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It has not been long since Apple officially introduced the newest version of iOS, welcoming iOS 14 and all of its new features into the world. So let’s go over what’s worth looking forward to.
iOS 14 isn’t about including every new feature imaginable, along with the kitchen sink. It’s a refinement in some areas, but Apple is including quite a bit of new ingredients to the mix on top of it all. That includes changes to Messages, expanding widget availability, changes to Siri, and more.
So let’s dig in. Here are 12 of the most exciting new features coming to iOS 14.Widgets
Widgets. Apple isn’t a complete stranger to the idea, but the company has traditionally played it quite differently when it comes to implementing compared to the likes of Android and, yes, even Microsoft’s defunct Windows Phone/Mobile. But here we are in 2023 and widgets are getting a new surge of life with iOS 14. Users will be able to choose different sizes of widgets for apps they love, move them around their Home screens, and get plenty of information at just a glance.
Apple is also including what it calls a “Smart Stack” of widgets. These will change based on different variables, including the apps you use most, and even the time of day. So what shows up in this Smart Stack will change over the course of a day, offering up different apps and/or services you might want to use, or use regularly, when you need them most.
Users will also be able to create stacks of up to 10 widgets, which they will be able to swipe through. And choosing which widgets are available on your device is easy as navigating through the widget gallery, and will even show the most popular third-party options available to download.The App Library
The App Library is designed to make it easier than ever before to find all of your apps. It’s available at the end of your Home screens in iOS 14, and it’s all automatically organized into categories like “Social”, “Entertainment”, “Creativity”, “Apple Arcade”, and others. But even if you can’t immediately find what you’re looking for, the search bar at the top of the App Library will help you jump right to it.
The App Library will offer up folders for your recently added apps, and the ones you use most frequently will always be the easiest to launch with the new feature. And the new “Suggestions” folder will offer up apps that iOS 14 believes you might be looking for based on various factors, including usage time, activity, and your location.
Newly downloaded apps will automatically move into the App Library with iOS 14. Apple says you can remove Home screens to help clear up the clutter, as all your apps will be readily available in this new section.A new, compact UI
Apple is revamping the iOS software just a bit, offering up a more compact look in a variety of areas. That includes phone calls, Siri, and more. These changes will be obvious from the get go. The new incoming call notification, for example, is present at the top of your iOS device’s screen, rather than taking up the whole display. This means users can quickly swipe up on the notification to dismiss the incoming call if they want, or they can accept it.
This feature will work with third-party VoIP apps as well like Skype, and it works with FaceTime as well.
Siri is getting a compact approach, rather than taking up the school screen as well. Now, when a user activates the digital assistant there will be a small Siri icon that pops up in the bottom of the screen. Any result that shows up from the request will appear at the top of the screen like an incoming notification.
Search is now an all-encompassing, single destination. This will make it easy to launch apps, locate files, find information about businesses, find contacts, and even information like weather and more.
And finally, picture-in-picture (PiP) support is coming to iOS 14. This means you can quickly swipe up while watching a video or in a FaceTime call to have the video shrink into a small, movable box, so you can stay on the call or continue watching your content and doing something else. The PiP video can be resized and dismissed as needed.Tweaking the Messages experience
Apple is making some important changes to the Messages experience. The primary goal appears to be making sure you can keep tabs on the most important conversations you’re having at any given moment, and the changes seem to do this. That starts with the ability to pin conversations in the iOS 14 Messages app.
Pinning conversations means that there will be an icon for the conversation at the top of the Messages list. The rest of your conversations will still be available below as normal, so they aren’t going anywhere. The pins are animated, too, so there will be typing indicators, Tapbacks, and indicators for recent messages are all present. And group conversations will show three participants circle the pin when they’ve sent a message.
You can have up to nine pins. And, speaking of group conversations, you’ll now be able to set a photo for the group as well.
Messages in iOS 14 will support mentions within a group conversation, so just type in the person’s name in your message and hit send. And, within group conversations, users will be able to customize notifications to arrive only when they are mentioned. And finally, inline replies (pictured just above) will let users quickly reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation.Improving Maps (still)
Have an electric vehicle? Set up a route in Maps and the service will automatically show charging stops along the way. It will even show charging time while showing expected time of arrival. What’s more, Maps will keep tabs of your charger type, and give the best route for all that information based on the vehicle you have.
Guides, which are pictured at the top of this section, offer up recommendations on the things to see while in different cities based on information gathered from trusted sources. That includes places to see, eat, and more. iOS 14 users will be able to save these guides for later use as well. And the service will be updated on a constant basis to reflect updated information.
Speed cameras and red-light cameras will now be shown in Apple Maps in iOS 14, and the service will show congested zones in places like London and Paris and other major cities.Built-in translation
One of the most requested features, real time translation, is finally coming to iOS with iOS 14. The voice translation will quickly translate your recorded voice into a different language when you need it. What’s more, the software can recognize your language of choice and automatically translate from different languages. And if you download other languages they can be translated even without an internet connection.
In the new Conversation mode, users can turn the phone to landscape mode and see both sides of the conversation. Just tap the microphone to have the software record what you’re saying, and then see it get translated to the target language. This mode works with downloaded languages as well.
Text translation is easy thanks to the fact that all languages have their keyboards included in iOS 14. Users will be able to save their favorite phrases, which can be chosen to be translated quickly and easily at a later date.
As of right now, the translate feature supports 11 languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Arabic. There is a built-in dictionary as well.A more helpful Siri
We already spoke about the new compact UI for Siri, so no reason to go over that again. But you can now see it pictured just above. Apple says that Siri now offers 20x more facts than the digital assistant did just three years ago, which automatically makes the feature more helpful.
To help with that, Siri’s ability to grab answers from more available resources is now available in iOS 14 as well. Siri can grab answers from a range of resources from across the web. And now Siri will make it possible to send audio messages when replying to a message. Siri also can provide cycling directions as well.
If you’re using Apple Maps, iOS 14 users can ask Siri to share your ETA with a contact.Improving the smart home
Apple’s changes to the Home app, and by extension the smart home in general, focuses on privacy while also adding some new features. That starts with suggesting new automations. With iOS 14, when a user adds a new HomeKit-enabled accessory, the software will automatically suggest useful ways for it to work automatically. So if you get some new lights for your porch, the Home app will automatically suggest setting them up to turn on when it gets dark outside.
Based on the time of day, Home controls will prioritize certain elements, including accessories themselves, based on the time of day and how often you use them. So you’ll see some accessories readily available at the top of the Home app more often than some others. So in Apple’s example you could see the accessories in your bedroom in the morning, and in the living room at night.
Adaptive lighting is a new option for iOS 14 and HomeKit accessories. With lightbulbs that support the ability to change their lighting brightness, you can now set it up to have them change automatically throughout the day. So when it’s morning you can have a warmer lighting, then, as the day progresses, have the light normative. By the time evening rolls around, you can reduce the blue light so it’s easier on your eyes.
Face recognition and activity zones are coming to HomeKit-enabled cameras and video doorbells. With the former of the two, the video doorbell can recognize a face you’ve previously tagged in your Photos app, while activity zones means that you’ll only get notifications for movement in a specifically defined area that’s within view of the camera.Safari
And Safari is getting new features, too, including built-in translation features. This will make it easy to translate entire web pages. Apple says that it requires a “compatible web page”, and, when you navigate to one, there will be a translate icon iOS 14 users can tap to translate the page. Apple does note you can only translate into these languages: English, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, or Brazilian Portuguese.
Safari in iOS 14 will also monitor your passwords. The browser will keep tabs on passwords that may have been associated with a data breach, which it does by utilizing strong cryptographic techniques. It can do all of this without actually revealing your password, even to Apple itself.Digital car keys
Digital car keys are the future, and Apple is jumping on the bandwagon early in the game. To start, only BMW is supporting Apple’s new initiative here, but that will change in due time. Auto manufacturers that support NFC will make it possible for iOS 13.6 and iOS 14 users to just bring their phone close to the door handle to unlock the vehicle. The digital key will also make it possible to start the car as well.
Digital car keys can be shared with others in Messages. A shared key can have different access levels as well. An unrestricted digital key means someone you share a digital key with will be able to have full access to the car, including being able to start the vehicle as well. With Restricted Driving, however, drivers will be able to unlock and drive the car, but must follow restrictions including top speed, traction control, and more.
And, of course, you can remove key access just as easily as handing it out.
With power reserve mode, the digital key will work for up to five hours even if your iPhone battery runs out.CarPlay
Bringing support for digital car keys is not all the car-focused new features coming to iOS 14. Apple is also making some changes to CarPlay, the in-car infotainment system for automobiles. First up, new wallpapers. Users will be able to choose from a set of new wallpapers that can be displayed on CarPlay’s home screen.
And CarPlay is gaining support for new apps that can be used with the infotainment system. The new app categories include EV charging, quick food-ordering apps, and third-party parking.
Apple is also making changes to the way the software works with portrait screens. The CarPlay status bar can now be shown at the bottom of the CarPlay screen, providing a more natural layout with these in-car displays. Chinese and Japanese keyboards are supported with iOS 14’s CarPlay. Sending audio messages with iOS 14 CarPlay is possible, too, as well as receiving them. Sharing your ETA with Maps and Siri is possible as well.AirPods
AirPods Pro are getting a solid new feature, while both AirPods Pro and AirPods are going to be even easier to switch between connected devices with iOS 14.
First, spatial audio. This will be a virtual surround sound feature, bringing a more realistic audio experience to the truly wireless in-ear headphones. Apple says this will add a “movie theater experience” to the headphones, which includes head tracking so even when you turn your head, or you are in a vehicle that moves, the audio profile won’t change. This is a more immersive sound experience compared to the standard operating procedure available now.
The ability to automatically connect to devices is already available for Apple’s AirPods lineup, but now it’s getting improved with the ability to automatically switch between devices. So if you are listening to music on your iPhone and you start a movie on your iPad, the AirPods will automatically switch to the iPad. And if you’re watching that movie on the tablet and start a call on your MacBook, the headphones will switch again.
Finally, battery notifications for when your AirPods and AirPods Pro battery life gets too low, iOS 14 will let you know before you hop on a call or start playing music. And the software includes optimized battery charging, which aims to prolong the life of your AirPods over time. The new feature means the AirPods will “learn from your daily charging routine” and wait to finish charging past 8% “until you need to use them”.
You’ll also get notifications for when AirPods’ battery life is getting low, which you can see pictured just above. This extends to the Apple Watch as well, except iOS 14 will notify users when their Apple Watch is fully charged.Clipping Apps
Here we are at the end, so this qualifies as the “last, but not least” part. Apple bills “App Clips” as a new way to discover different applications. It’s a “small part of an app” that is discoverable in the moment you might need it, and it’s focused on a specific task. These are designed to be used in just a matter of seconds, so oftentimes even faster than loading a full app.
App Clips are discoverable by either scanning a QR code or tapping an NFC tag. They can also be activated within Maps, Safari, Messages, and specific App Clip-enabled codes that are generated for each small app. They can also be launched from the Recently Added section of the aforementioned App Library.
After using an Apple Clip, it’s easy to download the full app if you want. And the new feature works with Apple Pay, so you can quickly purchase something without loading a full app or entering your credit card information. The new App Clips works with Sign in with Apple as well, adding another layer of security.The smaller bullet points
Apple also notes that it has made improvements to other areas as well. That includes augmented reality, with ARKit 4 introducing features like Location Anchors that will allow developers to set items, like life-size art installation, at set locations all across the world. Apple says taking a photo with the stock camera app is faster, too, and GameCenter is being redesigned as well.
The stock Weather app is getting notifications for severe weather events, and will show upcoming shifts in weather conditions as well.The end
So, there we have it. There’s a lot more in iOS 14, but these are just some of the most exciting new elements coming to the mobile operating system later this year. Apple is currently beta testing the software with developers (a public beta arrives in July), and the company will launch the software to the public in the fall.
Are you excited about iOS 14?
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It is too early to make a definitive judgment, but the old truths are likely to remain. If you want ultimate polish, and are prepared to sacrifice your freedom to shop for apps and media outside of Apple’s walls, iOS 9 is for you. It is a prison, but a beautiful, comfortable prison. Meanwhile on the Android side of the house the days when Google’s platform was hard to use are long gone. But it is probably still fair to say that iOS is a marginally more shallow learning curve for beginners. If you asked me to choose I would plump for Android, but it really is a personal choice. And Apple Pay being available is a big win for iOS 9. Let’s see what the Autumn brings.
Apple recently announced iOS 9, the next-generation of its iPhone and iPad operating system. iOS 9 will go head to head with Google’s Android M at the top of the Android phones and tablets market, so we decided to compare and contrast the two leading mobile platforms, in their next-gen form. Eyes down for an iPhone vs Android face off, in our iOS 9 vs Android M comparison. We compare iOS 9 vs Android M for release date and compatibility, Apple Pay vs Android Pay, and new features in iOS 9 and Android M.
We now know definitively that both iOS 9 and Android M are in the works. What we don’t know is when exactly they will launch. But we can make some good guesses: iOS 9 will launch in ‘Fall 2023’, according to Apple. Apple wasn’t specific about the date because it doesn’t want to give away the date of the next iPhone and iPad launches which will likely be the same day. But expect a new operating system in September 2023.
Meanwhile Google at I/O 2023 unveiled an Android M Developer Preview, confirming the existence of the next flagship Android OS. The final version of Android M will launch with a new Nexus phone in October or November this year. But unlike iOS we won’t then see a rapid roll out to all compatible devices: Android M will first roll out to other Nexus devices, and within a few months to flagship phones and tablets made by third-party OEMs such as Samsung, LG and Sony.
Unless you are a Nexus guy, don’t expect to get Android M on your device until late 2023 or even early 2023. (See Android M release date.)iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: betas
For the first time I can remember, Apple is running a public beta of its iOS update. You can try out the iOS 9 beta in a few months, but you can sign up now at chúng tôi Developers can download the first beta of iOS 9 immediately, however.
Similarly, if you really want to get your hands on Android M now then you can download the Android M Developer Preview, but only if you have a Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Nexus Player. As with the iPhone equivalent, it should be said that developer preview software is really only for, er, developers. Expect bugs and frequent updates, as well as missing features and functions. Buyer beware! (See also: How to get Android M now.)iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: compatibility
This is one of the fundamental differences between iPhone and Android. Because Apple makes both software and hardware it rolls out its new software in a quick and efficient manner. Thus every iPhone and iPad that now runs iOS 8 will be able to upgrade to iOS 9, the day it comes out. And unlike previous iOS updates Apple promises that this time around the update file won’t be as big as your iPhone’s available storage. Older iPhones won’t all get some features, though. (If your phone doesn’t have an NFC chip, you won’t be able to use Apple Pay, for instance.)
Android M’s compatibility will be more scattered. Because Google can make the software available to its OEM partners, but they are not forced to push the upgrade out to end users. So while Nexus devices are pretty much guaranteed an over the air (OTA) upgrade to Android M, those with phones made by other people have no guarantee. However, if you have a flagship phone from 2014 or 2023 it is most unlikely you won’t get the upgrade at some point.iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: Apple Pay vs Android Pay
Both iOS 9 and Android M share one major new feature: NFC-enabled contactless payments. With Apple Pay and Android Pay you will be able to use your phone like a contactless credit or debit card. (Your wallet will now have a battery life, but at least you have to carry only one device.)
Apple Pay is first out of the blocks, due to hit the UK in July with support from eight major banks and retailers such as Costa, Boots, Waitrose and the London Underground. Apple Pay first launched in the US on 20 October 2014 and now it is coming here. This despite a new set of regulations from the European Union Council of Ministers that some thought could throw a spanner in the works. (These tighter regulations could require additional authorisation processes.)
Despite this Apple says that 70 percent of credit- and debit cards in the UK will be supported by Apple Pay at launch. At WWDC 2023 it showed a graphic which name-checked all the major high street banks. In terms of retailers, the original list includes McDonalds, Lidl, M&S, Boots, Waitrose, Costa Coffee and more.
This is very much a score for Apple Pay, as there is no news as yet as to when Android Pay will make it to the UK. At present all Google has said is that Android Pay will be launching in the next few months, but this will apply to the US rather, with the UK to follow some time later.
At the Google I/O presentation in which Android Pay was announced all of the companies listed as partners – either banks, shops, or mobile phone carriers – were US-based, and there was no mention of a UK or European version. It will happen, but it will take a while. So if contactless payments is your thing, the iPhone is the device for you. (See also Apple Pay UK release date, features and supported banks.)iOS 9 vs Android M comparison: new features
Let’s take a look at some of the other new features that may tempt you into the arms of either iOS 9 or Android M. Key features of iOS 9 include a major Siri update and deep-links in search results.
Apple says it has made Siri more proactive. The new features are intended to give iPhone users the same sort of functionality as Android owners already have in Google Now. And this new proactivity isn’t only part of Siri but also of search. Spotlight search will display information such as imminent events from the Calendar app, locations nearby that might interest you, boarding passes for flights you’ll be boarding that day and more.
Split-screen multitasking is part of iOS 9, too and there’s a picture-in-picture mode that lets you watch videos while you do other things.
As we will see when we discuss Android M features, lots of Apple’s competitors offer software-based battery-saving modes for their devices, and Apple will do the same when it launches iOS 9. Apple says its feature should give up to three hours of extra use, on top of the extra hour or so you’ll get simply from updating to iOS 9, which is more power efficient than iOS 8 (Apple says).
Turning to Android M and we find something similar in what Google calls ‘Doze mode’. Doze monitors when the device isn’t being used to put it into a deep sleep which uses less power and can double your battery life – according to Google.
The SystemUI Tuner in Android M lets you customise the Quick Settings to the ones you want to you the most and in the layout which suits you. Another small but handy change is the ability to uninstall apps straight from the home screen. You now get the choice between simply removing the shortcut/icon or actually uninstalling the app from the device entirely.
Google Now is a great feature of Android and it gets even better in Android M. Now on Tap means you can long press the home button wherever you are you call up Google Now. Better still, you don’t need to navigate away from the app you’re using and it will already have a good idea of what help you need based on what you’ve been doing – eg. Directions to a location after chatting to a friend about meeting up.
We’ve already got fingerprint scanners on numerous devices so it might not seem like a new feature but Android M natively supports them. This means you’ll be able to use them to authorise payments via Android Pay and confirm Play store purchases. Developers can also use the functionality within their apps.
One annoying thing about Android is downloading app requires agreeing to all its permissions which might include things you don’t agree with, like access to your contacts when it’s an endless runner game. Well Android M is going to change that with the ability to pick and choose which permissions you’re happy with for each individual app. You’ll also be able to accept or deny a specific permission as and when an app requests it.
If you send links, photos or files to the same contacts then Android M will start adding them to the Share menu to speed up the process. It’s a bit like having favourite contacts when you open the Dialler app to call someone.
Not only is Do Not Disturb (DND) part of Quick Settings in Android M, the volume control has been tweaked for the better. You can now easily control the volume of calls, notifications and alarms with three separate sliders – simple but effective.
Ok, it’s a hardware feature but Android M supports USB Type C which is good news for future devices – potentially starting with the Nexus 5 2023. You can plug it in either way around, it will charge your device quicker and even allow you to charge other devices. (See also: When will the UK get Android Pay?)Specs Android M: Specs
Compatible Android smartphones and Android tablets.
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iOS 9 Best/Worst Features
Here’s what you can and cannot look forward to in iOS 9
Apple’s iOS 9 has finally come to an iPhone near you. Available on the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus and old models of iDevices going all the way back to the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, the updated software brings a long list of new features you’ve likely heard about by now. Siri has been enhanced with Proactive features that pull in data about your contacts and location, transit has been added to Apple Maps, and a lower power mode has been included to preserve your battery.
“Back To” options in the top-left your iOS 9 screen make using Apple’s devices more fluid and the new option to install ad-blockers in the default mobile Safari web browser has many publishers worried about how they’ll pay the bills. The iPad receives among the most exciting updates with Split Screen, Picture in Picture and cursor movement using the keyboard. So what’s left?Best Hidden:
Your devices no longer need to be on a similar wifi network in iOS 9’s iteration of Continuity
Apple first introduced the ability to send SMS messages and receive phone calls from non-iPhone devices back in 2014. With Handoff and Continuity, texts sent and received on your iPhone were pushed to your iPad and Mac when on the same Wi-Fi network. Similarly, call forwarding would ring all your devices when receiving a phone call to your iPhone’s number. Now with iOS 9, devices need not be on the same Wi-Fi network.
If your iPhone is at home, for example, you’ll still be able to receive calls and texts from the number at your work computer—provided that computer is a Mac and you’re logged into your iCloud account. As long as all devices are connected to the internet (and not in low power mode), talking on the phone can take place anywhere. Provided your carrier supports it. T-Mobile remains the only carrier ready for the feature.
Incognito Mode For Your Camera Roll
Hiding secret photos is now possible in the latest version
For when you want to show off vacation photos but your family members get a little too swipe-happy. iOS 9 users are now able to hide specific photos from the iPhone and iPad’s photo library. Tap “Select” in the top right and the summon the share sheet from the bottom left icon. On the bottom left of the menu, the option to “Hide” will appear.
By selecting one or multiple thumbnails, iOS 9 users’ photos and videos can hide in plain sight. While the picture won’t appear in the main camera roll, moments, collections, and years, it will still be available to view in previously assigned albums. To unhide, simply select and tap “Share” to reveal the “Unhide” option.
Secret iOS 9 App
iCloud Drive App
iOS 9 comes with an iCloud Drive app
iOS 9 comes with a new app that you might miss at first blush. That’s because it isn’t on any of the default homescreen pages. The latest iteration of Apple’s mobile OS comes with a hidden iCloud Drive app, here’s how to reveal it.
Head to the Settings app. Tap on “iCloud,” then “iCloud Drive.” The option that allows you to “Show on Home Screen” is what you’ll want to turn on. For those that don’t prefer Dropbox or Google’s apps, the iCloud Drive app could come in handy.
Screen Rotate Switch For The iPhone
iPhone Mute Switch
The mute toggle will now be able to act as a rotation lock switch
Now, similar to the iPad, iPhone users can make their vibrate switch a rotation toggle. In the General section of the Settings app, iOS 9 now lets you make your silent mode switch a rotation lock button.
Mail Attachments, Supercharged
Any type of attachment can be added to an email in iOS 9
Apple is increasing the amount of photos you can attach to an email. Additionally, any type of file can now be included with your email, not just photos or videos. Bringing the default iPhone and iPad app closer to desktop-class mail clients.
Quick Reply For Any App
iOS 9 will allow quick reply from more apps than just the default messaging application
iOS 8 brought the ability to quickly reply to SMS texts and iMessages from anywhere within the OS. Swiping down on a banner notification revealed a text box where texters could enter a response and send without leaving their current app. Now that functionality is coming to non-Apple apps.
Soon apps like Facebook Messenger, Twitter and more will offer the ability to send off text from anywhere within iOS 9.iOS 9’s Worst Features
The New App Switcher
Not better or worse, just different
When Apple brought users the new app switcher in iOS 7, it offered users many useful changes from the previous version. When double tapping the home button on the older iPhone OS, a tray of icons were revealed. More recently, revealing the app switcher showed full thumbnails of app windows—allowing you to swipe up to easily quit an app or scroll to see what’s open. The app switcher in iOS 9 changes that —but not for the better.
While the new switcher isn’t worse, it feels like change for the sake of change. Large thumbnails and swiping up to quit are still available in this view, but iOS users must now relearn which direction to swipe for the rest of their apps. Though when looking at the various “Back To…” menus that appear in the top left of iOS 9 following an app-jump, the new switcher view makes slightly more sense. Though we still lament the departure of iOS 7’s and 8’s take on the switcher.
Default Apps Still Unremovable
The dreaded Newsstand may finally be gone, but default Apple apps still can’t be uninstalled from your iOS 9 device. Seldom used applications like Tips or the Apple Watch companion app may prove useful to some, but wastes space for those that have no need for it.
But luckily that may be changing soon. Tim Cook recently hinted at the ability to remove Apple’s default iOS apps in an interview with Buzzfeed, but only some. Let’s not get crazy.
iOS 11 has been finally released to the public. We shared Apple’s official release notes yesterday, but we’ve spent a little time of our own coming up with any changes and features not present in iOS 10.
There is an unbelievable amount of things to touch on, so we highly recommend watching our video to see it all in action.
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For those who would rather scan through our list, we highlighted a few of the most important features up top before getting to the all inclusive index below.Control Center
Gone are the cards that occupied Control Center in the past. It is now a full screen overlay that is fully customizable by you. Many controls have additional functions with a 3D Touch, such as the communications widget. When you 3D Touch it, you have expanded options like cellular (finally!) and personal hotspot toggles.
We also have several new additions to Control Center. Screen recording is finally native, so you don’t need any odd apps or Quicktime to accomplish. This is really great to show something on your phone, and share it with a friend. The Apple TV remote widget is also something I’ve come to rely on. A simple swipe of the Control Center is often a lot faster than actually finding my Siri Remote in real life. A few others include a Low Power Mode toggle, alarm, and Wallet shortcuts.Files App
Files is a completely new app inside of iOS 11, though technically it replaces the iCloud Drive application currently available. It allows you easy access to not only your iCloud Drive files, but third-party cloud storage apps as well such as Amazon Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. It is incredibly handy to have all of these in one location.
There are real file management features here including favorites, recent files, recently deleted, and tags. iCloud Drive has also been upgraded to a true cloud storage platform with the ability to share files with anyone. You can share a file or folder with specific people, or share a link.ARKit
Augmented Reality is making its way to iPhones with ARKit, a new framework for developers. We demoed it early on, but we’ve seen countless other uses from developers, leading up to the official release. Everything from locating lost objects in AR to ordering food off a menu.
Though iOS 11 just launched, we’ve seen some app updates from prominent developers that have included ARKit support. The fact so many are building it in appears to show just how easy it is for developers to utilize.Camera and Photos
There is a lot to be said for camera and photo updates in iOS 11. Portrait mode got several nice additions like the ability to add filters, improved image quality, OIS, flash, and HDR support.
Live Photos are even more powerful now as well. You can choose your own key frame now if there is a better one available. You can trim the start and end points, so you can get rid of any unnecessary footage that was included.
A really fun aspect is new Live Photo effects, like Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure. Long Exposure is a personal favorite, and looks really great with moving water or traffic. Basically, any moving objects get a motion blur, while the rest stays sharp. Creating an effect normally reserved for DSLRs and a long shutter.Other big improvements
CarPlay got a lot of nice additions, and the new lane guidance and speed limits feel at home here more than ever. HomeKit got some newly supported accessories, occupancy gates so scenes don’t run if you aren’t home, and support for notifications, only when you’re away.
Lest we forget, all of the new iPad specific features like drag and drop, new expanded and predictive dock, and improved split view. Apple revamped the app switcher completely, combining the dock, app switcher, and Control Center into one new interface.Full list of changes and features
Here is the full list of what we cover in the video of changes we’ve found inside of iOS 11.
New customizable Control Center
New Cellular Data toggle
New Personal Hotspot toggle
New Screen recording feature
New Notes shortcut
Control Center Apple TV Remote
New Wallet shortcut
New Low Power Mode toggle
New accessibility shortcuts
New alarm shortcut
Do Not Disturb toggle
Guided access shortcut
Text size control
Voice memo shortcut
New iPhone icon in Now Playing widget
When playing through AirPlay or Bluetooth, icon turns blue
AirPlay option in Now Playing widget
AirPlay/Bluetooth indicator pulses when options are near
New Wi-Fi toggle function change
New Bluetooth toggle function change
New Files app
iCloud file sharing now possible
Access other cloud services
Save directly to device
New camera icon (darker, no lines)
Scan QR codes in camera app
LED flash for portrait photos
Portrait mode has improved image quality
Portrait mode images support optical image stabilization
Portrait mode supports HDR
Portrait mode supports filters
New developer API to use depth information from dual cameras
Live Photos: Adjust Key Photo
Trimming Live Photos
Tap new edit icon instead of sliders
New filters like Vivid and Dramatic
New Bounce Live Photo effect
New Loop Live Photo effect
New Long Exposure Live Photo effect
Photos app supports GIFs
GIFs stored in “Animated” folder
Watch Memories in Portrait mode
New memory types (pets, activity, children, etc)
Create custom watch faces right from photo
Facial recognition now works with all devices, and syncs (you can identify someone once, it goes to all your devices)
Support for HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) for better compression on photos
HDR support (2023 iPad Pros & iPhone X)
Hidden video volume HUD
Video playback UI
Support for HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec) for better video compression
Slightly updated icon
Updated Swipe option UI
New table options
Lines and Grids
New formatter UI
Search handwritten notes
Use Apple Pencil to tap screen and start taking notes
New App Store icon
New “Featured Stories”
Game has own tab
New redesigned app pages
No longer use 32-bit apps
32-bit apps are grayed out in App Store
New purchase overlay
10 taps to refresh no longer works in App Store
Type to Siri
You can disable press for Siri and only use Hey Siri
New Siri Interface
New Siri Voice
Siri Suggestions list of permissions
Siri is now your personal DJ by learning your tastes
Siri learns about your interests to better anticipate your needs
Syncs that data across your iOS and Mac devices
New Siri icon when invoking her
Can answer music questions like “Who is the drummer in this song?”
Siri API can now pay bills
Siri API now can handle task management apps
Siri can now scan QR codes
Hindi and Shanghainese dictation
View Controller UI tweaks
Helps prevent sites from tracking you
Updated scrolling behavior
Smaller lyrics font
New Music app sharing features
Create Apple Music profile
New generic artists icon in Music app
New developer API to access Apple Music features to be built into apps
Slightly redesigned Weather app UI
New App Store icon in tray
Redesigned iMessage App Store
Drag and Drop support
Apple Pay friends directly from Messages
Messages on iCloud (coming in future update)
New QuickReply Keyboard
New interface for iMessage apps
New Echo full screen effect
New Spotlight full screen effect
AR Mode in Maps
Indoor maps for shopping malls (added individually over time)
Indoor maps for airports (added individually over time)
Phone & FaceTime
Take Live Photo while on FaceTime call
Tap on your PiP while on a FaceTime call to switch cameras
New FaceTime ringtone
Phone app UI changes
Auto-Answer phone calls
New contacts icon
New faucet accessories
New sprinklers support
New AirPlay 2 speaker support
No longer hardware requirement
Build at Home! (Raspberry pi, etc)
Multi-person location triggers
Sunrise sunset times (can now be before or after sunset by x minutes)
Time-based event triggers. Example: at 5:30, lights turn on
Day of the week reoccurrence
Home occupancy gate (“only run this if I’m home”)
Home settings allow you to opt into HomeKit rules
Timers (auto off after 1-60 minutes)
Notifications based on location
Notifications based on time
Small app changes like relocation of trigger creation button
Siri also gives lane guidance
Route alerts are now in the map allowing you to quickly switch
Currently active app is larger in dock
Screenshot (double tap or long press)
New “thinking mode” look for Siri
Do Not Disturb while driving
New Podcast App UI
Music app UI
Notification Center, Spotlight, and Lock Screen
New passcode interface
New Lock screen fade in animation
New Unlock animation
New Home screen animation when launching apps
New bold text in Spotlight searches
Apps return below searches in Spotlight
Redesigned Now Playing on Lock screen
iPad Specific Features
You can now put 13 apps in dock
Quick access to recently used, or Siri suggested apps based on time, place, Continuity, and Handoff
Access dock within apps by swiping up
Keep swiping up to access App Switcher
New iPad App Switcher
Control Center inside of App Switcher
Drag icon from dock to active app
Move app to either side, and swipe off screen to hide it
In split view, replace one of the apps by accessing dock, then pulling app icon to one of the sides
Access recent files in app by tapping and holding
QuickType keyboard to access secondary keys
Drag and Drop
New Settings app heading
Background refresh options
New experimental features option for Safari
Backing up warning message when erasing iPhone
New Shut Down option in Settings → General
New Accounts and Passwords panel
Auto-Brightness moved from Display & Brightness to Display Accommodations
Prevent cross-site tracking
New Emergency SOS option
Fish Live wallpapers removed
New Touch ID and Passcode PIN interface
New Camera icon to match Home screen
Offload Unused apps
Storage and iCloud Usage is now just iPhone Storage
Recommendations for clearing storage (like auto deleting old convos)
Auto-join option in Wi-Fi Settings
New persistent banner notification option
New TV providers listed
Customizable AirPods controls
New HDR toggle for iPad Pro (2023+) and iPhone X
New Combined Siri & Search section
Location services now has “while using the app” option for all apps
New signal bars for cellular
Tweaked battery status bar icon
Apps in Dock no longer show names
One handed keyboard mode
Smart invert color option in Accessibility (almost a Dark mode replacement)
New location bar when apps access location
Move multiple icons on Home screen
Set up routers via NFC
Core ML is a machine learning framework for developers
Password auto-fill works in third-party apps
Wi-Fi password sharing when two devices are near one another
Other App Tweaks
New Clock icon (slightly darker)
New iTunes Store icon
New Calculator icon
New Calculator UI
Health app now stores data in iCloud
New Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet (for receiving payments from others via Apple Pay)
Set seconds for timers
Redesigned Podcasts app to match Apple Music
Slightly redesigned Safari app UI
Mail app UI changes
Personalized News experience with Siri Suggestions
New editor-curated Spotlight tab in News
Inline Drawing in Mail and Notes
ARKit support for apps
Temporarily disable Touch ID
Markup as PDF
Switch between keyboards when dictating
Flac playback support
Quickly share screenshots
Quickly delete screenshots
New screenshot UI
Easily convert and markup PDFs
New AirPods animation when opening near phone
Automatic setup process by holding old device by new device
AirPlay 2 protocol
The iPhone X may be the most elegant and beautifully designed iPhone in years, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. While most users have no complaints about the iPhone X itself, there are some frustrations and annoyances that can continually pop-up for some iPhone X owners.
Among the most common iPhone X hassles are accidentally dialing 911, accidentally taking screenshots of the lock screen, and accidentally activating Apple Pay at the lock screen. Notably, each of these issues relates to the myriad functions assigned to the Power / Lock button, depending on how it is pressed.
But don’t be annoyed, because each of complaints can usually be fixed (or addressed), as we’ll show you with a few simple settings adjustments and tips.1: Fix for Accidental Emergency Calls on iPhone
Some users have found that the new Emergency SOS feature is easy to accidentally trigger, which means your iPhone X could be in your pocket dialing 911 accidentally. The solution to this is disabling Emergency SOS 911 auto-call on iPhone X:
Open the “Settings” app on iPhone and go to “Emergency SOS”
Disable “Call with side button” and disable “Auto Call”
By turning off those settings you’ll no longer have the Emergency SOS feature accessible by pressing the side button, meaning you’ll have to dial 911 the old fashioned way, or use the Emergency Call feature on the iPhone lock screen.2: Fix for Accidental Apple Pay Access at Lock Screen of iPhone
The Power button on iPhone X serves many purposes, including offering an ability to summon Apple Pay. This means that, if you’re like myself and many other iPhone X users, you may be constantly summoning Apple Pay when all you meant to do was turn on the screen, or unlock the device, or bring up Siri, or force reboot, or perform other tasks requiring using the power button. Perhaps the best solution for accidentally summoning Apple Pay is to disable Apple Pay access by double-pressing the power button at the lock screen:
Go to the “Settings” app and then choose “Wallet & Apple Pay”
Of course if you regularly use Apple Pay and don’t want to manually open the Wallet app on your iPhone, or use an Apple Watch for Apple Pay, this may not be an option for you.3: Dealing with Frequent Accidental Screenshots at Lock Screen of iPhone
There is no easy way to resolve the constant accidental screenshots that many iPhone X users encounter. Aside from trying to train yourself to hold your iPhone differently, the next best solution is to simply visit “Screenshots” album and delete the screenshots you accidentally capture:
Open the “Photos” app on the iPhone and then go to ‘Albums’
Choose the “Screenshots” album, then tap the “Select” button and manually tap on every single accidental screenshot you’ve taken (if they’re all accidental use this gesture trick to easily select many photos at once on the iPhone)
Tap the Trash can icon, then tap to confirm “Delete Photos” to remove the accidental screenshots
Unfortunately you’ll have to repeat this process every once in a while, as there’s not much you can do about this one right now other than try to hold your iPhone X in a different manner.
It’s worth noting that iOS 12 introduces a minor software change that can improve the accidental screenshot problem at the lock screen at least, so that may help some users to mitigate the accidental screenshot issue.3 Other iPhone X Complaints
The aforementioned trio tends to make up the majority of iPhone X complaints, and the good news is those issues are all software related so are pretty easy to fix… but there are some other complaints that surface from time to time that are perhaps worth mentioning as well, even if there is no perfect solution to them.4: No Touch ID or Home Button
The lack of a Home button can bother some iPhone X users, whether it’s because they like the tactile feel of a Home button to press, or perhaps because they liked Touch ID. Some may even prefer Touch ID over Face ID.
While you can use Assistive Touch to create a digital onscreen Home button on iPhone X, that’s more of a workaround then a solution. It’s really best to get accustomed to the swipe-up gesture that returns to the Home Screen.5: The Screen Notch
The screen notch is a prominent black section on the top of the iPhone X screen that houses the front speaker, front camera, the Face ID sensors, and lighting detectors. Most iPhone X users don’t care about The Notch at the top of the screen, or if they do they get over The Notch pretty quickly and forget that it even exists, but some continue to be annoyed by it.
If you’re obsessing about The Notch then your only real option is to get over it and realize that it’s a silly thing to care about use a wallpaper that hides The Notch by trying to blend it into the wallpaper color. Usually anything with a black section at the top, or a very dark top works great for the purpose of masking the screen notch.
Of course it’s not just iPhone X that has a screen notch though, and many Android phones also include the notch as well, including the Motorola P30 and Xiaomi Mi8, so if you’re annoyed with it on one device, be prepared to be annoyed with it on many other phones too. And most rumors point to the next generation iPhone models as having a screen notch too, so.6: The Lack of a 3.5mm Audio Port
Apple may have first removed the 3.5mm audio jack from the iPhone 7 series, but the frustration with losing the most ubiquitous audio interface ever to exist in history remains for many users with iPhone X, and presumably will carry into the future as it’s highly unlikely that Apple will ever create a new iPhone with the headphone jack ever again.
If the lack of the 3.5mm audio port and headphone jack bothers you, the only real solution is to buy a dongle adapter (or several) and take it around with you, or buy a few and leave them where you might need them; in the car, at your home and office, in a laptop bag, etc.
It’s pretty likely that the issues mentioned above will pertain to future iPhone models too, since rumors and leaks suggest that next generation iPhone models will largely look like variations of iPhone X. But those are just rumors, and anything can happen or change.
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For every iPhone release, Apple goes out of its way to remind customers that this is the best one yet. The company is liberal with its use of superlatives to describe new products. In the case of the iPhone 7, it’s the fastest, beefiest and best overall phone the company has produced. And this year, however, the Cupertino company adds a few more accolades to its list of superlatives–most camera-ed, waterproof-iest (our words, not Apple’s). But despite adding IP67 water resistance and offering two cameras on the back (7 Plus only), Apple has also made the new iPhone 7 with a glaring weakness: It’s the first iPhone to ship without a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack. How can Apple claim this is the best iPhone when, in that respect, even the iPhone 1 has it beat? By making sure those first two new features are stellar.How waterproof is the iPhone 7?
Apple touted that its newest iPhone finally has the ability to withstand water. The company’s official claim is that the iPhone 7 is “splash and water resistant” instead of being full on waterproof. This means that if you drop your phone in a toilet, you don’t have to dive your hand in quick to retrieve it and rush to find a bowl of rice. However, you still can’t go scuba diving with your phone case-free.
The iPhone 7 is rated IP67. Having tested against the Ingress Protection (IP) standard means the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is fully dustproof and fine with water as shallow as 15 centimeters and as deep as one meter. So basically, this phone can survive being submerged, but don’t leave it in water deeper than three feet.
After 24 hours, the bottom speakers sound less muddled when turned up loud to play music. But when volume is turned low, iOS’s various sound effects may as well not be there.
It’s important to note that Apple admits its latest iPhone’s water resistance is not a permanent feature. The more times you dunk the device, the less resistant it becomes to water damage. Apple also will not cover water-caused damages under your iPhone warranty. So swim wisely.
The iPhone 7 Plus is the first iPhone to ship with two rear cameras. Xavier HardingTwo Cameras Are Better Than One
Similar to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, Apple has included a 12-megapixel shooter on the rear of the device. Previously only the larger 6 Plus and 6S Plus iPhones shipped with optical image stabilization–which helps to prevent the shaking of one’s hands from affecting the resulting photo. Apple now includes this stabilization technology in both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. What the company doesn’t include in both versions of the new iPhone is the new dual-camera setup.
iPhone 6S Plus (left) to 7 (right) photo comparison
Almost no difference
The more expensive iPhone 7 Plus will offer users two cameras on the back: a wide-angle lens (f/1.8 aperture, to be specific) that smartphone users are used to as well as a telephoto lens, both 12 megapixels. With the telephoto lens, iOS users are finally able to perform optical zoom. Currently on the iPhone, digital zoom is akin to cropping a photo–no added detail is offered when zooming in the camera app. With the inclusion of a second telephoto lens, iPhone 7 Plus owners are able to shoot with a lens that gets a closer look. After maxing out the optical zoom (which goes from 1X to a max of only 2X, unfortunately), iOS on the 7 Plus allows the zoom function to go digitally from 2X to 10X. Though, as mentioned before, no added quality or detail can be had from digital zoom this way. Simply a tighter resulting image.
And then there’s the coming Portrait mode. In an effort to mimic the quality of high-end, SLR cameras, a coming update from Apple will let 7 Plus users utilize both lenses to blur the background of their photos. The depth of field effect offers a pro-look to otherwise normal-seeming portrait photos. Ideally. We will see.
iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode
Apple’s portrait mode adds blur to the background of photos (right) and saves the regular photo (left) in your camera roll as well.
Of note, Apple’s background-blurring portrait mode doesn’t currently ship with the iPhone 7 Plus. Though those living life on the edge in Apple’s beta program can install the new software right now. We tested out portrait mode on this iPhone 7 Plus (find our results here) and came away with good results. Though not great, portrait mode did its job and blurred the back of our shots, leading to an SLR-like image. Though upon closer look it’s clear that software has a hand in enabling this depth-of-field trick. The blur occasionally extended to the subject of the photos and images were lower resolution compared to normal iPhone photos. Blurred photos also came out more noisy than normal ones and the iPhone won’t let you use the mode in low-light settings. Though being a beta, we hope Apple refines the feature as time goes on.
The iPhone 7’s included headphones come with a Lightning connector on the end Xavier HardingHit The Road, Jack
With the release of the iPhone 7, the headphone jack is now dead to Apple. While the other iPhones customers continue to have the time-tested 3.5mm audio port, the iPhone 7 shows that the way forward for Apple doesn’t include analog audio offered by default.
In its place is the Lightning port, which will not only be used for data transfer and charging, but also for audio playback. Things like music and podcasts that used to spit out of the headphone jack will now go through the Lightning port. What this could one day mean is quality-sounding headphones that don’t require a charge (as they would pull power from the Lightning port) and potentially using digital rights management to limit what types of audio goes out the port–with analog, you simply plug it in and hear audio, but with lightning headphones, there’s a chance the app could block audio after say five plays or some other kind of digital rights management. But for now, the experience is honestly mostly the same as it was before for many people.
Those who only use Apple’s earbuds with their iPhone may only briefly notice a difference. While the male connector at the end of the headphones is different, the earbuds sound and operate exactly the same. Though good luck if you want to take a call using the headphones and charge the device at the same time.
Those who prefer Bluetooth headphones can still make use of their favorite wireless standard with the iPhone 7. And those who prefer more traditional listening devices with a headphone plug can make use of the included 3.5mm to Lightning adapter. If you have one pair of headphones you use, you might as well leave them attached to the end of your ear cans. If you have multiple pairs of 3.5mm-supporting headphones, get ready to lose that tiny, white adapter.
Apple’s omittance of the headphone jack is undoubtedly annoying. But untangling headphones before each use is more annoying. Unless you’re an audiophile that needs the highest level of quality at all times, go wireless.Bonus: Battery Life
Headphone jacks aside, the number one complaint of every smartphone ever created is battery life. But part of being the best iPhone ever released is having the best battery. Instead of making the iPhone 7 thinner than its predecessor, Apple has chosen to improve the battery included in the device. The smaller iPhone 7 now packs a 1,960 mAh battery while the 7 Plus offers 2,900 mAh. Up from the iPhone 6S’s 1,715 mAh battery and 2,750 mAh of the 6S Plus.
In our tests, we used an iPhone 7 Plus and an iPhone 6S Plus and streamed video on each all night. The brightness was turned to the max, the WiFi and Bluetooth were left on, and the volume was turned all the way up. How that translates to real world use: Neither phone lasted into the morning. Our overnight Hulu binge-watching test revealed that the iPhone 7 Plus was always 10% ahead of the 6 Plus, which led to around an hour and a half of extra use.
iPhone 7’s jet black color is highly reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and 4S design Xavier HardingVerdict
The iPhone 7 Plus is the best looking Apple phone since the iPhone 4 from 2010. Apple’s removal of the headphone jack will hurt audiophiles dearly but will leave most unscathed in their day-to-day lives. The dual camera will be useful for those who take pictures often, and the toilet-drop protection will come in handy for the clumsy. Aside from these features, 6S owners mostly have the 7 already. Though for anyone below a 6S who can get it on subsidy, feel free to upgrade to the best iPhone yet.
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