Apple Users: Get ready for massive change with iOS 11

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Are you excited for Apple’s next update on their operating system? We certainly are. With powerful new features like augmented reality integration, smarter Siri, and a revamped control center, iOS 11 is set to change the way we use our Apple mobile devices.

From where we’re standing, it looks like Apple is finally willing to slow down on their quest for simplicity with a lot of tweaks clearly focused on boosting productivity for the end users. Scheduled to launch this fall, iOS 11 is undoubtedly the most ambitious Apple software update in a very long time.

Although the list of new features is virtually endless, we are going to showcase those changes that will directly impact the way we use our iOS devices on an everyday basis.

Smarter Siri with more soothing voices

Siri’s contextual learning will get a lot better once iOS 11 launches. Aside from an interface refresh, Siri will get enhanced capabilities for third party apps. Stuff like paying your bills or asking for a cab ride will be possible by only using voice command. Among other things, Siri is getting translation capabilities, multiple results for each search query and automatic follow-up questions.

The new and improved Siri voices will use machine learning to get closer to how actual humans speak. Apple’s AI assistant will also do a better job at suggesting what you’d want to type – similar to Google’s virtual assistant, Siri will study the words you use most frequently and suggest them back at you when you’re trying to type something.

The thing we are most excited about is the fact that Siri will be able to learn from our usage patterns by monitoring apps like Mail, Messages, and Safari in order to deliver enhanced personal search results.

​Person-to-person payments with Apple Pay

If this sounds exactly like what PayPal or Venmo are already doing, you are right. The difference is, iOS 11 will do this via an app-free solution which is much, much more convenable.

Peer-to-peer payments will be possible straight from iMessage and your fingerprint will serve as the authentication method. The money will be transferred into an Apple Pay Cash account which you can then use to make purchases or redirect the money to your bank account.

The bad news is, with the new and improved Apple Pay, there aren’t many credible reasons to avoid paying back your friends.

​Redesigned control and notification center

Instead of three separate panels that iOS 10 has, iOS 11 introduces one giant panel of buttons that is fully customisable. It will let you swipe up to find the settings you use more often instead of having to search for them in three separate panels.

Another big visual change is the notification center unified with the lock screen. This means you will need to scroll down from the top of the screen to reach your lock screen and then swipe up to access the notification center. While this seems like an unnecessary step, it does make things look a lot cleaner.

AR is Apple’s next big bet

With iOS 11, Apple is officially entering the forefront of augmented reality innovation. With the new Apple ARKit, developers will be able to insert virtual objects into the real word just by using the camera from your iPhone or iPad.

If you unsure about this technology, you should definitely check out Peter Jackson’s Wingut AR demo that Apple showed off. Ikea is also reportedly partnering up with Apple for an iOS 11 AR feature – it will let you place imaginary furniture in your house and figure out if they fit the decor.

Although this technology holds incredible promise, don’t expect a whole lot of content once iOS 11 comes out. We have to remember this is still emergent technology, so there is still some uncertainty on what it will end up becoming.

Still, it’s good to see that Apple is betting big on AR by providing the tools to create an augmented reality future for the iPhone and iPad. All in all, it will certainly help the AR industry take off given how many iOS users are out there.

Better photos and videos

A whole new variety of filters and modes are coming along with iOS 11. If were talking pictures, low-light portraits will become much more efficient in taking advantage of HDR and image stabilization. Long exposure shots will be assisted by new machine learning tools that will eliminate the need for a tripod setup.

Videos will use the new HEVC compression instead of H.264, which is said to reduce the overall size of a video by as much as 50%. Images will continue to use HEIF size-reduction technology that was introduced with the iPhone 7.

And last but not least, Live Photos will become fully editable. You will be able to apply special effects, bounce, and loop to make your Live Photos even more awesome.

​The list goes on…

iOS 11’s list of new feature is huge, so huge that we couldn’t possibly discuss each and every one in detail. Nevertheless, here are some more that you should know about:

•    NFC won’t be restricted to Apple Pay only, so other apps can take advantage of this technology.
•    Seamless iCloud syncing across iPod, iPad, and Mac means iMessages won’t take up device storage anymore.
•    App Store will get a redesign with separate tabs for Games, Apps and Featured apps
•    You will finally be able to make screen-recording videos without having to jailbreak your device.
•    iOS 11 will have a file system on both iPhone and iPad called Files.
•    You will be able to share a Wi-Fi password with your contacts.
•    New driving safety system that won’t let you use your phone while driving.

Although it isn’t confirmed yet, iOS 11 is most likely going to launch somewhere in mid-September along with the iPhone 8. If you simply can’t wait, the beta version is already out. But please keep in mind that since the software is work-in-progress, some of the features may not work as they should.

​However, if you decide to try it out, it’s a good idea to back up your phone first or use a secondary device.

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