Apple’s mobile operating system is one of the cornerstones of its business, and it’s some of the most-used software in the world. iOS 11 was announced at WWDC on 5 June 2017 alongside the release of developer beta. Following announcements made at Apple’s Special Event, iOS 11 will be heading to general release on 19 September.
Here we round up all of the latest news about Apple’s newest mobile OS and break down its key features.
iOS 11 latest news
18/09/2017: Apple announced last week that iOS 11 will be available from 19 September, which is tomorrow.
The update will not cost users anything and has a range of new features including better ways to multitask, a new Apple Pencil, AR technology and more.
Features which enterprise customers will find useful include the new security innovations and the Files App, which brings a user’s files together in one place.
There will also be a new app store, a smarter Siri and the ability to customise the Control Center.
The tech giant held a conference at its new theatre in Cupertino where it announced the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as well as unveiling the iPhone X.
The iPhone X pre-orders open on 27 October and it is scheduled to be released on 3 November. It will be priced at £999 in the UK and $999 in the US and has a 5.8in screen, the largest of any iPhone. It has no home button and has FaceID, Apple’s new biometric authentication system, to replace the fingerprint reader.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 8 opened last Friday and it is due to hit retail stores on 22 September.
Apple also showed off the new LTE Apple Watch Series 3, which it emerged at the end of last week will not support international roaming.
Customers found out about the Apple 4K HDR TV and the company also said the watchOS 4 will be available from tomorrow too.
13/09/2017: Can iOS 11 make the iPhone X an enterprise hit?
Apple announced yesterday that its iOS 11 update is set to release on 19 September, which is just six days away.
With the 12 September launch of the iPhone 10 (X), we asked analysts whether iOS 11’s enterprise features will be enough to make the device a success in the enterprise, given Apple’s $25 billion stake in deploying its devices in businesses.
It will have a host of new features, including the do not disturb when driving function, where users will not receive notifications if the device senses you are driving. Siri is also able to learn from users to become even more helpful, thanks to advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Roberta Cozza, a research director at Gartner, told IT Pro that iOS 11’s security innovations will be a boon to the enterprise.
“The enterprise grade enhancements that we have seen with the iOS 11 release earlier this year will build further on the security and device management foundation that Apple has built over the years, release after release, around security and manageability for the iPhone (and the iPad),” she said.
“The new iOS 11 features around NFC access, updates to DEP, [and] Business Chat are a just few of the latest additions and effort to deliver and improve enterprise experience around their iphone and the iPad.”
She is also interested in its new AR functionality, saying: “The new 3D camera functionality should have an impact faster adoption of new ways of user authentication (ie 3D facial recognition … to unlock the iPhone, and Apple Pay).”
The other feature enabled by the iPhone X’s 3D camera will be AR apps via iOS 11’s ARKit platform, and Cozza said this could help B2B despite its currently Animoji consumer focus.
“If Apple will manage to grow and engage the developer community there is a great potential for AR apps also for verticals markets like education, remote training, retail for example,” she said. “Businesses are already today benefitting from AR solutions, and pilots and implementations here are growing fast.”
Cozza’s colleague, Annette Zimmermann, highlighted the Files App for enterprise customers, an application which brings a user’s files together in one place. This includes files on a user’s iPad, in apps, on other iOS devices, in iCloud drive and across other services such as Box and Dropbox.
Apple unveiled iOS 11’s release date at its live event in California yesterday. At the same time, it told the world about its £999 iPhone X, the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as well as the Apple Watch Series 3.
19:16: Apple iOS 11 arriving on 19 September
Apple has announced that iOS 11 will be available for everyone from 19 September. That means in one week Apple users will be able to use the new OS and all the new features that come with it.
The news was unveiled to the world at Apple’s event in California. At the time of writing, the iPhone X has just been unveiled too.
iOS 11 release date and availability
The first iOS 11 beta was released in June at Apple’s WWDC keynote. Following a total of ten public betas, Apple has now set an official date of 12 September for its general release.
This bucks the trend somewhat, as Apple usually makes the latest version of its OS immediately available for download when it reveals the latest generation of iPhone – in this case, the iPhone X. Instead, it will arrive a full week after the phone’s debut.
As with all iOS updates, iOS 11 will be freely available to Apple customers with compatible devices. This time around, the minimum supported devices are: iPhone 5s and upwards, iPad Mini 2 and upwards, iPad 5 and upwards, and all iPad Air and iPad Pro models.
iOS 11 features
iOS 11 brings with it a number of new features, including both surface-level cosmetic tweaks and seriously meaty feature upgrades. There’s a slew up updates, but here are the biggest things that Apple is introducing with its latest iOS version.
Apple has improved its signature AI voice assistant for 2017’s range of devices, making its male and female voices more expressive and natural, enabling them to adjust intonation and pitch as well as emphasis and tempo.
It’s now able to translate English words and phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish, and can offer more personalisation based on use of Apple’s Safari, News, Messaging and Mail apps, suggesting topics you search for on Safari when you’re typing an email, for instance.
A big new feature for iOS 11 is the inclusion of augmented reality, with iPad and iPhone developers encouraged to use their built-in camera and motion sensors with the new ARKit to layer virtual elements on top of the real world for a different take on apps and games.
Apple’s upgraded Portrait Mode to take pictures with optical image stabilisation, True Tone flash and HDR, to make them better-looking than ever. While Memory movies can now play in both landscape and portrait modes, Apple is conscious of your storage space, so uses High-Efficiency Image File Format to halve the size of every photo you take on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (and presumably on the iPhone 8, too).
Apple Pay person-to-person payments
Apple Pay gets ever more convenient with iOS 11, now allowing you to not only pay over the counter with contactless technology, but pay friends simply by sending an iPhone-to-iPhone text using Messages. For the first time, Apple is also allowing users to authorise payments using facial recognition, using its new FaceID technology. If voice is more your bag, you can use Siri to pay someone with the debit or credit cards you have stored in Wallet. Recipients can transfer the money from their Apple Pay Cash account into their bank account, or use it to buy things using Apple Pay.
Disable Touch ID
Apple has also added a feature that allows users to bypass the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in order to make an call to the emergency services. By tapping the Touch ID button five times on a compatible iPhone, iOS 11 will bring up the option to dial emergency services without the need to enter a password to make the call.
The idea is the new feature is to ensure that iPhones can still be useful in situations where the user might be in danger or if they are having difficulty dialling the emergency services, or if they are unconscious and someone else needs to use their smartphone to make a emergency call.
Furthermore, the five rapid taps disable Touch ID and revert into requiring a password to be tapped in to the handset in order to activate it; a useful feature in situations where the user may be forced to unlock their phone using Touch ID, for example by authorities seeking to make people unlock their phones with their fingerprint in order to access their data.
The fingerprint scanner will then be disabled until the user puts in their password which will then switch Touch ID back on. Essentially, the additional feature adds another privacy option into the security suite of iOS 11.
12/09/2017: Apple iOS 11 makes it harder for police to access a user’s data
Apple is said to have increased security measurements on iOS 11 which are set to be announced today.
Researchers and analysts who have had early access to iOS 11 claim the new features have been designed to make it harder to extract data from Apple’s iPhone without a six digit passcode, as reported by Wired.
Apple has also ensured that iPhones connected to unfamiliar computers would need a user to enter their passcode on their device in order for it to recognise the new machine.
The tech giant has included a “SOS mode” which is activated by tapping the home button five times. This will launch a lock screen with options for making an emergency call or providing an owner’s medical information. Additionally, it also disables TouchID and the phone will need a passcode to be unlocked. This ensures users can disable TouchID, if it’s included in the new device, and their data cannot be accessed that way.
This could help if Apple includes FaceID in its new device, as then a user can disable the feature so it cannot be used when it’s out of their hands.
In April 2016, Apple hired an encryption industry legend called Jon Callas to help strengthen its security following the privacy battle with the FBI. Apple was said to have a proactive approach in scaling up its security following the landmark legal case over whether the company could help the FBI to break the encryption on one of its products.
The FBI wanted to obtain data from the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers, but abandoned the case and paid a third party $1.3 million to hack the device instead.
Today Apple is set to unveil its iPhone 8 and potentially information about products such as the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K. An Apple insider released the iOS golden firmware (GM) code on Friday in a huge leak which spilled a lot of details about Apple’s new devices.
11/09/2017: Massive Apple leak hints at upcoming iOS 11 features
A major data leak over the weekend has given the public a glimpse as to what Apple has lined up for its special event tomorrow, including its plans for iOS 11.
The leak to several news sites lays bare iOS 11’s ‘Golden Master’ code, the firmware for the final release version of Apple’s mobile operating system, pointing to a host of features that relate to existing and future models of iPhones and iPads. The big hardware reveal was that the iPhone 8 will be called the iPhone X.
One area that will see some significant upgrades is the camera, which will receive an upgraded ‘Portrait Lighting’ mode, a similar feature to the portrait mode on the iPhone 7 that’s designed to give a better impression of picture depth.
Portrait Lighting modes include Natural Light, Stage Light, Stage Light Mono, Contour Light, and Studio Light.
No iOS update would be complete without a new set of emojis, only this time they are animal-themed. ‘Animojis’ are Apple’s latest set, which will animate traditional emojis based on the user’s facial expressions and voice, in what seems to be a feature based on Snapchat’s filters.
There’ll also be a host of new wallpapers with iOS 11, although there won’t be any dynamic wallpaper additions this time round. What users will get is a selection of retro options, with six-colour bands.
iOS 11 will be compatible with iPhone 5S and up, as well as iPad Mini 2 and iPod Touch 6th gen and newer. As is the case with previous years, we’re expecting the OS to launch either ahead or alongside the official launch of Apple’s new hardware.
07/09/2017: The tenth beta version of iOS 11 is now available for developers to try out, with the ninth public beta also being released.
There are no new front-facing features and it’s a 40MB download, according to Neowin. The publication also warns that if users are upgrading from earlier betas, such as 5 or 6 (which translate to public beta 4 or 5) there may be problems installing the new build. In order to prevent it from stalling indefinitely, users should delete the seed causing the problem and then reinstall the beta.
Access to the developer beta is available for users who have a developer account, which costs $99 a year, and the next beta installment can be downloaded from Apple’s developer website. If you’re not a developer, you can enroll in Apple’s public beta programme and try it out that way.
iOS 11 was unveiled at WWDC in June and is compatible with iPhone 5s and above, iPad 5th generation and above, and iPod Touch 6th generation devices.
It’s worth backing up your device before installing any beta software, or any updates to the builds, in case something goes wrong. Make sure you save any photos you value elsewhere too. If you want to return to iOS 10, simply connect your device to a Mac, open up iTunes and restore a previous version of the software from any backups made before updating.
09/08/2017: The fifth beta of Apple’s iOS 11 platform has been released to developers willing to pay $99 a year to access the first iterations of its new operating system.
If you’re in the public beta test group for iOS 11, you’ll be able to force your iPhone or iPad to update to the latest version in the next few days via its settings menu, although there’s normally a short wait while the company tests it won’t completely brick devices.
As you should expect from any update not officially released in the public domain, iOS 11 beta 5 isn’t the final iteration that will be freely available to all iPhone and iPad owners when it’s publicly released in September. This means you’ll need to be prepared for crashes, freezes and other bugs and TechCrunch has recommended you don’t install it on a device you use as your main phone for this reason.
The iOS 11 beta 5 doesn’t add much but some bug fixes to the previous test version. Despite ‘Messages in the Cloud’ rumoured to debut in this version, it has now been delayed as Apple attempts to finesse its performance. “Users can continue to receive and store messages on each device and they can continue to backup and restore messages using iCloud backup,” the release notes explained.
27/06/2017: Apple has launched the public beta of its latest iOS 11. The software is now out and ready to download for users.
The operating system was unveiled earlier this month at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Developers have already had access to earlier builds for testing and software development, but today marked the first time the general public can use the software to test out its new features and give any feedback on bugs.
iOS 11 is compatible with iPhone 5S and above, iPad 5th generation and above and iPod Touch 6th generation devices.
As with the iOS 10 public beta, users will need to enrol once again for the new beta programme to download and install iOS 11. To do this, head to beta.apple.com and register your device. Then sign up using your Apple ID. Once that is done, Apple then asks users to accept an agreement before going into the public beta programme.
Users can click on ‘enrol your device’ and select iOS 11. Users will then have to install a configuration profile and restart their device. Once that is done, users can head into Settings and Software Update and follow the instructions to download and install iOS 11.
Before installing any beta software, it is always a good idea to make a backup of the device in iTunes as well as importing any photos into Photos.
If you want to go back to iOS 10, simply connect the iOS device to a Mac and open up iTunes to restore a previous version of the software from any backup made prior to updating.
15/06/2017: Apple has finally lifted the lid on iOS 11, announcing a slew of new features, improvements to the Siri assistant and a redesigned App Store across both iPhone and iPad.
The forthcoming OS update promises significant upgrades to the Siri smart assistant, which will now pool together learning from each owned Apple device, increasing the speed and accuracy of recommendations. That collective learning was demonstrated onstage at the WWDC San Jose event, showing Siri accurately recognising ‘Reykjavik’ as an associated word to the search term ‘Iceland’, which was then used as a suggested word in a message.
Siri, which is now used on 375 million devices, will now feature more realistic female and male voices, and be able to deliver more expressive speech patterns across a number of different languages. Translation support was also added. Initially, Siri will be able to translate English into French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and Italian, although this will be expanded upon in the coming months.
Other notable improvements include added functionality to Apple Pay, allowing you to transfer payments directly to another person – including through an integration with Messages – and a new ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ mode, which filters out unnecessary messages and replies with an automated response.
iPad users are also getting a brand new App Dock and App Switcher UI, making it easier to multitask across apps, as well as a sorely needed Drag-and-Drop feature allowing for content to be seamlessly shared between open apps. As predicted, the Files app will also be making its way to iPad, with added support from third-party cloud storage providers including Box and Dropbox.
The App Store has also received a face-lift, which centres on the use of tabs for apps and games. This visibly makes the store a far more engaging experience – user reviews are placed front and centre, while developer interviews and stories help give the user an idea of how the app was made.
Apple’s Drag and Drop feature on the iPad
iMessage data will now be synced across Apple devices using end-to-end encryption, and the app drawer has also been updated to make it easier to add apps and stickers into messages.
Apple has also made improvements to way photos are taken and stored on your device. HEVC coding will now feature as standard for video content on iOS 11, while photos will now use Apple’s own High-Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format. These new formats promise to halve the size of every photo and video taken on the iPhone 7, drastically reducing the amount of device and cloud storage used.
Developers were also treated to a live demo of Apple’s new ‘ARKit’, a tool that allows for the creation of AR apps using cameras and sensors built into current iPhone 7 models. The impressive toolkit promises to be simple to use, enabling developers to create similar experiences to the recent Pokemon Go craze.
Apple also announced a machine learning developer kit known as ‘Core ML’, a suite of AI driven tools that will help developers build apps that can learn and predict. Impressively, the kit uses a framework that is powered locally on an iOS device, rather than through a cloud service.
Other announcements include:
- A revamped control centre that packs all functions into a single pane
- Simplified notifications centre that is accessible from the lock screen
- Improvements to the Navigation app for speeds and lane guidance
- HomeKit will now support speakers and AirPlay 2 protocol
- Added social functions to Apple Music, which will now display what your friends are listening to
iOS 11 is available in developer preview today, with a public beta programme going live by the end of the month. The OS will be available for free for users on iPhone 5s and upwards, as well as all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, fifth-generation iPads and iPad Mini 2 and later.