Earlier this month, we covered everything you need to know about iOS 11 as outlined at Apple’s developer conference. Now, however, the public beta has arrived and we can finally see the new changes for ourselves. While it’s not a massive overhaul, iOS 11 brings with it a host of handy features designed to simplify your everyday life.

We’ve already seen “Dark Mode,” but looking through the beta uncovers small but incredibly useful features. There’s a new wifi tool that lets you share your wifi password without having to go to your router to find it, a one-handed keyboard, as well as a safety-conscious SOS feature that lets you call emergency services on lock screen.

Major features like the App Store, Photos and Notes and Files also got updated. Scroll through to read about our favorites, then decide if you want to download the beta or wait until the iOS is publicly unveiled this fall.


A new “iPhone Storage” menu lets users manage their storage and helps them minimize wasted space. It includes handy shortcuts like “offload unused apps” or “auto-delete old conversations,” telling users how much space they’ll save.

Live Photos

Apple has just made Live Photos a lot more interesting. You can now edit live photos to turn them into a boomerang with the Bounce feature, Loop them with the well-named Loop feature, and now your phone will rival a DSLR with the Long Exposure feature that helps you capture images with that signature motion blur effect.

Once the image is taken, you can then mute the sound, change the preview key photo and trim the live photos

Control Center

Apple has redesigned the look of the Control Panel and updated it to make it customizable. You can now add 17 shortcuts to the control center, including Low Power mode, Notes, Voice Memo, Alarm, Wallet, and Do Not Disturb While Driving.

Screen Recording

Also found on the control panel is a new feature which lets you easily record a video of whatever’s happening on your screen, whether that be an Instagram story, Snap, or something entirely unrelated.

Notes and Files

Notes finally got an update with new formatting options, a document scanner and a markup feature that lets you edit screenshots and convert them into PDFs. Files now lets you manage your files across multiple devices and accounts, which will be expanded to other cloud services like Google Drive once the iOS is out of beta.

App Store

The app store itself got an update with a full redesign. The new store’s landing page is a screen called “Today” that updates users about featured apps and suggesting fun apps for road trips or when you don’t have internet. In the rest of the store, Apple has divided games from other apps to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

For people with older iPhones, or who just really like throwback versions of apps, the new iOS 11 comes with bad news. All 32-bit apps are deleted within the app store, and previously downloaded ones will cease to work.

How to get the Beta

If you want to try the beta for yourself, simply head over to Apple’s beta site, enroll your phone and download the beta as you would any other update. Remember though, the new iOS is still far away from being officially released. Alongside all these new features the beta could be buggy, not everything will work properly, and you could potentially end up breaking your phone — so proceed with caution.

In other tech news, this secret trick lets you post photos to Instagram directly from your Mac.

News & Culture Editor

Berlin-based writer and Rihanna enthusiast.

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