Apple’s iOS 11 brings powerful new features to iPhone and iPad this fall

Apple today previewed iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, bringing new experiences and hundreds of features to iPhone and iPad this fall. iOS 11 is the biggest software release ever for iPad, with powerful multitasking features, the Files app and more ways to use Apple Pencil. Augmented reality is coming to hundreds of millions of iOS devices with a new platform for developers to build apps that let users place virtual content on top of real-world scenes. CoreML gives developers on-device machine learning capabilities so they can easily make apps that will predict, learn and become more intelligent. Additional features include the ability to pay friends using Apple Pay, Do Not Disturb while driving to help users stay more focused on the road, even more intelligence and a new voice for Siri and new professional capabilities to Photos and Camera. iOS 11 is available as a developer preview today and will be a free software update for iPhone and iPad this fall.

“With iOS 11, we’re delivering the biggest AR platform in the world, and it’s available today for developers to begin building AR experiences using ARKit for hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, in a statement. “iOS 11 gives iPad users the powerful app functionality they need to take advantage of everything iPad is capable of, and brings hundreds of new features and incredible updates to the iOS apps iPhone and iPad users enjoy every day.”

iPad Becomes Even More Powerful

iOS 11 makes multitasking on iPad even more powerful with a new customizable Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen, and 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 and a new Instant Notes feature opens Notes from the Lock Screen by simply tapping Apple Pencil on the display.

AR Experiences for iPhone & 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 Even More Useful & More Natural

Siri is the most popular personal assistant in the world with more than 375 million active devices accessing Siri each month across 36 countries. Using the latest advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, new male and female voices are more natural and expressive, adjusting intonation, pitch, emphasis and tempo while speaking, and can translate English words and phrases into Chinese, 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 & 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. With iOS 11, 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

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

— 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 is even better at keeping readers informed and entertained with personalized top stories and suggestions from Siri, great 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 even 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.

— CoreML 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 even 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.


The developer preview of iOS 11 is available to iOS Developer Program members at starting today, and a public beta program will be available to iOS users later this month at 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 later and Apple Watch this fall. For more information, visit Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. More so now than ever with iOS version upgrades, I’ll believe it when I see it in consumers’ hands. The current list looks more like a wish list to give consumers pause from purchasing non-Apple. Something I believed Apple didn’t lower itself to do.

    1. So they tell you whats in it (as they always do at this stage) and you simply claim with no evidence whatsoever that it is a ‘wishlist’ rather than a feature list. If you feel that what we saw isn’t representative of what we will get within that functionality that may be fair speculation if you can use previous evidence of this but to make such a claim that these things won’t ship at all which is your implication strikes me as being totally baseless. Indeed it would be a total disaster for Apple to join in that game, despite its popularity amongst some of its rivals, we all know who they are.

      1. It remains a wishlist till it is out. And we all know by now that some features will be left out the older the generation device you attempt to install the upgrade to. As such those ‘missing’ features simply remain ‘wishes’. I give credit to the disclaimer at the end should any feature ‘disappear’ or change for even the newest device by the time it is released.

        1. There’s being a skeptic, Xennex1170, and there’s being bizarrely unable to analyze behavior patterns and make useful predictions about the future.
          Apple’s feature lists do sometimes change slightly, but usually everything they announce DOES make it into the final product. They’ve been criticized for waiting too long to announce things, but very rarely for announcing things they end up not doing.
          Either you are woefully uninformed, or you are being a deliberately deceptive purveyor of FUD.

          1. Yes, I understand what you are saying, but have you read the feature list presented here? Prior versions of iOS upgrades gave users of 1 or 2 generation old devices a huge majority of the features (80%+), the remaining is usually due to HW limitations. The current announced list appears to reduce that ‘share’ of features for older devices even more drastically than before. It’s ok for people that regularly upgrade their devices within a year or two, not so much for those that have a longer upgrade cycle.

            1. You can’t even keep your argument straight. First you cry vapor wolf and then you start yapping about hardware limitations as the problem. Either are ridiculous comments, but stick to actually making your point before moving on. Oh, that’s right. You don’t have a point. Run along.

      1. Not a problem with the method, just the hype for a new OS appears to blind some to the ‘older model’ support getting weaker and swept under the rug with “Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.”

  2. I saw many really cool new forthcoming features in iOS 11. I really like the “Finder-like” capabilities Apple is finally bringing out. Multitasking is a definite improvement. Readdle gave a nice preview of multitasking with its latest updates and I wondered how long it would be until Apple took the concept and ran a with it. Looks like Apple is on its way.

    1. At last the file vault concept that I have been spelling out for nearly 3 years now. Not sure why it took so long when the concept is neither a complex one or one that interferes with the simplicity of the base OS for most users. I guess chip power and memory would be a factor for it working seamlessly but anyway at last its here and it opens the way now for deep integration between workflows and software capabilities between iOS devices and Macs. A new beginning I feel that I have been waiting for for some years while holding on to my rapidly ageing iPad.

  3. I can see the direct pay being a huge hit. This was what Apple Pay was missing to put it over the top. Let us hope Apple can remember to advertise it and teach people how to use it, and roll it out worldwide.

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