If you're an iPhone or iPad user, you've probably already read half a dozen takes on iOS 11, Apple's latest upgrade to its mobile operating system. At this point, you may even feel a little upgrade fatigue. Apple does, after all, seem to push out new updates every other week, and the installation process can eat up time and device memory.
Hear us out: This one is different. iOS 11 represents a drastic departure from business as usual on your Apple device, and you’re likely to notice a big difference in your user experience. But whether or not you adapt easily to tech upgrades, it always helps to be prepared, so we’re sharing some of the most important tidbits on this update.
WAIT: You probably shouldn’t download it yet.
iOS 11 is still in beta mode, which means that while you’re free to try it out, you’ll probably encounter a few bugs. If you use your iPhone or iPad as a primary device for work or personal needs, it may not be a good idea to run this upgrade just yet. (That advice goes double if you get jittery about tech issues.) If you’re a more experienced techie, have an extra device, or just enjoy living dangerously, go ahead and give iOS 11 a spin.
IF YOU’RE LIVING DANGEROUSLY: Here are some details we’ve rounded up from around the Appleverse.
- What kind of hardware will I need to run this?
- Macrumors confirms you’ll want an iPhone 5s or a newer, an iPod sixth-generation or newer, or an iPad Mini 2 or newer.
- Will using iOS 11 on an iPad persuade you to toss that old laptop? Probably not.
- As The Verge reports, the new iOS creates a very different experience for iPad users.
- A new dock allows you to store more apps at the bottom of the screen, and it also changes the way you control which apps are used side by side.
- But multitasking in this new iOS isn’t necessarily simple. “The gestures aren’t obvious, and managing the different snapped apps states isn’t easy,” as Engadget says.
- Ultimately, Apple’s lack of mouse support for the product – not to mention its fixation on the touchscreen – means you still might want to think twice about making the iPad your primary computer.
- What are some of the most interesting new features?
- The control center collects more useful controls in one place, as Engadget
- Siri is better integrated into apps, so she can do things like offer personalized news recommendations.
- More stickers and other visual features are coming to iMessage, while the Camera app will boast additional filters as well as the ability to sense 3D objects.
- A new Files app is designed to make saving easier with third-party apps. But, as Engadget’s writer says, “Those third-party integrations are sort of theoretical right now, though: Dropbox sync isn't ready yet, and navigating your Google Drive doesn't really work the way it's supposed to. It's a great idea in concept, and I can't wait to try it when it actually works.”
- MacRumors reports that the Notes app will allow you to search handwriting and scan documents.
- The Do Not Disturb feature now extends to when you’re driving.
- A new one-handed keyboard is here to make your life a whole lot easier.
- What else?
- Engadget again notes that Siri sounds more like a real person than she did before, which, depending on your perspective, is either great or creepy.
- You’ll be able to more easily tell when an app is using your location.
- My phone/tablet is a fragile creature, and I don’t want to risk its health with a beta release. When can I expect the full iOS 11 rollout?
- TechCrunch says you can look for it sometime this fall.
iOS fans have a lot to look forward to, particularly if they’re using the iPad. For the time being, give Apple some time to iron out all the kinks, and you’ll be ready for action by fall. Have you tried out the beta version of iOS 11? We’d love to hear your take! Tell us about your experiences in the comments.