A rundown of iOS 11’s new features

“Today we’re going to take the world’s best and most advanced operating system and turn it up to 11,”

Tim Cook, WWDC 2017

Developers received an early look at iOS 11 this week at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA. Apple’s next big update for iPhones and iPads is it’s biggest software release ever, and brings new experiences and hundreds of features to iPhones and iPads this fall.

Main features of iOS 11

iOS 11 makes multitasking on iPad more powerful:

  • A new customizable Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen
  • A redesigned app switcher makes it easier to move between pairs of active apps, used in Split View and now Slide Over.
  • The new Files app keeps everything in one place, whether files are stored locally, in iCloud Drive or across other providers like Box, Dropbox and more, and with Drag and Drop available across the system, moving images and text is easier than ever.
  • Apple Pencil is more deeply integrated into iPad with support for inline drawing
  • A new Instant Notes feature opens Notes from the Lock Screen by simply tapping Apple Pencil on the display.

AR Experiences for iPhone and iPad

Apple is introducing a new platform for developers to help them bring high-quality AR experiences to iPhone and iPad using the built-in camera, powerful processors and motion sensors in iOS devices. ARKit allows developers to tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.

Siri is more useful and more natural

Did you know that  more than 375 million active devices access Siri each month across 36 countries? With iOs11:

  • The latest advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence make new male and female voices are more natural and expressive, adjusting intonation, pitch, emphasis and tempo while speaking.
  • Siri and can translate English words and phrases into Mandarin, French, German, Italian or Spanish.
  • Siri extends beyond voice, using on-device learning to deliver more personal experiences and offers suggestions based on personal usage of Safari, News, Mail, Messages and more. For example, as Siri learns topics or places a user is interested in while browsing Safari, they will be suggested when typing in Mail, Messages and other apps.

Professional Camera and Photos Features

With iOS 11:

  • Portrait Mode images can be taken with optical image stabilization, True Tone flash and HDR, so every shot looks even more professional.
  • Live Photos are more expressive with new Loop and Bounce effects that create continuous video loops, while Long Exposure can capture time and movement.
  • In Photos, Memory movies are optimized to play in both portrait and landscape orientation, and more memories, such as photos of pets or birthdays, are automatically created.
  • Apple introduces a new technology called High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) that reduces the file size of every photo taken with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Pay Friends with Apple Pay

Watch out, Venmo:

Apple Pay users will be able to make and receive payments with friends and family quickly, easily and securely. They can send money and get paid right in Messages, or tell Siri to pay someone, using the credit and debit cards they already have in Wallet. When users get paid, they receive the money in their new Apple Pay Cash account. They can use the money instantly to send to someone, make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web, or transfer it from Apple Pay Cash to their bank account.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

iOS 11 introduces a new way to help drivers stay more focused on the road with Do Not Disturb while driving. iPhone can detect when you may be driving and automatically silence notifications to keep the screen dark. Users have the option of sending an auto reply to contacts listed in Favorites to let them know they are driving and cannot respond until they arrive at their destination.

 Additional iOS 11 Features:

  • The App Store is redesigned to make discovering apps and games easier than ever before. Through in-depth features and interviews, App Store editors will uncover the stories behind iOS developers, and the incredible apps and games they create.
  • App Store for iMessage has a redesigned app drawer for more convenient access to apps and stickers, so it’s easier to decorate messages, share a song and more.
  • Control Center offers more customization, enabling quick access to frequently used controls all on one page, and a new Lock Screen delivers a more convenient way to see Notifications all in one place.
  • Apple Maps adds indoor maps for major airports and shopping centers around the world and lane guidance to avoid missing a turn or exit.
  • Home supports more categories of accessories including AirPlay 2 speakers and more ways to automate your home with new triggers.
  • AirPlay 2 offers multi-room audio enabling users to easily control speakers using Control Center, the Home app or Siri.
  • Apple Music offers more ways to discover music with friends. Subscribers can create a profile so their friends can follow them, listen to playlists they’ve shared and see the music they listen to most.
  • Apple News personalizes top stories and suggestions from Siri with stories curated daily by Apple News editors in the new Spotlight tab and the best videos of the day in Today View.
  • One-handed keyboard mode on iPhone makes typing on the go easier and a new QuickType keyboard on iPad delivers quick access to numbers, symbols and punctuation.

iOS 11 for Developers

At the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple demonstrated the power of bringing new AR experiences to iPhone and iPad and introduced additional tools to help millions of talented developers around the world bring new features and experiences to over one billion active Apple devices.

  • Core ML makes it easy for developers to create smarter apps with powerful machine learning that predict, learn and become more intelligent. Designed for iOS, this new framework for machine learning lets all processing happen locally on-device, using Apple’s custom silicon and tight integration of hardware and software to deliver powerful performance while maintaining user privacy.
  • HomeKit is more accessible, with easier ways for developers and hobbyists to get started and new ways to authenticate devices using software — a great way for existing accessories to support HomeKit.
  • SiriKit gives developers the ability to integrate Siri into their apps, and with iOS 11 it expands to support more categories, including to-do lists, notes and reminders; banking for account transfers and balances; and apps that display QR codes.
  • MusicKit allows developers to integrate Apple Music features into their apps, providing access to over 40 million songs, recommendations, featured content and recent search.

When will iOS 11 become available?

The developer preview of iOS 11 became available to iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com this week, and a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month at beta.apple.com.

iOS 11 will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation. Person to person payments and Apple Pay Cash will be available in the US on iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and Apple Watch this fall. For more information, visit apple.com/ios/ios-11-preview. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.

Menlo developers are taking it on a test drive of iOS 11 now. Stay tuned…


Menlo Technologies is a global services company specializing in cloud integration, data analytics and mobile technology that will transform the way you do business.