Apple introduced iOS 11: Here’s what’s new With a dig at Android’s woeful fragmentation issue, Tim Cook announced the new iOS. While Android’s install base of its latest version stood at a paltry 7 per cent, Tim Cook boasted iOS 10 runs on 86 per cent of devices. And with that, he “turned it up to 11”. Meet iOS 11 which is going to power the millions of iPads and iPhones. This time, the new version is mostly about building up on the “core technologies” along with introducing some cool new features.
Here’s what’s new in iOS 11: 1/13 On-device Machine Learning Every modern device is reaping the results of machine learning, but Apple is doing it in a more different, secure way. The machine learning happens inside your device and leverages your camera, CPU and GPU to understand contexts. For instance, iPhones can now recognise faces, texts, rectangles, barcodes, track objects and more. All the data will be processed inside the device and as a result, the image recognition will be faster than the Google Pixel or Galaxy S8. The machine learning APIs called Core ML will be made available to developers and will be on iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Machine learning on iOS will enable palm rejection on iPads and improve battery life. 2/13 Augmented Reality Apple introduced ARKit, a whole new API to leverage augmented reality and bring it over to iOS devices. With the ARKit, iPhones will be able to identify flat surfaces like a table and interact with it. Like placing a virtual cup on the table in real-time or even enabling virtual objects to interact with each other. The ARKit can do more. It has fast and stable motion tracking using all the sensors in your Apple devices, bringing true 3D AR instead of 2D flat AR we are currently used to now. The best part? Most of the iPhones support it. Appmakers are already on it. IKEA is a making an app and a version of Lego Batman is coming. Pokemon Go will leverage ARKit and become even better and Peter Jackson’s new venture WingNut AR showed off a cool new tech demo of what could be possible in gaming. 3/13 iMessage Apple introduced a standalone app store for iMessage last year with iOS 10. In the latest version, iMessage will have a redesigned app drawer for discovering apps faster. All your messages on iMessage will be synced across your devices using iCloud. So when you login to a new device using your Apple ID, all your conversations will be there. But here’s the biggie: Apple Pay on iMessage will now have person-to-person payments. You can now pay Apple Pay users straight on iMessages. Apple Pay will even recognise when someone is asking for money and will pop up an option above the keyboard to do it less than two steps. 4/13 Siri Siri now runs on 375 million devices and has the largest support for languages and regions than any other voice assistant. Apple has also made Siri’s voice more palatable. Siri will now use deep learning to to add nuances to its conversations. In the demo, he/she did sound more natural. Add to that, Siri can now do translations and can answer follow up questions. Last year, Apple opened up Siri for developers and this year, we have the results. More integrations across apps like Evernote, WeChat, Omnifocus and more. Siri will also do more than voice. It will now learn about your interests and searches to suggest new stuff - news articles, making a calendar appointment, sending your location, etc. 5/13 Apple Photos and Camera Apple has retired H.264 encoding in favour of HEVC for videos which means less space for 4K videos. Photos too will now be saved in HEIF format instead of JPEG. HEIF offers better compression driving file sizes down by half.
Appe also introduced new features to Memories in the Photos app. It will now use machine learning to identify activities, events, faces and more. Live photos are now even better. You can trim them down, choose the best photo among all the shots and even do some cool effects like adding long exposures to photos of waterfalls, and doing a bounce-back.
Apple also opened up its depth sensing dual cameras to developers with the Depth API which will allow developers to do add some magical filters to photos. The camera app itself has been optimised for “improved low light performance, optical image stabilisation, amazing photos when you're seated 500 feet away at a press event, true tone, etc. “ 6/13 A new Control Center Apple has revamped the Control Center with more infusions of its 3D Touch feature. It can now do so much more and it looks different too. For one, it is now a single unified page that takes up the full screen and have widget like functionality, something Apple calls Platters taking up space on the screen. The sliders look different and 3D Touching on an option will bring up further options. 7/13 A unified lockscreen and notifications bar Apple has made the lockscreen and the notification panel seamless in iOS 11. When you swipe down, the notification center looks identical to the lock screen showing the most recent notifications. Swiping up will reveal the rest of the notifications. 8/13 Apple Maps Maps are more fleshed out with schematics for malls and airports built-in. So far only 8 cities are supported with more incoming. While driving, you will now get the speed limit on that particular road as well as lane guidance to know which side to be on for that turn. 9/13 Do not disturb while driving The new Do Not Disturb while driving mode turns off your iPhones screen black while you’re driving. The phone will use the bluetooth, or the Wi-Fi doppler effect to turn off the screen while driving. If you turn it on, you will get a notification that you are driving and it’s not a good idea. However, someone close can still reach out and send you a message or iOS 11 can automatically notify contacts that you are driving. 10/13 HomeKit HomeKit was Apple’s way of welcoming third parties into its walled garden. Hundreds of home accessories manufacturers have baked in support for HomeKit in their devices, allowing users to control them straight from their phones. But what was missing so far, was support for speakers. Apple changed that in iOS 11 where it added a new category for speakers and through AirPlay 2, you can now play music selectively through any speaker in any corner of the house. It’s multi-room audio for iOS. A little sneakily, Apple has also added support for multi-user playlist in Apple Music with the “Shared Up Next” feature. You can have your friends queue songs in your playlist when they are over at your place. 11/13 A new Apple Music Apple opened up Apple Music for developers. With the new MusicKitAPI, developers can add support for Apple Music in their apps. For instance, Shazam can auto-add songs it recognises to your Apple Music library. 12/13 App Store overhaul The App Store, which Phil Schiller claimed is visited by 500 million people weekly with over 180 billion downloads has now been redesigned. Developers can now add phased releases for updates to their apps, i.e. developers can release updates in a phased manner straight from the App Store. There are also tabs for apps and games and a new tab - Today - that is a news feed like view for highlighting choice selections from the app store curated by Apple. There are also separate tabs for games and apps now, making content discovery easier. 13/13 A China-only iOS Apple also unveiled a Chinese-only version of iOS with special features like QR code support, Shaghainese dictation, phone number as Apple ID and more.