logging into Safari and Google products, like Gmail.

There are some new features you'll love, too. This includes AirPlay 2 so you have more control over listening to music throughout your house.

Click here to read more about iOS 11.4's new features!

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