At today’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, Apple previewed iOS 11, an update to its mobile operating system, bringing new features to the iPhone and iPad this fall. Some of the features are obviously designed to position the latter as a laptop replacement (something Apple’s been trying to do lately).
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, says iOS 11 is the biggest software release ever for the iPad, with multitasking features, a new 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 makes multitasking on iPad even more powerful wit:h 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.
The 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.
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, processors and motion sensors in iOS devices. ARKit allows developers to tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build detailed virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.
Regarding Siri, Apple’s “personal digital assistant,” 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.
With iOS 11, Portrait Mode images can be taken with optical image stabilization, True Tone flash and HDR. 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.
With iOS 11, Apple Pay users will be able to make and receive payments with friends and family quickly 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.
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. Also coming in iOS 11:
- The Apple 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 is available as a developer preview today and will be a free software update for the iPhone and iPad this fall.