Apple today unveiled iOS 11 during their WWDC 2017 keynote. The company said they’re turning things “up to 11” in this case which is a pretty lousy pun but I guess makes sense to an extent.
For starters, Messages has received the ability to view all of your apps in one simpler slider on the bottom of your phone or iPad, while all messages that you delete will sync across all of your devices so once a thread is deleted, it’s deleted. You can also use peer-to-peer payments with integration from Apple Pay as previous rumors have suggested.
Siri has also received new voices based on machine learning to sound more natural. They previewed the new voices on stage, and I have to say, they sound much better than before and drop the whole robotic effect.
You can now also ask Siri how to translate a phrase into a new language. Only a limited amount of languages are supported right now, but Apple will expand over time.
Of course, there’s also new tweaks in the Photos app like easier ways to create movies out of your photo and video collection alongside editing Live Photos, while the Camera app has received fresh compression tools to utilize your device’s available storage and offer better quality photos. There’s also a new Depth API which will allow developers to better take advantage of the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual cameras.
In addition, Control Center has been redesigned with new 3D Touch shortcuts and easier accessible controls, Apple Maps now works in malls and airports to navigate your way, the lock screen and notification center have been simplified into a single user interface, a new Do Not Disturb While Driving feature will block incoming notifications so you don’t get distracted while driving, HomeKit now includes a new AirPlay 2 platform to allow for multiple speakers to play audio throughout your home at the same time and Apple Music now includes a MusicKit to allow developers to develop features for the app such as sharing your recent listening sessions with friends.
One major new feature in iOS 11 is the App Store. It’s the 9th anniversary of the store so Apple thinks it’s time to radically change things. The App Store now includes a completely new design which includes a new Today tab to view which apps have just gone live, dedicated Games and Apps tabs offer further organization of the store, and new landing pages for apps offer further simplicity for developers to present their applications and games.
A major focus for Apple as of late has been AR. So today on stage, they also demoed some of their latest developments. For instance, the new ARKit allows for iPhones to place objects in real time in the real world right on your screen, while developers can take advantage of Apple’s technologies for their apps. Nintendo will use it for Pokemon Go, while IKEA will be putting furniture all over the place. And since ARKit uses iOS 11, it’ll become the world’s largest AR platform overnight according to Apple.
“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. “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.”
iOS 11 will begin rolling out to all users this fall, while late June will bring a public beta of the software and an early developer preview is available today.