125 Awesome iOS 11 Features and Changes


iOS 11 features

Apple has finally revealed the iOS 11 update to the world. While it won’t be out for public until Fall 2017, we’ve got our hands on the iOS 11 beta for iPhone and iPad and we’ve been having fun digging around.

If you’re curious about all the new iOS 11 features and changes and how exactly they work, just keep reading.

Top New iOS 11 Features and Changes

1. Redesigned Lock Screen

iOS 11 lock screen notifications

While it might not look like it, the Lock screen has been redesigned in iOS 11. If you don’t have Touch ID or a passcode set up, you’ll be able to swipe up to unlock your device. Both Lock screen and Notification Center have been merged and behave in the same way.

So instead of swiping down from the top of the screen, you swipe up from the middle of the Lock screen to reveal all notifications.

2. Redesigned Notification Center

iOS 11 Notification Center redesign

When you’re in an app and you swipe down, you’ll see a new, redesigned Notification Center that will show the current notifications and the Now Playing card. To view all notifications, you need to swipe up.

iOS 11 Notification Center

Granted, this is a bit confusing and I hope Apple iterates on this approach before the final release.

3. New Lock screen Now Playing

iOS 11 Now Playing

When you’re playing something, it now shows up as a card in the Lock screen instead of taking over the entire screen.

4. Redesigned Control Center

iOS 11 Control Center

One of our biggest wishes has come true. Apple has finally redesigned Control Center. Now, it’s back to being just one page. Design wise, each tile has a dark background. There are some tiles that can be expanded to reveal more functionality. Like the toggles tile and the Now Playing tile.

When you 3D Touch the Now Playing tile, you’ll get access to audio outputs. The toggles tiles shows more toggles when expanded, including Cellular Data and Personal Hotspot.

5. Customizable Control Center

iOS 11 Control Center toggles

And it gets better. Control Center is customizable. Go to Settings -> Control Center and you’ll be able to add and remove several actions like Notes shortcut, Alarms, Magnifier and so on.

6. New Unlock Animation

iOS 11 Unlock Gesture

When you unlock your device by pressing on the Home button, the Lock Screen now pushes out by sliding up to reveal the Home Screen.

7. New Status Bar Icons

iOS 10 vs iOS 11 status bar

One of the subtle changes is in the Status bar. Instead of the bubbles, you now see a classic Nokia style cell range icon. The location icon is also hollow and the battery icon looks slightly different and more rounded.

8. Screen Recording

iOS 11 screen recording

One of the customizable toggles in Control Center is for Screen Recording. Tap on it and you’ll be able to start recording the screen. Tap on the blue bar on top to bring up the popup to stop recording. The video file is saved in Photos app.

9. Redesigned iMessage Apps Drawer

iOS 11 Messages iMessage Apps

Apple is trying to fix the iMessage apps discovery and usability problems by integrating a small, horizontal scrolling apps bar right in the bottom of the conversation view. Tap on an app icon to directly jump into the iMessage app. Tap and hold on the bar for a larger view of the apps, along with their names.

10. Redesigned Messages App

iOS 11 Messages Redesign

Like many other default apps, Messages app sees a redesign that puts a big bold Messages tag at the top of the messages view. There’s update in typography as well, with titles being a lot bolder across the app.

11. Redesigned Calculator App and Icon

iOS 11 Calculator app and icon

Calculator apps redesign makes it look more like the circular keypad in the Phone app. The new icon has a retro feel to it.

12. Do Not Disturb While Driving

Do Not Disturb While Driving is a new feature that automatically engages when you’re in a car. It’s built on top of Do Not Disturb so it automatically disables notifications from everyone except your Favorite contacts. When someone tries to contact you via iMessage, they’ll get a canned reply that you’re currently driving.

13. Siri Intelligence Throughout iOS 11

It looks like Siri is going to be everywhere on iOS 11, paying attention to things you do in apps like Safari and suggesting other actions. For example, it can prompt you to create a calendar event for a concert you just booked in Safari.

14. Same Siri For All Devices

Apple will now sync your personal data and customizations between all your devices (in a private and encrypted manner) so that the Siri experience across all devices is similar.

15. Siri’s Voice Is More Natural

Apple has made improvements in Siri’s speech engine to make it sound more natural and less robotic.

16. New Male Siri Voice

There’s a new male Siri voice as well, just as natural sounding.

17. New Siri Visual UI

iOS 11 Siri Visual update

Siri’s UI has also been slightly tweaked. There’s more space everywhere, and the replies are in bold and Siri now presents multiple results instead of just one.

Plus, the text is now left-aligned. There’s also an always animating Siri orb in the bottom and a much clearer, Tap to Edit button that lets you change your command.

18. Translation Feature in Siri

While it’s in Beta, Siri is bringing translation support for Chinese, French, German, and Italian, and Spanish.

19. Ability To Type To Siri

iOS 11 type to Siri

If you go to General -> Accessibility -> Siri and turn on Type to Siri, you’ll now get a type only UI in Siri. Unlike Google Assistant, there’s no option to have both voice and typing feature side-by-side. Which is a shame.

20. Lists and QR Code Support in SiriKit

SiriKit iOS 11 Apps

Siri can now support two more kinds of apps – lists and QR Codes. You’ll be able to ask Siri to display your QR code from an app so that your friend can scan it. And you’ll be able to add things to a to-do list app like Todoist right from Siri.

21. App Store Redesign

App Store sees its first redesign since it launched 9 years back. The app’s redesign looks like the Music app, with big cards and horizontal swiping lists.

22. Today Tab in App Store

iOS 11 App Store redeisgn Today Tab

Along with a new tab for Apps and Games, there’s an entirely new Today tab. This will be a great way for users to discover new apps, videos, in-app purchases, features and more everyday.

23. Person to Person Apple Pay

Apple will now let users pay each other using Apple Pay. It works using the iMessage app that’s integrated in iMessage threads. You’ll be able to enter the amount, pay from your connected card and authenticate using Touch ID.

24. Apple Pay Cash

When you recieve money using Apple Pay, it will go to your Apple Pay cash. You can use this wallet balance to pay for apps, to other users or to transfer to your bank.

25. Apple Music Friends Network

Apple Music now lets you have your own public profile that people can follow. When you’re in the For You tab, you’ll see icons for people who have listened to or liked the songs and albums. So you have an idea what your friends are listening to.

26. Photos App Redesign

iOS 11 Photos app redesign

Photos app also sees a minor redesign like the Messages and Notes apps.

27. Memories UI and Technology Overhaul

The Memories tab has been overhauled in UI and the technology. Memories engine is now much smarter and will automatically create videos for your pets, your kids and more. They also have a new style when it comes to text.

28. Portrait Memories Videos

Memories videos are generated intelligently and just like Snapchat’s Spectacles, they’ll automatically adjust themselves when you switch from landscape to portrait mode.

29. Live Photos Effects: Loop, Bounce, Long Exposure

iOS 11 Photos app Live Photos Effects

To add an effect to a Live Photo, just swipe up and select one from the Effects left. There are three cool effects. Loop lets you loop the effect like a GIF. Bounce adds a reverse effect that looks like a Boomerang. Long Exposure does a really cool thing that adds long exposure effect to the moving parts of the photo, while the background stays still.

30. Live Photo Editing: Trim, Mute, Key Photo

iOS 11 Editing Live Photo

When viewing a Live Photo, tap the Edit button. You’ll now see all frames in the Live Photo in bottom. Select a frame and tap on Make Key Photo to make it the main image. To mute the Live Photo, tap on the speaker in the top-left. To trim a Live Photo, grab the handles at either side of the frames and pull them in.

31. Indoor Mapping in Maps App

Apple Maps indoor

Maps app brings indoor mapping for hundreds of Malls across the world. They’ll also be adding Airpots in future.

32. Lane Guidance in Maps App

When you’re navigating in Maps, you’ll now also get lane guidance for making the turns.

33. New Files App Replaces iCloud Drive

iOS 11 iPad Files app

Files replaces the iCloud Drive as the preinstalled app when you update to iOS 11 on iPhone and iPad. Files app gives you access to files on your device, along with services like iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Box and more.

The app lets you create folders to manage your file structure. There’s tagging support as well.

34. Markup Screenshots

iOS 11 Screenshot markup

When you take a screenshot on iPhone or iPad, you’ll see a preview for it in the bottom-left corner. Tap on it and you’ll be able to mark it with a doodle, annotation, text, signature and more. When done, you can save it to Photos or share it to any app using the Share sheet.

35. Makeshift Dark Mode Using Smart Invert Colors Feature

iOS 11 Invert colors Dark mode 2

There’s a new setting in Accessibility -> Display Accommodations -> Invert Colors called Smart Invert. It inverts the colors for just the UI elements and text and not images and rich media. So what you end up with is a version of a dark mode, especially in apps like Settings (but it doesn’t work so well across the OS).

36. iPad: The Dock

ios 11 iPad new Dock

There’s a new, Mac style floating Dock on the iPad. You can now add more than 6 icons here. And your recent apps and Continuity apps show up in the far right edge.

37. iPad: New Slide Over

iOS 11 iPad Split View

Instead of swiping in from the right edge to bring up Side Over, you now swipe up when you’re in an app to bring up the Dock. Tap on an app in the dock and bring it up to expand it as a floating bubble. You can dock it to the left/right edge. Or swipe it away.

38. iPad: New Multitasking System

iOS 11 iPad Multitasking docking

To actually dock an app to the right/left side of the running up, bring up the Dock, and drag an app icon to the far edge of the screen till you see the dark edge.

iOS 11 iPad Split View

Then drop the app. Use the handle bar to adjust the width.

39. iPad: New App Switcher

iOS 11 new App Switcher

Swipe all the way up from the bottom of the screen, double click the Home button or swipe up using four fingers to reveal the new App Switcher. This now integrates apps, spaces, Dock and even Control Center. Tap and hold on apps or spaces to get the option to close them.

40. iPad: Drag and Drop

iOS 11 iPad drag and drop

When two apps are open side by side, you’ll be able to drag text, links, images and files between the two apps.

41. iPad: Handwriting Recognition in Notes App

ios 11 ipad features 3

When you write using Apple Pencil in Notes app, Apple will be able to scan the text and index it in Spotlight so you’ll be able to get back to your handwritten notes using Search. We don’t know if other features like text export are supported yet. This feature works over iCloud so you can even search your handwritten notes from your iPhone.

42. iPad: Unlock with Apple Pencil

On the Lock Screen, just tap with your Apple Pencil to open your most recently used note in Notes app.

43. iPad: QuickType Keyboard Flick Gesture

iOS 11 iPad QuickType Flick Keyboard

On the iPad keyboard, just swipe down any key to type the alternative character.

44. iPad: Inline Drawing

ios 11 ipad features 4

In Notes and Mail app, just start doodling with the Apple Pencil to create a sketch.

45. One Handed Keyboard

iOS 11 one handed keyboard

iPhone 6 and above users can tap and hold the Globe key to dock the keyboard either to the left/right side of the screen, making it easier to type with one hand.

46. Redesigned Storage Management Section

iOS 11 iPhone Storage settings

Storage and Cloud Usage section in Settings is now renamed to iPhone Storage. It has a new UI that shows a graph of storage space by apps, photos, media and other.

46. Offload Unused Apps

A new feature in iPhone Storage section automatically deletes old and unused apps when you’re low on storage. All of the app’s data and documents are saved.

47. Unified Siri and Search Section

iOS 11 Siri and Search Settings page

There’s a new Siri & Search section in Settings tab that unifies both Siri and Search sections.

48. New Accounts and Passwords Section

iOS 11 Accounts and passwords

There’s a new section called Accounts & Passwords that lists all your Mail and Contacts accounts, along with all the passwords saved on the device.

49. AirPods Settings

AirPods Music Playback

iOS 11 now lets you customize actions for individual AirPod. So you can double tab left one for Siri and right one for Play/Pause. There’s also new actions for Next and Previous tracks.

50. Automatic Setup

When you buy a new iPhone running iOS 11, you’ll be able to copy over passwords, data and apps easily from your old device. During setup, you’ll see the Automatic Setup section. At that time, just bring your old iPhone closer to the new one to start the transfer.

51. New App Store and iTunes Store Icons

iOS 11 App Store and iTunes Store icons

52. New Passcode UI

iOS 11 passcode

The new passcode UI has buttons without borders and bolder text.

53. Phone App Redesign

Phone app bolder text iOS 11 UI

Phone app also gets huge titles in all tabs, bolder titles and the keypad looks like the Passcode.

54. New Spotlight UI Design

iOS 10 vs iOS 11 Spotlight search

Now, when you search for an app in Spotlight, it will show up in the Siri Suggestions box, instead of a list. And right, below you’ll get autocomplete like search lists.

55. No Labels in Dock

iOS 10 vs iOS 11 home screen

On both the iPhone and iPad, the Dock no longer has labels for apps and folders.

56. Persistent Status Bar for Location Services

Whenever an app is using location in the background, you’ll see a persistent bar at the top. This is great for spotting when apps like Uber keep using location even after you’ve left the app. But it’s not so great for apps like Moves.

57. 32 Bit Apps No Longer Supported

While you’ll still find them on the App Store, you can no longer install 32 bit apps on iOS 11.

58. No Volume HUD When Playing Videos and Audio

When you’re playing a video or audio, you won’t see a Volume HUD take over the middle of the screen when you go to change the volume. Other times (and when adjusting the ringer), it still does show up.

59. FLAC Support

You can now play FLAC files in iOS 11 using the built-in media player.

60. Create PDF from Pages (and Mark up)

In Safari, in the Share sheet, there’s an option to covert the entire page into a PDF (on both iPhone and iPad). Plus, once coveted, you can start marking it up right there.

61. Quickly Share Screenshots

iOS 11 screenshot sharing

After taking a screenshot, tap on the preview in the bottom-left corner and then tap on the Share button to quickly send it to a device using AirDrop or to an app like WhatsApp.

62. New Purchases Overlay in App Store

When you got purchase a new app on App Store, you’ll see an Apple Pay style overlay before you confirm the purchase.

63. Seconds Option in Timer

iOS 11 timer seconds

You can now set Timers in seconds.

64. iMessages in iCloud (with Manual Sync)

iMessages can now live in iCloud and can be the same between all devices. There’s a toggle for it in the Settings and also an option to manually force the sync.

65. New iMessage Effects

iOS 11 iMessage effects

There are two new iMessage Effects – Echo and Spotlight.

66. Podcast App Redesign

iOS 11 Podcasts

Just like the App Store, the Podcasts app also sees an Apple Music style redesign.

67. Social Sharing Features in Apple Music

You can now create a profile in Apple Music, and follow people. Others listening recommendations will show up throughout the app.

68. UI Changes in Safari

iOS 11 Safari UI

In Safari, the URL bar is now more spaced out and tabs are more rounded out. Reading List UI also gets the huge headers.

69. Faster Scrolling in Safari

Scrolling in Safari now works the same way it does in the rest of the OS. The inertial scrolling is gone.

70. Create Tables in Notes

iOS 11 notes tables

There’s a new Tables option in the formatting bar in Notes.

71. Document Scanning in Notes

ios 11 iPad document scanning

In Notes, tap the + button and select Scan Documents to scan paper documents in color or gray scale. The borders will be selected automatically but you can always edit them yourself later.

72. Swipe Options in Notes

iOS 11 Notes options

Swipe in from the right edge to get the option to lock the note, move it or delete it.

73. Pin Notes to Top

iOS 11 notes pin notes

Swipe in from the left edge of a note in the list view and tap on the Pin button. It will now always show up at the top of the list.

74. Change Paper Style in Notes

From the Share menu, select Change Paper to get the option to get grid and lined paper options.

75. New Notes Typography

iOS 10 vs iOS 11 Notes

The typography in Notes app is slightly tweaked.

76. GIF Support in Photos App

You can now save and playback GIFs in the Photos app.

77. Create Watch Face from Photos App

When you’re viewing a photo, tap on the Share button and select Create Watch Face to make a watch face from the current photo.

78. Auto Answer Calls

This is an accessibility option. Basically, you can tell iOS to automatically answer any call after a set seconds.

79. Mail App Design Updates

Mail app also gets the huge headers and spaced out UI.

80. New Background Refresh Options

iOS 11 background app refresh

You can now select the Background App Refresh to only happen when connecting to Wi-Fi and not to Cellular data.

81. Prevent Cross Site Tracking in Safari

The new Apple feature that prevents sites from following you everywhere you go is enabled by default.

82. New Wallpaper

iOS 11 Lock screen

iOS 11 brings a new beach wallpaper.

83. New Numeric Keypad Design

iOS 11 New keypad

There’s a new, more button-like rectangular design for the keypad.

84. Disable Aut0 Join Feature by Networks

iOS 11 Wifi auto join

In Wi-Fi settings, you can now toggle auto-join feature based on each network.

85. Alerts look like Banners

iOS 11 Persistant notifications

Persistent alerts now look like banners and show up from the top of the screen instead of the middle.

86. Share Wi-Fi Passwords

When a friend of your comes over, and if they’re running iOS 11, you’ll now be able to log them into your network without them doing anything. When both devices are near, you’ll get an AirPods style popup asking if you’d like them to connect to your network.

87. Family iCloud Sharing

If you have a 200 GB or higher iCloud plan, you can now share it with your Family members.

88. HEVC (H265) Video Support

iOS 11 has officual HEVC support and that’s what Apple will use for recording videos, resulting in a 2x compression in size.

89. AirPlay 2

AirPlay 2 is the update to Apple’s audio stream format. AirPlay 2 now supports multi-room audio.

90. Kannada, Malayalam and Odia keyboards

91. Flashlight for iPads

iPads now get Flashlight controls in Control Center.

92. 3D Touch for Safari Tab Switcher

You can now switch between tabs quickly using 3D Touch.

93. Spotlight Tab in News App

You can now search through the News app.

94. iCloud File Sharing

You can now share files you have stored in iCloud Drive.

95. WebRTC Support

A big deal for the open, web-based audio and video interface format. Safari now supports WebRTC.

95. One Handed Zoom in Maps app

Just like Google Maps, you can now tap and hold with one finger in Apple Maps and swipe up and down to zoom in and out.

96. Scan QR Codes from Camera

Now, just open the Camera app and point to a QR code. iOS 11 will recognize it and if its a Wi-Fi QR code, it will even offer to connect to the network for you.

97. Dictation Works in Hindi

What could be a boon in India, the Dictation (Speech to text) feature now works in Hindi as well.

98. Move Multiple Apps on iPad

Tap and hold on an app and move it, now tap on other apps and you’ll select them too. Move to another page, release your finger and you’ll be moving multiple apps.

99. HEIF Replaces JPEG

Just like HEVC, HEIF is an open, compressed format for images. Apple will end up saving half the storage space. When you share photos, they’ll go out as JPEG though.

100. New Video Player UI

iOS 10 vs iOS 11 Video player

The new video player UI has a floating view and is dark. There are clearer buttons for Picture in picture and AirPlay.

101. Disable Recent Apps in Dock

From Settings -> Control Center you can now stop recent apps from showing up in the Dock on the iPad.

102. Disable Control Center in Apps

The newer betas also bring back the ability to disable Control Center when you’re in an app.

103. Settings for Do Not Disturb while Driving

Do Not Disturb While Driving

There are now dedicated settings items for Do Not Disturb while Driving mode. You can decide the auto reply message, and who to allow calls from.

104. New Advanced Settings for Safari

Safari’s Settings section adds a new section for Advanced Settings. You’ll find experimental features here.

105. AirPlay Button in Music Widget

ios 11 beta 3 features changes 3`

The Lock screen’s music widget now has an AirPlay button right there.

106. Better Search in Music App

When you search in the Music app, you’ll now get smarter results with links to directly search in artists, playlists and more.

107. Files App Share Extension

There’s a new Save to Files extension that lets you add anything to the Files app using the Share sheet.

108. Locations in Files App

iOS 11 beta 2 features and changes 13

Locations section in Files app has been enabled and you can now add sources like Dropbox.

109. Long Press Option for Screenshot Preview

iOS 11 screenshot share sheet

When you tap and hold the screenshot preview, you’ll now get the familiar Share sheet. So you can now share a screenshot to an app without ever opening the Photos app.

110. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Toggle Behavior Change

iOS 11 beta 3 features changes 5

In Beta 3, when you tap on the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth toggle, it doesn’t actually disable them. It just disconnects from the current network and temporarily disables the process for auto connecting to a new network.

111. Swipe Up to Quit Apps on iPad

ios 11 beta 3 features changes 3`

You can now swipe up on app previews in the App Switcher to quit apps.

112. AR Mode in Apple Maps App

Apple Maps Flyover Featured

Apple Maps’ Flyover feature now works on the ARKit technology. When you’re in it, you can move your device to basically fly around a city. It’s really cool.

113. Automatically Create Zips When Sharing Folders in Mail app

When you drag a folder from the Files app to the Mail app, it will automatically create a zip from the contents of the folder and attach it to the email.

114. Authentication API for Safari

Safari in iOS 11 has a new authentication API that will make it easier for apps and websites to log users in.

115. Safari View Controller Update

Safari View Controller has been redesigned so that when you 3D Touch a link that’s supported in the Safari format, it will no longer show top and bottom toolbars.

116. Content Blockers Work Again

As of iOS 11 beta 3, content blockers for Safari are once again functional.

117. New TV Providers

The TV Providers section in Settings adds new providers like Comcast but right now it’s just a list item that doesn’t go anywhere.

118. iMessage in the Cloud Counter

There’s now a counter that shows how many iMessage are yet to be uploaded to iCloud.

119. Thinner Screen Recording Bar

in Beta 3, the screen recording bar is now thinner, only highlighting the status bar.

120. Control Center Icons Are Colorful

Icons for the flashlight, low power mode and so on now have a colorful tint when they’re available.

121. AirPlay Works with Third Party Apps

As of Beta 3, AirPlay feature now works like it should when it comes to third party apps.

122. Control Center Music Widget Update

Music widget in Control Center now shows proper album art. And when you tap on the widget the source app opens directly.

123. Beta 3 Improves Unified Notifications

Beta 3 removes the extra swipe when you’re using Notification Center. Now, the Earlier Today just shows up as a section.

124. Control Center Is More Interactive

Now, when you 3D Touch something like the timer or alarm widget, you’ll be directly able to swipe up or down to increase or decrease the time. This wasn’t possible before Beta 3.

125. Icons in Control Center

The list items in Control Center now have icons.

Stay Tuned!

According to Apple, iOS 11 includes hundreds of new features and refinements, so we won’t rest till we find all of them. So don’t forget to bookmark this page for the complete list of iOS 11 features.

Your Favorite Features

What are some of your favorite iOS 11 features and changes? Share with us in the comments below.

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