At Apple’s 2017 WWDC yesterday, the tech company unveiled its new operating system — iOS 11.
Apple revealed it will include some exciting Maps and camera developments, as well as updates to Apple Pay, AirPlay and Apple Music that will make some competitors very nervous.
While these new features are exciting to most of us, there is some bad news for those with older phones. iOS 11 will only work on 64-bit devices, essentially rendering the iPhone 5 and 5C and the iPad 4 obsolete.
iOS 11 will be available to download in December, but until then, check out all of the changes in depth below.
iCloud iMessage storage
All iMessages on iOS devices will be automatically synchronized with iCloud, meaning if you delete a message on one device that will be reflected across all of them. Currently you have to delete messages twice, so this new update will definitely simplify life — if potentially making your messages slightly less secure.
In other iMessage news, stickers and iMessage apps will be saved in a shortcut drawer — meaning you no longer have to tap twice to access them.
Apple Pay is getting closer to other online payment apps like Venmo or PayPal, with a new update letting you send money to other Apple Pay users. Payments will go through iMessage, letting users use money with a new Apple Pay Cash Card, or withdraw it to a bank account.
Siri is getting a serious update for iOS 11. Not only is Siri’s voice getting more natural with more realistic inflections, but you can now use it to translate from English to Chinese, French, German and Italian.
Based on the rest of the data on your phone — including your calendar, emails, messages and what sites you’ve browsed — Siri will be able to understand the context of your life better and make suggestions accordingly. If someone asks how far away you are, Siri will suggest a reply based on your geo location and your calendar appointments. In a similar way to Google ads, Siri will also suggest topics of places to you, even adding languages to your autocorrect dictionary.
iOS 11 comes with a series of camera upgrades, including the switch a High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), reducing the amount of storage images take up on your iPhone. Portrait Mode images will be able to be taken with optical image stabilization, with a flash or in HDR.
You’ll also be able to make live photos loop, similar to the Boomerang feature on Instagram. Expanding on the Memories tab added last year, the Photos app will get a series of smart albums including a “#TBT” album to encourage any nostalgia-filled scrolling through your Photos app.
The control center has undergone a major overhaul. Now it’s a simple panel that users can swipe up to access important settings such as brightness, or change songs or adjust volume when listening to music, all on the single page.
Maps and Driving
Apple has added in a safety feature for driving, automatically activating a “Do Not Disturb” mode that will mute notifications and let you auto-reply to anyone who texts you. There is also added lane guidance and speed limits on Maps to help you navigate the roads better.
Apple is also making shopping and traveling easier by unveiling maps of malls and airports in select cities, including Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Tokyo, and Washington, DC.
The new AirPlay update will work in a similar way to Sonos, meaning you will be able to connect to multiple speakers via WiFi and control them via your phone. Libratone, Devialet, Bose and B&O and others will be supporting the updated AirPlay system.
Apple Music, meanwhile, is adding a social element to the app, letting you choose to share what you’re currently listening to in the same way as Spotify.
The iPad finally gets updated with a new dock similar to the Mac that allows users add more apps to it, alongside a new drag-and-drop feature letting you move info or media from one split screen to another. There will also be a new Files app that lets users browse files on the iPad and ones stored on the cloud.
In other tech news, Apple announces HomePod, a Siri home speaker to take on Amazon’s Echo.