Best iOS 11 Features – A Roundup Of The Biggest iOS Release Ever

02 Aug. 2017 Mobile App

At its 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled iOS 11, the next-generation version of its popular mobile operating system. iOS 11 comes with a slew of improvements and features for users and developers alike.

From a revamped App Store and improved Control Center to a more natural-sounding Siri and new Apple Pay features, the release comprises a plethora of updates that further enhance your iOS experience on both iPhone and iPad.

iOS 11 Features For Developers

New Features In iOS 11

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The release also introduces an ARKit that will allow developers to tap into iOS devices’ potential to create immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences. Currently, the iOS 11 features are supported in the following list of iPhone and iPad devices:

iPhone Devices iPad Devices
iPhone X, iPhone 8/Plus iPad (6th generation)
iPhone 7/Plus iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 10.5-inch, and 9.7-inch)
iPhone 6s/Plus iPad Air
iPhone 6/Plus iPad Air 2
iPhone SE iPad (5th generation)
iPhone 5s iPad mini 2, 3 & 4

While iOS 11 hits its final release this fall, let’s take a look at the bunch of new features it will bring for both iOS users and developers.

Top iOS 11 Features for Developers & Users:

Customizable Control Center:

A customizable Control Center is one of the major updates coming to iOS 11. The new Control Center will have a more intuitive, larger layout that will let you customize the control screen. This means, no more switching between panels to access your device settings. You can add more toggles to your screen alongside the default ones that Apple won’t allow you to change. It also brings 3D support to dive deeper into options and a screen recording feature.

Improved Camera & Live Photos:

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are already among the top camera phones out there, and iOS 11 will only make them a whole lot better. It will provide support for filters which will reduce your post production work for your shots. A bunch of new fun effects are also introduced for Live Photos such as bounce and long exposure.<

The ‘bounce’ effect turns your Live Photos into video loops that replay incessantly and the ‘Long Exposure’ effect makes your device more like a DSLR. In addition, if you are an iPhone 7 Plus user, iOS 11 will let you use the depth-sensing dual cameras with the help of DepthKit. DepthKit is used for inserting the spatially-aware objects into images for producing an AR-like effect.

Redesigned App Store:

With iOS 11, the App Store will receive the biggest makeover since its launch in 2008. It features a sleek new interface, richer app discovery experience, dedicated home page for the store, and a separate Games tab for users to easily discover the new games and apps. Apple will further provide access to curated stories and tips and tricks to highlight the trending iOS applications as well as shorten the app review times. This is one of the best iOS 11 features that has delighted the developers.

New Apple Pay Capabilities:

Apple had previously shown interest in enabling peer-to-peer money transfers through its digital wallet service, Apple Pay. Starting with iOS 11, you can use Apple Pay to send and receive money from your contacts through iMessage. To transfer money, you can call the iMessage app in the conversation either by accessing the app itself or through contextually-aware QuickType suggestions. Your money will be stored in the Apple Pay Cash Card which you can use as a payment method like a credit card or transfer to your bank account.

AR Developer Kit:

Alongside iOS 11, Apple unveiled a new ARKit for developers to help them create complex and highly detailed AR features within iOS applications. Augmented Reality (AR) garnered much attention owing to Pokemon Go craze, and Apple CEO, Tim Cook has been excited since then to reveal their plans on how they have been optimizing this emerging technology. Hence, the ARKit is expected to standardize and enhance AR functions across applications, using improved 3D modeling, motion tracking, and ambient light awareness. This help developers deliver virtual content well-integrated into your real world.

New update in iOS 11.3 – In iOS 11.3, Apple has brought the whole new level of AR experience with ARKit 1.5. The apps will now recognize vertical spaces like doors and windows along with horizontal surfaces like tables & chairs. It can now accurately map the irregularly shaped surfaces like circular tables.

It can also now integrate the 2D images like artwork, signs & posters into augmented reality experiences. It is just like filling a museum with interactive exhibits or bringing a movie poster to life. Another biggest upgrade in ARKit comes in terms of quality, it now supports 1080px instead of 720px.

NFC Access:

The NFC Access is one of the best iOS 11 features for developers that enables them to access the NFC chip from within the iOS devices. Apple uses the NFC chip to enable contactless payment for Apple Pay. However, the chip can also be used for other contactless payments and terminals, for example, door locks in hotels. With this feature, the hotel chains can allow you to use an iPhone to unlock your room and the city transit systems can let you use your device as a transit ticket.

Health Records:

By including the new Health Records feature in the iOS 11.3 version, Apple has taken a massive step towards the healthcare sector. The tech giant has collaborated with several hospitals, institutes, and clinics in US to create this new feature. This will help patients access their health records like lab results, medications, conditions and more in one convenient and easy to use place in the Health app. According to Apple, this data is encrypted and secured with a passcode.

HomeKit Software Authentication:

With the announcement of HomeKit framework in 2014 at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), the dream of smart home seemed to be a reality. However, with it, the tech giant brought in the strict requirements for the third-party accessories to get the HomeKit certification. The interested companies needed to incorporate the Apple’s hardware-based Authentication Coprocessor which handled the company’s strict rule for encryption & security for HomeKit-enabled accessories. They had to manufacture a second-gen version of the accessories to meet the Apple’s HomeKit requirement.

In the iOS 11.3 version, the tech giant made the software authentication feature official, thus making the process much faster. It is the new way for the developers to add HomeKit support to their existing accessories while protecting privacy and security.

To sum it up, Apple has baked in a ton of other groundbreaking features in iOS 11 including Siri translations, a new Do Not Disturb while driving feature, a smarter iPhone keyboard and more. If you’re looking to test these features, you can find the latest pre-release version here.

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