The Coolest New iOS 11 Features Apple Didn’t Tell You About
Apple's keynote presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this week was jam-packed with announcements about new hardware and software updates the company's been working on for the past year, but its demos didn't touch on everything coming to your iPhone and iPad. In particular, there are numerous features baked into the new iOS 11 that didn't get a proper on-stage shoutout, but are nonetheless worth getting excited about. Here's a taste of the lesser-hyped updates to look forward to.
You can enable Low Battery Mode from the lock screen
The entire new one-page Control Panel feature will make it incredibly convenient to toggle and adjust a whole slew of settings from the lock screen in general, but more specifically, you'll now be able to turn on Low Battery Mode with the flick of a finger. That's something you could only do before by navigating all the way into the dredges of the battery section in Settings.
Finally, you can automatically send and receive WiFi passwords
This is a biggie. Rather than pester your friends for their WiFi password when you visit, iOS 11 will enable you to automatically receive the password from any "native" device on the network and hop online. As 9to5 Mac reports, a pop-up alert will display on your friend's iPhone/iPad when you attempt to join their network, and once they grant permission, their password will autofill on your device.
There's now a special keyboard mode that makes it easier to type with one hand
Ever since Apple began allowing third-party developers to make keyboards for the iPhone, a handful have emerged that make typing with one hand much, much easier. Apple's been paying attention, and is now offering its own native one-handed typing mode, which shifts the entire set of keys closer to your thumb. To enable it, tap and hold the emoji icon, and select one-handed typing.
You can record your screen
The ability to record what you're doing on-screen may not feel like a necessary addition, but odds are you'll find it handy at some point. Just as the ability to screenshot your phone screen (by pressing the home button and sleep buttons simultaneously) can prove helpful in any number of scenarios (saving funny/typo-laden texts for posterity, for example), so too could being able to capture your sequential taps and navigation on-screen. Just think how much easier it might be to send your technology-challenged parent's a quick video tutorial on certain iPhone functions. To start recording, swipe up to display the Control Center and tap the "record" button.
Your phone will automatically recommend ways to free up storage space
There are a plenty of ways to free up extra space on your phone, but knowing just what to delete can get tricky, if not downright dangerous. iOS 11 addresses this head-on by providing custom advice on what to offload based on how you use your device. Head to Settings > iPhone Storage and you'll not only see the breakdown of your used and remaining storage, but there will be a rundown of recommended ways to free up space (e.g., changing your iCloud settings to offload photos and/or archived messages). There's also a new option within your Settings that will auto-delete apps you never use.
You can type with Siri
Being able to interact with Siri using your voice is a huge part of what makes her such an helpful assistant, but sometimes it just isn't appropriate to blurt out what you want her to do. Other times, you just wish you could type what you mean to tell her rather than laboriously repeat your words until she understands. In those situations, you'll now be able to discretely interact (and clarify your intent) by typing commands.
You can now use Notes to turn physical files into editable PDFs
We declared our love for Apple's Notes app long ago, but iOS 11 makes it even more useful. Specifically, it now enables you to scan physical documents, and transform them into editable and searchable PDF files. Hallelujah!
To try out all the newness yourself, you'll have to wait until the full public rollout this Fall. However, if you're eager to get a jump, you can sign up for Apple's Beta Software Program for free, which'll grant you access to an early public beta version of iOS 11 sometime later this month.