Here’s what you can look forward to this fall.
Apple is set to announce its new line of products on September 12th. While everything has been top-secret so far—including any news about the iPhone 8—Apple has revealed details about its new operating system, iOS 11, which is also set to launch this fall.
The new operating system is full of new ways to be productive and get the most out of your device. Everything was designed to make your life a whole lot easier and organized, with fun features thrown in, of course. And if you have an iPad, you’re in luck—a lot of the new features enhance the device for work and play. Take a look at some of our favorite updates below.
Siri Will Sound Different.
While you’ll still recognize it, the virtual assistant’s voice has been altered to sound more human-like in intonation, pitch, and emphasis (think natural pauses and cadence). Siri is more knowledgable now, too. It has more answers from Wikipedia and will help you translate any English phrase to Chinese, Spanish, German, French, and Italian both in speaking and in words or characters (so you can show the translations to a cab driver or restaurant server). Additionally, Siri will get to know your interests, preferences, and how you use your phone, so it can give you suggestions and a more personalized experience.
It’s Even Easier to Multitask.
Your productivity level just went up. iOS 11 has a ton of new multitasking features for the iPad, including the ability to pull up multiple apps in one screen; a drag and drop feature that helps you easily move text, images, and files between apps; and a new Files app that helps you organize, tag, and search for documents on your iPad or on the cloud. The Markup app makes it easy to sign and annotate PDFs and turn webpages and any document into a PDF. Plus, the Notes app has gotten smarter—you can write notes on the iPad Pro’s lock screen, scan paper documents into your notes, and even search handwritten text.
On the iPhone, the one-handed keyboard helps you type when you’re holding a coffee cup, a dog leash, or grocery bags.
Control Just About Everything in Your House.
The Home app now has the ability to control speakers, sprinkler systems, and faucets and showers (if they’re smart home gadgets). It doesn’t take much to add HomeKit-enabled accessories, so you can start controlling them from your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch—all you have to do is tap them if they are enabled with near-field communication (NFC) or scan their QR code.
Navigate Any Destination.
The Maps app has indoor maps for malls and airports worldwide, with detailed floor plans, so you can see exactly where a store, restaurant, or security checkpoint is. The app also has some navigation updates, too—it will tell you what lane you need to be in to make an exit or turn and give you the speed limit. There’s also a “light guidance” feature for places you visit often and already know the way to (like work or school), which only gives you essential information like ETA and traffic reports.
iOS 11 can also make driving safer. The Do Not Disturb feature detects when you may be driving and automatically enables itself. It will silence your phone and any other notifications, send automatic message replies that you can customize, and Siri will read aloud any answers to your questions instead of making you read them.
There Are New Ways to Communicate.
Fun new features will be added to Messages and FaceTime. On Messages, there are new full-screen effects like “Echo” and “Spotlight” to emphasize a message. On FaceTime, you can take Live Photos during a call.
Pay Friends and Family Hassle-Free.
Now you can pay or request money through the Messages app if you have a credit and debit card in Wallet. If someone pays you, the amount will be stored in Apple Pay Cash, which you can use to make purchases in stores, apps, and on the web, or you can transfer the money to your bank account. It’s safe, too—you need Touch ID to send money.
The App Store Is Brand New.
Discovering new apps and games has become more personalized. The App Store got an overhaul and now has a “Today” tab that gives you recommendations through curated collections and stories by Apple editors. There are also more videos so you can preview how an app looks or works before you download it.
You Don’t Need a Special Gadget to Experience Augmented Reality.
The new operating system has ARKit, a framework makes it easy for developers to create augmented reality experiences. What that means for users is that you’ll see more apps with these cool features, like an IKEA app that lets you “place” furniture in your home to see how it fits and looks before you buy it.
Taking Photos Is Even More Fun.
The Camera app has new filters inspired by three classic photography styles. On the Photos app, there are new Live Photo effects: Loop (it creates a continuous looping video), Bounce (plays the action backward and forward), and Long Exposure (you can blur the action in a photo). The Memories feature on Photos has a better curation tool and new memory types (like “Night out,” “Wedding,” and “#TBT”), too.