Turn it up to 11: Apple announces iOS' next update

Apple has officially announced iOS 11 – a new update for its mobile operating system that brings a tweaked design and smarter features for iPhone and iPad.

It’s perhaps interesting to note that we heard little about what Apple’s next update to iOS might include, and that left room for genuine surprise last night when the Cupertino company unveiled iOS 11.

Where iOS 10 focussed on expanding 3D Touch and overhauling Apple Music, iOS 11 is set to bring a design refresh and other smarter, more customizable features to each user’s fingertips.

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Both the iPad and iPhone are set to benefit from the update later this year, and without further ado, let’s dive in and see what’s new!

IOS 11 control center

Control Center becomes customizable

Perhaps one of the most pleasing updates for iOS users seeking more personalization option is that Control Center will now be configurable in iOS 11; somewhat like Notification Center widgets, users will be able to toggle shortcuts on and off, and leverage 3D Touch to access richer context and functionality from a single screen.

Time to sharpen your photography skills

iOS 11’s camera app has been overhauled, though one might not initally be able to note all the changes.

iOS 11 officially changes from H.264 to HEVC video format which will result in video files requiring less storage space. Similarly, JPEG photos have been replaced by HEIF, which is a high-efficiency image format.

Further, users will soon be able to create loops from Live Photos, and can even use the feature to take new, long exposure images.

iPad users get drag and drop, improved multitasking

iOS 11 offers something special for iPad users, who will be able to use an enhanced drag-and-drop feature to quickly port information between apps.

This is partly done through a redesigned dock that will be available from any screen and that will intelligently stack oft-used apps to the right.

Apple Pencil owners will be able to take instant notes, which will allow users to quickly jot down a memo by pressing the tip of the Pencil against a locked iPad screen.

ios 11 app store

The App Store gets a redesign

Sweeping changes might have landed on the iOS App Store ahead of the release of iOS 10, but iOS 11 will bring with it a vast redesign that will bring the platform in-line with Apple Music.

The new App Store design offers larger images and video, and users will be offered a ‘Today’ tab when opening the Store, wherein they will find trending apps.

Siri is now a little more fluent

We’ve lamented the fact that Siri seems to have slipped behind the likes of Google Assistant and Alexa, and now Apple has put significant energy into re-defining its virtual assistant.

iOS 11 will bring with it a more fluent voice for Siri, and the assistant will now be able to handle translation queries, at launch supporting the translation of English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Show me the money

Messages continues to benefit from new improvements in the latest release of iOS, and a new feature for the platform is now the ability to send payments directly from person-to-person through means of Apple Pay.trailer film Spider-Man: Homecoming

While Apple Pay is only available in certain territories at the time of writing, another change all users will benefit from is the presence of an app tray directly within the service.

Files ios 11

There’s finally a Files app

It might have taken Apple until iOS 11 to do it, but the Cupertino company’s mobile operating system will soon gain an official file manager which will enable users to juggle both online and offline documents. The app will further integrate not only with iCloud, but further with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

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Have your say!

What’s your favourite new iOS 11 feature? What can’t you wait to try out later this year? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!

Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA