How to Use All the iOS 11 Features on iPhone and iPad

How to Use iOS 11 Features on iPhone and iPad

iOS 11 brings incremental upgrades for the iPhone. But it completely changes how we use the iPad. From the new Control Center to the new multitasking system on the iPad, there are a lot of new features in iOS 11.

How to Use iOS 11 Features on iPhone and iPad

Read on for our complete guide on how to use all the new awesome features in iOS 11.

Lock screen and Notification Center

Lock screen and Notification Center are now merged into one Cover Sheet. This means that when you swipe down, you’ll now see the Lock screen.

Swipe Up in Lock screen To View Past Notifications

iOS 11 Lock screen Past Notifications

When you swipe down from the top of the screen, nothing happens. To get to the past notifications, you have to swipe up in the middle of the screen.

New Now Playing Widget

iOS 11 Lock screen and Notification Center 5

The Now Playing widget now has a small album art and a shortcut for opening the AirPlay feature.

Disable Notification Previews When Locked

iOS 11 Notification Preview Example

iOS 11 lets you hide notification messages from every single app when your phone is locked. To enable this feature, go to Settings -> Notifications -> Show Previews and select When Unlocked.

Read moreHow to Disable Notification Previews for All Apps on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11

Control Center

control center featuers ios 11 5

Control Center is redesigned and is back to being a one-page affair. Controls now have dark icons which animate based on the input. Widgets on top are expandable.

Customize Control Center

iOS 11 New Settings Customize Control Center

The best thing about the new Control Center is the customizable part. You can add extra functionality by adding more controls at the bottom of the page. Things like an Apple TV remote, screen recording functionality, Notes toggles and more. Go to Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls to get started.

Read moreHow to Customize iOS 11 Control Center

Record Your iPhone or iPad Screen

iOS 11 Screen Recording 3

After you’ve enabled Screen Recording toggle, just tap on it to start recording the screen, along with the audio. Tap on the red status bar when you’re done and the video will be saved in the Photos app.

Read moreHow to Record iPhone or iPad’s Screen without a Mac in iOS 11

Do Not Disturb While Driving

Do Not Disturb While Driving Urgent Message

This new feature stops you from using your phone when you’re driving. All notifications are disabled during this time as well (unless they’re urgent). You can set it up so that whenever your iPhone connects to your car Bluetooth, the feature is automatically enabled.

Go to Settings -> Do Not Disturb and from the Do Not Disturb While Driving section, tap on Activate. Here, select When Connected to Car Bluetooth.

Read moreHow to Use iOS 11’s New Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode to Stay Safe on the Road

Home screen

iOS 11 gets a new Dock on both the iPhone and iPad. On the iPhone, the apps no longer have a label.

Move Multiple Apps at Once

iOS 11 Move multiple apps home screen

Rearranging home screens got a whole lot easier. You can move multiple apps at once, and interact with the Home screen using two fingers at once.

Tap and hold on an app till it enters jiggle mode. Then use your other finger to select more apps. Use your other hand to navigate to another screen or folder. Release your finger and all the apps you were holding will more there.

Read moreHow to Move Multiple Apps at Once on iPhone Home Screen in iOS 11

Quickly Share Screenshots

iOS 11 screenshot share sheet

When you take a screenshot, you’ll see a preview in the bottom left corner. You can swipe it away. But if you tap and hold on it, it will bring up the Share sheet. This way you can quickly share the screenshot to a conversation or an app.

Quickly Markup Screenshots

When you tap on that screenshot preview, it will open the new Markup view. Here, you can doodle on the screenshot, crop it or annotate it. Then share it in a conversation or an app. When you hit Done, you can choose to save the screenshot to Photos app or to delete it. This way, screenshots won’t crowd up your Photos library.

Read more10 Tips on How to Use The New Screenshot Features in iOS 11

One Handed Keyboard Mode

ios 11 one handed keyboard 3

Tap on the Globe icon on the keyboard and you can select a left-handed or a right-handed keyboard. This makes it easy to type when you only have one hand free. Tap on the empty block to go back to the full sized keyboard.

Read moreHow to Use iPhone’s New One-Handed Keyboard in iOS 11

Profiles in Apple Music

You can now have a public profile in Apple Music. You can connect with your friends, see what they’re listening to, share your favorite music and more.


Scan Documents

ios 11 document scanning notes app 5

Open a new note, tap on the Plus button and select Scan Documents. You can now scan multiple documents automatically, in grayscale or photo mode. They’ll be saved in the Notes app and exporting them as a PDF to as easy as hitting the Share button.

Read moreHow to Scan Documents Using Notes App in iOS 11

Change Background Paper Style

iOS 11 Notes Change Paper Style 7

If you use your Pencil for handwritten notes, this feature will be really useful. In a new Note on the iPad, tap on the Share button and select Lines & Grids. Then choose a ruled paper or grid style.

Read moreHow to Change Background Paper Style in Notes App on iPad in iOS 11

Pin Notes

iOS 11 notes pin notes

Swipe all the way to the right on a note and you’ll pin it to the top of the list. Much easier to spot important notes now!

Take Notes from Lock screen

iOS 11 Notes App Features 1

Tap your Pencil on the iPad Pro’s Lock screen and you’ll open a new secret note where you can quickly jot things down. From Notes section in Settings, you can change the feature to open the last note created from the Lock screen instead.

Inline Drawing

Just put the Pencil to the Notes app and start drawing anywhere. No need to enter into the special sketching mode. This works in the Mail app as well.

There are more, smaller features in the Notes app. Read about them in our guide here: How to Use The New iOS 11 Features in Apple Notes on iPhone and iPad

Redesigned App Store

App Store has been redesigned in iOS 11. It has a similar design language to Apple Music now.

Explore the New Today Tab

iOS 11 New App Store Features iPhone and iPad 1

The first section you’ll see is the new Today tab. You’ll find daily featured apps, videos, stories and lists of apps here. If you’re looking for new and interesting apps, come here every day.

App and Game Sections

iOS 11 New App Store Features iPhone and iPad 3

Apps and Games sections have been separated. They each have their own top free, top paid sections and their own categories.

Disable Autoplay Videos

disable auto play App Store ios 11 1

Go to Settings -> iTunes & App Store -> Video Autoplay and turn it off. No more autoplay videos in the App Store.

Read moreHow to Use the New iOS 11 App Store on iPhone and iPad

New Podcasts App

Similar to the App Store, the Podcasts app is also redesigned. You’ll find the Apple Music style design and Now Playing screen. Even the queue management is same as the Music app.

You’ll find a new Listen Now section which lists your feed of new episodes. You’ll also find new recommendations for podcasts based on your listening habits.

Read moreHow to Use the New iOS 11 Podcasts App on iPhone and iPad


Siri’s voice in iOS 11 is more natural and it integrates intelligently with stock apps. You’ll see Siri suggestions in Apple News app to the Calendar app.

Translate Using Siri

Siri Translate iOS 11

You can translate using Siri from English to French, German, Italian. Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Just ask Siri something like “How to do you say ‘x phrase’ in ‘y language’”. Something like “how do you say which way to the bus station in Chinese”.

Read moreHow to Translate Using Siri on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11

Type to Siri

iOS 11 How to Type to Siri iPhone 1

iOS 11 lets you switch to type-only mode for Siri. Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Siri and turn on Type to Siri.

Read moreHow to Type to Siri on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11


Photos app brings Faces data sync between all your devices and more types of Memories categories.

Edit Live Photos

iOS 11 Edit Live Photos 3

We can finally edit Live Photos. Tap on the Edit button and then use the ticker at the bottom to trim the video part. Tap on the Speaker icon at the top to mute the video.

Read moreHow to Edit Live Photos on iPhone in iOS 11

Live Effects

iOS 11 Live Photos Effects 2

Swipe up from the bottom to see a new Effects section. The Loop effect turns your Live Photo into a GIF-like effect. Bounce does something like Instagram’s Boomerang. Long Exposure blurs the moving part of the video to give a really cool motion effect to your photo.

Read moreHow to Add Awesome Effects to Your Live Photos in iOS 11

Remove Depth Effect from Portrait Mode Photos

iOS 11 Depth Effect Toggle in Photos App

For photos clicked on iOS 11, removing depth effect is a bit different. Tap on the Edit button and then tap on the Yellow Depth button from the top.

Read moreHow to Remove Depth Effect from Portrait Mode Photos on iPhone in iOS 11

GIFs work in Photos App

iOS 11 Photos App GIF

Just save a GIF to Photos app (like you would for any image) and you’ll find that GIFs actually animate in the Photos app. You can even export them as GIFs from the Photos app. There’s also a new Animated folder.


Safari in iOS 11 brings behind the scenes technology update. It now supports WebRTC protocol and intelligent cross-site tracking. There’s a new Video player UI and much faster scrolling.

Auto Reader View

iOS 11 Safari Auto Reader View 5

This feature lets you automatically enable Reader view whenever you open a compatible web page. Tap and hold on the Reader View button to enable the feature on just the site you’re viewing right now or for all website. If you want to stop using the feature, tap and hold on the Reader View icon once again.

Read more: How to Use Safari’s Auto Reader View Feature in iOS 11

Prevent Cross-Site Tracking

iOS 11 Safari Settings 1

This feature is enabled by default and it stops ad agencies from tracking you between every site that you visit. This feature doesn’t block ads themselves. And you can disable this feature from Settings -> Safari.


New iMessages App Drawer

iOS 11 Messages iMessage Apps

The iMessage App Drawer now shows up as a little ticker at the bottom of the conversation. You need to swipe horizontally to interact with it. Tap on an app and it will take up the keyboard view.

Just as the app drawer, the process of editing iMessage apps and removing them is also different. Read about it in our guide here.

Read moreHow to Use the New iMessage App Drawer in iOS 11

Coming Soon: Apple Pay Cash and iMessages in iCloud

Apple Pay Cash will let you send money to your friends using iMessage. iMessages in iCloud stores and syncs all messages from iCloud, adding to the reliability of iMessage. But both features aren’t ready for iOS 11 and we expect them to ship in the next couple of weeks, perhaps with the iOS 11.1 update.

Block SMS Spam

iOS 11 Messages Features 4

iOS 11 lets third-party apps filter SMS spam for you. Once you’ve installed such an app, go to Settings -> Messages -> Unknown and Spam and enable the app. Back in the Messages app, you’ll now see a new Unknown & Junk section where the spam will live.


Maps app in iOS 11 brings better lane guidance.

One-Handed Zoom

Just like Google Maps, you can zoom in Apple Maps with one finger. Double tap on the screen and before releasing your finger on that second tap, swipe up or down on the screen to zoom in or out.

Try the ARKit Flyover Mode

Go to a metro city like New York, make sure 3D Mode is turned on and select Flyover. You’ll now be flying over the city, like Batman. What’s awesome is that as you move your device in real life, you’ll move your viewpoint in the map too.

Indoor Maps for Malls and Airports

You’ll now find indoor maps for some of the most popular airports in the world, right inside Apple Maps.

iPad Only Features

iOS 11 is a huge update for the iPad. If you use your iPad to get work done, you’ll find iPad a lot easier to use after the update. Instead of getting in your way, iOS 11 actually helps you get things done in an intuitive manner.

New Dock

iOS 11 Dock Switch Apps

The new iOS 11 Dock is a floating dock (like the one in macOS). You can add a dozen or so apps and folders in the Dock now. So add all your frequently used apps here first.

Then when you’re in an app and you need to switch to another app, just swipe up from the bottom to bring up the Dock, tap on the app and you’ll switch to it. No need to go all the way back to the Home screen.

Read moreHow to Use the Awesome New iPad Dock in iOS 11 (in GIFs)

New Multitasking Features

iOS 11 Dock Slide Over

The new multitasking system starts with the new Dock. When you’re in an app, swipe up to bring up the Dock. Then tap and hold on an app icon in the Dock and drag it to the middle of the screen. If you drop it here, the app will open as floating window.

iOS 11 Engaging Split View

If you take the app to the edge of the screen and drop it there, the app will be docked on the side and you’ll now be using two apps side by side.

New App Switcher

iOS 11 new App Switcher

Swipe up from the bottom edge, all the way to the middle of the screen and you’ll get to the new App Switcher. It integrates the Dock and the new Control Center.

System-Wide Drag and Drop

iOS 11 Drag and Drop iPad 1

After docking two apps side by side, try dragging and dropping content between the apps. Tap and hold text, images or links, then drag it over to the other app, release your finger to drop it on another app.

Read moreHow to Use Drag and Drop on iPad in iOS 11 (in GIFs)

QuickType Keyboard Gestures

iOS 11 iPad flick keyboard

The new QuickType keyboard for the iPad supports gestures so you can type alternate characters on a key by swiping down on it. For example, swipe down on Q to type in the number 1.

New Files App

There’s a whole new file management app in iOS 11 that lets you browse files from services like iCloud Drive, Dropbox and more.

Drag and Drop in Files App

iOS 11 Files App Moving Files

On both the iPhone and iPad, you can use drag and drop as a quick way to move files from one place to another. Tap and hold on a file, then pick more files using another hand. Navigate to another folder and then release your finger to drop the files in the new location.

Tag Files

iOS 11 Files App Add Tags and Favorites 10

Files app supports tagging. Tap and hold on the file, select Tags to add a new tag. You can also drag and drop a file to the Tags section in the sidebar.

Collaborate on Documents

Just like Dropbox, you can copy a link to the document stored in iCloud Drive or invite someone to collaborate on the document.

Tap on the Share button, select Add People, select an app and send them the invite.

IOS 11 Files App 2

There’s a lot more to the new Files app. Read our in-depth guide to the Files app here: How to Use the New iOS 11 Files App on iPhone and iPad

New Settings

Offload Unused apps

ios 11 offload unused apps 7

Once enabled, Automatically Offload Apps feature will automatically delete apps that you haven’t used in a long time when you’re running out of storage space. It will only delete the app. The app’s data and documents will still be safe on your iPhone or iPad. You can find this feature in Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage.

Read more: How to Automatically Offload Apps on iOS 11

Disable Background App Refresh on Cellular

IOS 11 Disable Background App Refresh Cellular 4

Go to General -> Background App Refresh -> Background App Refresh -> and switch to Wi-Fi. Now, iOS won’t refresh apps and use data in the background when you’re out and about.

Read moreReduce Your iPhone’s Data Usage with This New iOS 11 Feature

New Emergency SOS Section

iOS 11 Emergency Services 1

When you click the Sleep/Wake button 5 times, you’ll get to a new screen which has options to access your Medical ID and Emergency SOS. When you slide on Emergency SOS, it will call the local emergency service number and then notify your emergency contacts.

iOS 11 New Settings Emergency SOS

From the Emergency SOS section in settings, you can switch to the Auto Call feature and add emergency contacts.

Read moreHow to Use iOS 11 Emergency SOS Feature on iPhone

Disable Game Center Completely

iOS 11 Disable Game Center 2

Go to Settings -> Game Center and just tap on the toggle next to Game Center. There, the whole Game Center system in iOS 11 is disabled.

Read moreHow to Disable Game Center on Your iPhone and iPad in iOS 11

Find Out 32-Bit Apps on Your iPhone or iPad

iOS 11 Check for 32 Bit Apps 4

iOS 11 doesn’t support 32-bit apps. If you want to see a list of all the 32 Bit apps that you’re using on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings -> General -> About and tap on Applications.

Read moreHow to Find 32-Bit iPhone and iPad Apps That Won’t Work in iOS 11

Auto Brightness Toggle Moved to Accessibility

Apple has moved the Auto Brightness toggle in iOS 11. If you want to turn off auto brightness, go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Display Accommodations.

Read More: How to Turn off Auto Brightness on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11

Smart Invert Feature Brings Dark Mode

iOS 11 Secret Dark Mode Smart Invert Feature 9

While it’s not an official dark mode, we can use the new Smart Invert feature to enable a makeshift dark mode. It’s an upgrade to the Color Invert feature that doesn’t touch media like photos and videos.

iOS 11 Secret Dark Mode Smart Invert 5

Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Display Accommodations -> Invert Colors and turn on Smart Invert.

Read more: How to Enable Secret Dark Mode in iOS 11

Automatically Answer Calls

iOS 11 Auto Answer Phone Calls 5

In Accessibility, go to Call Audio Routing and select Auto Answer Calls. This feature lets you automatically pick up a phone call once the set amount of time has passed.

Read more: How to Automatically Answer Calls in iOS 11

How’s Your iOS 11 Experience?

Have you upgraded to iOS 11? What are your favorite features? And whats’ the performance like on your device? Share with us in the comments below.