At today's WWDC keynote Apple unveiled a ton of new software features and enhancements for its Macs, Apple Watch, and the Apple TV. Of course, for many the biggest star of the show was iOS 11.
As it has done every years since the original iPhone’s debut, a large part of this year’s keynote was dedicated to showing off the major new features of iOS 11.
And make no mistake about it: Apple is back in the game as far as being a software leader is concerned. For the last several years it seems like Android was out-innovating Apple, but the Cupertino company has come back with a vengeance, inventing entirely new features--or stealing the best ones from other OSes and apps.
Here are the 10 best new features of iOS 11. They’re going to make you fall in love with your iPhone and iPad all over again.
The Messages app again got some love in iOS 11. Some of the features Apple showed off for Messages in iOS 11 included a new redesigned Messages app drawer that allows users to better find and view Messages apps inside the app itself. This was a major criticism with Messages apps in iOS 10. Another welcome feature is Messages in iCloud. Now all your Messages will be stored in iCloud, which means you’ll save a ton of space on your iPhone since they no longer need to be stored locally anymore.
A long-rumored feature finally found its way into iOS 11. No you can use Apple Pay to make person-to-person payments. You can send money to friends and family using a new Apple Pay app in Messages. Money can be sent from any linked debit or credit card and the recipient can store the money on their new Apple Pay Cash card, or simply transfer it to their bank account.
Siri has gotten a lot better in iOS 11 thanks to machine learning. It now has a new voice (both male and female) that sound much more natural than Siri did previously. The new voice lets Siri say the same word with different tones and inflections based on the content of the spoken phrase. Siri also gets a new visual interface and spoken translation support. For example, you can ask Siri how you say “I love Apple” in Chinese and it will speak the phrase perfectly in Chinese. Siri also can now understand multiple queries based on context and your interests and everything Siri knows about you is synced between your devices.
The new Camera app gets support for HEVC encoding and HEIF encoding. Both allows you to store photos and videos on your device with the same quality but at half the file size.The Camera app also gains professional quality filters.
The Photos app also gets several improvements. The most-requested is that now your Faces albums since across devices—a godsend. New machine learning processes also now allow Photos to understand what type of event is being photographed based on the objects in it. For example, Photos can now create Memories of events and label them as birthdays or weddings based on what appears in the photographs. The Photos app also gains several Live Photos abilities including editing of Live Photos and special effects like looping, bouncing, and long exposure Live Photos.
The Control Center gets a major redesign in iOS 11 with 3D Touch support, a new interface, and many more new controls. The Lock Screen and Notification Center in iOS 11 are also unified now.
Apple continues to improve its Maps app with the addition of detailed floor plans for malls and airports, including the ability to browse by floor. Maps gains the ability to enable a Do Not Disturb mode while driving.
iOS 11 will also introduce the new AirPlay 2 streaming feature. AirPlay 2 adds support for multi-room audio that gives you the ability to play music to select speakers in your home.
Apple Music gains the ability to show you what your friends are listening to.
iOS 11 will see a complete redesign to the App Store with new Today, Games, and Apps tabs. Think of Today as a feed with the latest app spotlights, and the Games and Apps tabs make it easier to browse the store based on what type of content you are looking for.
Finally, there are many iPad-only iOS 11 features, including a new Files app, which is essentially a file browser for iOS; a new Dock/app switcher, which lets you store many more apps in it; new multitasking and drag and drop features; new markup support for the Apple Pencil; and new document scanning features inside the Notes app.