By Thomas Maranian
With the latest update to its mobile operating system releasing just over a week ago on Tuesday, September 19th, Apple continues to impress the world with its new features and added content to iPhone, iPad, and iPod (for those who still have one). Each year, the dominating tech company releases a new iOS to ensure satisfaction and meet the wants and needs of every customer. This year was no exception to that. In fact, this is possibly the biggest update the OS has had in many years, starting with the revolutionary makeover of the App Store. As with every business, they are constantly addressing what the customer wants. With the App Store makeover, users can now immediately view trending apps of the day, games of the day, and other apps related to your past searches for the past week, right when you open the store. To make the experience even more easier, there are now only two other main tabs, besides the search and update tabs, to select from – ‘games’ and ‘apps.’ This allows the user to quickly and efficiently find whatever it is they are looking for.
A huge new feature that was added will surely become one that everyone will use and love. Instead of having to guess and check with multiple different QR scanner applications, Apple has added the ability to simply use the built-in camera as a way to scan QR codes. Just point your camera at it and watch the operating system do its thing. It will prompt you to go directly to an online website with all the information needed in relation to the scanned code. Hooray for that!
With the complete redesign of the control center, there is now one place and one place only that you have to go in order to navigate your most used tools and accessories. With the flick of your finger, you can now see a complete one-tab screening of just about everything you toggle on and off on a regular basis, ranging from your music station, Wi-Fi, brightness, sound, flashlight, calculator, etc. Now you are probably thinking that you had all this before the update. Well that
is true but what you are overlooking is the fact that you can now customize the control center to add additional tools such as a quick launch to the notes app so you can get your ideas down on paper without forgetting them, the stopwatch so you can time your mile run, a timer to make sure you take your cookies out of the oven precisely on time, and the all new automatic screen recording feature.
Other controls available to include are low power mode to save your battery when you’re on 5% and need to call your mom for a care package with food for your dorm, voice memos to save your thoughts and ideas when there is no time to write them down, and the new ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ feature which allows the user to save their life from a text message that they are apparently more interested in than their well-being. The feature specifically turns off notifications so you can focus on the road and not your social life, even though that might be more interesting than a three-hour drive on Route 28. The list does not end there. The point is, all of these tools are now fully customizable into your control center so you can have access to them without having to constantly navigate through the settings app to find what you’re looking for.
Also new to the control panel is the option to gently hold down on certain tools such as the ‘timer’ to set a timer anywhere from 1 minute up until 2 hours for more efficient capabilities. If you hold the camera button while in the panel, you can now choose from four different options – ‘Take Selfie,’ ‘Record Video,’ ‘Record Slo-Mo,’ or ‘Take Portrait.’ The same is true for the calculator which lets you copy your latest results.
Swipe across your screen to the new ‘Files’ app that literally organizes every single document in the cloud that is running throughout your account. You can easily find recent PowerPoints, Excel sheets, or Word documents all in one place. It also allows you to sync it with your Google Drive account so that no matter what, you will never lose a file again.
Accidentally screenshotted a photo? Well now, instead of having to navigate out of Snapchat or Instagram and into your photos to delete it, all you have to do is click on the image when it appears at the bottom left side of the screen and an option to delete it becomes available. However, if you do intend on screenshotting, you can now draw directly onto the photo with the new sketch feature.
GIFs and live photos became a huge game changer. They now have their own album in ‘Photos’. That’s right, you can now save GIFs from the internet or anywhere else to view later. Speaking of live photos, you can now optimize your settings to allow you to take live photos while using ‘FaceTime.’
Now unfortunately, life can bite us in the back sometimes and we can all find ourselves in an emergency situation. But Apple solved that problem as well. With iOS 11, you can now turn on the ‘SOS’ feature which allows you to rapidly click the power/sleep button 5 consecutive times to immediately dial 911 or your emergency service line. In addition, you can setup other emergency contacts who will get rapid emergency notifications with your location. Well done Apple. Safety First!
‘Assistive Touch’ got a huge upgrade that gives you the option of restarting your device so you don’t have to power down and wait for your phone to gain its “wits” back to turn back on.
Crashing at a friend’s house overnight due to a snowstorm? Instead of having to type in the one-hundred-character password to their Wi-Fi, a message will appear on your friend’s phone asking them to share the password with you.
Some of the other various features include allowing you to set up your phone to answer calls automatically. You can even choose how many rings to wait until it answers. Impressive! Siri now can translate English into various worldwide languages which really helps when traveling in foreign countries. A huge saver is the ability to scroll down to the search tab and define just about any word in the dictionary for you.
iOS 11 is the biggest update to come to iPad with the ability to have over ten apps on the app dashboard dock and the ability to run two apps at once in a split screen. Its multitasking capabilities will give Samsung a run for their money.
This is but a glimpse at the hundreds of different hidden features of the new update. If you have not upgraded yet, you are missing out. The user experience and interface are completely redesigned and changed for the better. Like always, when the customer demands, Apple delivers.