iOS 11 Beta 4: 15 New Features and Changes


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The fourth iOS 11 beta is here and it brings some much-needed interface tweaks to the Cover Sheet and Control Center. As this is the fourth beta, Apple is continuing to refine the UI for new features, instead of introducing new features. Here’s everything new in iOS 11 Beta 4.

1. Notification Center Gets Swipe Options Back

Notification tweaks continue as we get into the fourth beta. This time, it’s bringing back the functionality we’re all used to – swipe options. And there’s a bit of a twist as to how they’re implemented.

You’ll now be able to swipe left and right on a notification, on both the Lock screen and Notification Center.

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Swipe left to reveal the contextual options like Reply, Clear and so on. Swipe right and you’ll see a new Open button here.

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The really cool thing about this new system is that if you keep swiping to the other edge of the screen, you’ll automatically perform the designated action. So swipe all the way to the right to clear the notification and swipe all the way to the left to open it in the corresponding app.

2. New Touch ID Message When Tapping on Notifications

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Yes, we can now touch on notifications to open them. This time, if you do it when your iOS device is locked, you’ll see a new full-screen sheet that asks you to authenticate with Touch ID before you can open the app.

3. “Fake 3D Touch” No Longer Works

In the previous betas, devices without 3D Touch could get the same functionality using a long press. In Notifications, this meant a long press would show contextual options. Now, at least in the Notification Center, this functionality is gone. If you press and hold on a notification on an iPhone 6, nothing happens. Curiously, this is still present on the iPads though.

4. New Icons for Stock Apps

While it’s not going to set the world on fire, iOS 11 Beta 4 slightly tweaks icons for stock apps. Apps like iTunes Store, Stocks, Weather, Home, Notes, Phone, Photos, and iBooks have newer icons. The most intriguing change is the icon for the Music app. Let me know what you think of the new icon in the comments below.

5. Control Center Visual Updates Continue

With Beta 4, Apple continues to tweak Control Center. This time, there are brand new animations for when you interact with controls. Low Power Mode and Screen Recording get new animations when you tap the control.

Timer icon gets an update as well. Plus, when the timer is running, the icon changes to blue and it animates to show that the timer is running.

6. Screen Recording Gets Better

Now, when you tap the Screen Recording control, you’ll get a 3-2-1 countdown right in the control before the recording starts. This should give everyone ample time to get away from Control Center and back to the screen they want to record. After the countdown, there’s a subtle animation as the control turns red to show that it’s now recording the screen.

Also, the Screen Recording widget text is back to being “Start Recording”. In Beta 3 it was changed to “Start Broadcast”, leading some to believe that live broadcast feature would make it to iOS 11 in future. Looks like that’s not going to happen.

7. Updates Tab in App Store Can Be Refreshed

You can now simply pull down to refresh the Updates tab in App Store to load up newer app updates.

8. New Splash Page for Notes

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Notes splash page gets an update. It now highlights the document scanning, instant notes, and new formatting features.

9. New Splash Page for Photos

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There’s a new splash page for Photos app, detailing features like Live Photos effects, Live Photos editing and new Memories features.

10. Wi-Fi Icon Slightly Tweaked

Wi-Fi Icon in Beta 4 has been tweaked. The lines are a bit thicker now.

11. New AirDrop Section in Settings

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AirDrop gets its own new section in Settings – > General. From here you can change AirDrop setting from enabled, limited to contacts or open to everyone.

12. iCloud Message Sync is Relocated

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iCloud Message Sync now shows up as a toggle in the iCloud section. Previously it was in the Messages section.

13. Storage Capacity Update

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In the About section, the storage capacity now shows the marketing material (32/128/256) instead of showing the actual storage space available on the device (which was always a bit less).

14. App Switcher

When you close all open apps in the App Switcher, it will close automatically and you’ll be back to the Home screen. When there are no apps open in App Switcher and you try to double tap the Home button, App Switcher won’t open.

15. Other Bug Fixes

As this is the fourth beta, a lot of annoying bugs have been squashed. This time, the App Store Update All button has been fixed. On the Home screen, Spotlight Search gesture works as advertised and when moving an app, it’s dropped at the proper location.

Are You Running The iOS 11 Betas?

The new public beta should be out in a day or two. Are you running the developer or public beta for iOS 11? Is it on your daily driver? What do you think of the new iOS 11 features so far? Share with us in the comments below.

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