Apple Releases iOS 11 GM Ahead of September 19 Public Launch


ios 11 beta

Apple has been seeding developer builds of iOS 11, its next major version of its popular mobile operating system, for weeks. Now, leading up to the public launch of the platform, the golden master (GM) has finally been released.

As is par for the course with the GM release, this is the official last build version of the pre-release software. For all intents and purposes, this is the same software that the public will receive when iOS 11 is launched later in September.For developers it’s the final piece to the iOS 11 puzzle, letting them build their apps in the final build of the platform, and prepare their apps accordingly for their own public releases/updates.

As far as what’s new, here’s the rundown:

iOS 11 is an evolutionary update to iOS, with a major focus on improving iPad productivity. iOS 11 unifies lock screen and Notification Center, finally introduces a new Control Center, and brings major and minor redesigns for various stock apps. There’s an overarching design change in iOS 11 as well. While iOS 7 was all about minimalism and thinness, iOS 11 is all about being big and bold. This new design, with reduced information density, is starkest in the fully redesigned App Store.

On the iPhone, iOS 11 refines the features introduced in iOS 10. Here are the main features:

  • The Lock screen and Notification Center are merged so you can now swipe up on the Lock screen to view all your notifications, right there.
  • Control Center is back to being just one screen. There are now tiles that you can 3D Touch to expand to view more information.
  • Apple has redesigned the iMessage app drawer to make it easier to use.
  • You can now use Apple Pay to pay other Apple Pay users, right from the Messages app.
  • A potential end-all for syncing frustrations – iMessage, Siri, and Photos data will now sync between all your devices using iCloud.
  • Siri now has a more natural voice, supports translation and gets a small visual update. Siri also supports list and QR code apps.
  • App Store gets a big new redesign to make it look more like Apple Music. There are new tabs for Today, Apps and Games view.
  • Do not Disturb While Driving feature automatically disables all notifications when you’re driving.
  • When you take a screenshot, you’ll now get a little preview of it in the bottom-left corner. Tap on it and you’ll be able to mark up the screenshot before saving it or sharing with anyone.
  • Files app replaces iCloud Drive app.

To see how all these new features work, read our in-depth coverage of the best iOS 11 features for iPhone.

The iPad finally gets the productivity love it deserves.

  • There’s a new Mac-like Dock that lets you add more than 6 icons and shows recent apps.
  • Slide Over now works by dragging an app from the Dock.
  • There’s a new App Switcher that integrates the Dock, Control Center, Spaces, and apps.
  • You can finally drag and drop files, links, text, and images between two apps.
  • Using Apple Pencil, you can now just start drawing anywhere inline in Notes and Mail app.
  • Tap your Apple Pencil on the Lock screen to directly open the recently used note in the Notes app.

To learn more about how the iPad exclusive features work and what they look like, read our in-depth article about the best iOS 11 features for iPad.

We’ve also got the best coverage of all the small and hidden features in iOS 11, which includes some really useful features like screen recording, a customizable Control Center, the ability to type to Siri and more.

The GM build of iOS 11 is available now for registered developers. The public launch will happen on September 19.

Update:

The build number of iOS 11 GM is 15A372. If the build number of the iOS 11 public release is the same then you won’t need to install an update. If the build number is different you will get an OTA update to install the new iOS 11 update.

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