For those who haven’t tried the iOS 11 beta, the wait is almost over, as iOS 11 will be released September 19th.
With iOS 11 comes many new features, including a new lock screen that has merged with the notification shade. The most widely advertised and potentially impactful feature, however, is ARKit.
While augmented reality (AR) is already starting to break into the mainstream with apps such as Pokemon Go and Snapchat, Apple’s AR development kit will bring it to far more users around the world.
ARKit allows for apps that let users do things like place AR lamps on a real desk to help plan out the design of a room, or play Star Wars Holochess on a surface against Jabba the Hut.
Developers received access to ARKit earlier this year. Apps and games like The Walking Dead: Our World, Arise and Ikea Place all utilize ARKit, and will be available on iPhone devices with an A9 chip or higher.
While the ARKit with the new A11 chip has new featured apps and games, such as MLB — At Bat and Sky Guide that shows constellations in the actual sky. A new intensive game that requires the A11 Bionic chip, is dubbed the Machines from Directive Games. The game uses actual surfaces and is ran on the Unreal Engine.
— Directive Games (@DirectiveGames) July 21, 2017
Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, has been updated to have more of a realistic male and female voice, which according to Apple is possible due to deep learning which gives the digital assistant better pronunciation and more expression. Further, machine learning allows the digital assistant to understand more about the users preferences and can anticipate what its user might need next.
Apple’s digital assistant will also sync up between other iOS devices that the user owns, meaning whatever is learned on a user’s iPhone will then be transferred over to their iPad and/or Macbook. As for other enhancements, Siri on the iOS 11 can learn its user’s musical taste. Commands can also be input by typing, as with Google’s Assistant.
iOS 11 on Apple devices now gets rid of the iCloud app and instead uses a new Files app that works similarly to the Finder application on the Mac.
While there are some changes on iOS on the iPhone, the iPad receives big changes as well. iOS on the iPad gets new features such as an expanded Dock, a revamped app switcher and drag and drop functionality.
Iconic iOS apps like Messages, Apple Pay, Notes and Apple Music are also getting changes with the new iteration of iOS 11.
Any owners of the iPhone 5s or newer, iPad Air, any iPad Pro, iPad mini 2, iPad 2017 and the 6th generation of iPod touch can update to iOS 11.