Apple’s iOS 11 has been rolling out to devices since Sept. 19 and so far, so good. Even if version 11.0.1 is already here, there have not been any iOS 8.0.1-level headaches thus far.
The new mobile OS works with iPhone 5s and higher, iPad mini 2 and up, and the 6th-gen iPod touch. The shift to 64-bit apps means the 2012 iPhone 5, the 4th-generation iPad, or the 2013 iPhone 5c have to remain on iOS 10.
You’re not going to get any major speed out of those older models; Apple and its developers write code to suite newer devices with faster processors. But at least most iOS devices have this upgrade option; no Android-level fragmentation here.
What are you waiting for? Go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iDevice of choice right now. If the update is available to you, it’ll show up there and you can get started with the download. It only took about 30 minutes, even on an old iPhone 6, so expect even better install time with newer iPhones. Once it’s installed, check out the list below for the hidden features you will want to master.
10 Amazing iPhone Hidden iOS 11 Tips:
1. Auto-Delete Apps You Don’t Use:
Your first stop after getting iOS 11 should be Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Offload Unused Apps, especially if space is at a premium. It will automatically delete any apps you don’t use—but it won’t kill the data associated with the apps, so you can always download it again later. However, once you enable it, you can’t turn it off in this same location. Apple, in its infinite interface wisdom, appears to have put the disable option for this under Settings > iTunes & App Store—scroll down and you can see the toggle.
2. Dump 32-Bit Apps
Your next stop: Settings > General > About > Applications. Here you’ll find a list of apps that are incompatible with iOS 11. Due to the formal shift to 64-bit apps in iOS 11, 32-bit apps are no longer supported. An estimated 180,000 apps, mostly games, won’t be supported by Apple for long. Take your chances and keep the apps (launching them comes with a warning) but don’t expect any help. Chances are if the developer hasn’t updated it, it’s out of date… or no longer has a developer. If you can’t tap into the Applications setting, that means all your apps are compatible with iOS 11.
3. Mark Up Your Screenshots
Taking a screenshot has always been relatively easy in iOS, just hold the power button and Home button at the same time. (On iPhone X, you’ll do it by holding the power button on the side and clicking Volume Up on the other side.) It used to just throw the screenshot into Photos, but now, it puts a thumbnail on the screen. Click the thumbnail and you’re taken into the new editing screen, where you can crop, add arrows/lines/shapes, put in text, sign it, magnify a section, highlight, write on it, type on it (and change the font), select sections, undo/redo your actions, or use the lasso tool to grab your annotations and move them (even scribbles and highlights). When you click Done, save the screenshot to Photos, or just delete it, if it was for fun. (This is in addition to the tools you get in Photos for cropping, rotating, filtering, and adjusting color and contrast.)
4. Create PDFs from Webpages
If you see a page online you want to save or share and you’d rather not use something smart like Evernote or OneNote, make it into a PDF, which can be annotated. When you’re on the page in Safari, click the share button (the box with the arrow sticking out the top). On the bottom row of icons that pops up, swipe left until you see Create PDF. (Click the More button to re-order the icons so Create PDF comes up first if you plan to use it regularly.)
Once rendered, you’ll see a little marker icon at the top—tap it to access the annotation tools (the same as you find for annotating a screengrab, right down to the Signature option, which is very handy for PDFs). When you’re done, click Save File To, and you’ll get the option to save to locations in the new Files app, which access all your cloud storage services.
5. Stick Your Art Into Mail
In the iOS Mail app, insert your own drawings. Hold down your finger in a message until you get the usual pop-up menu for pasting content or inserting a photo/video/attachment. At the end of the list is Insert Drawing. The tools you get are the same as you get for annotating screenshots and PDFs—a marker, a highlighter, a pencil, eraser, a lasso for moving your annotations, and a color switcher (white, black, blue, green, yellow, or red). The + icon has some other options for inserting shapes and text in a drawing, even your signature.
6. Utilize New Photo Formats
Photos and videos take up a lot space. On iPhone 7 and up (any device with an A9 chip or better), iOS 11 comes with new formats called HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) and HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), which can compress media about twice as much and still be easily shareable with the outside world. Yes, that’s a 50 percent space saver. To set up the new formats, go to Settings > Camera > Formats > High Efficiency. To stick with JPG file for images and H.264 for videos, tap Most Compatible.
7. Answer Calls Automatically
This one is for those who really like to talk on the phone, even to telemarketers. Go into Settings > General > Accessibility > Call Audio Routing > Auto-Answer Calls and actually tell your phone to answer every call received. Set the time in seconds before the phone answers.
8. Notifications Screen Is Now…Lock Screen?
This one is confusing and maybe you won’t even notice it. So, you probably have Notifications that appear on your Lock screen. And if you were actively using your iPhone in the old days, you’d swipe down from the top to get to the Notifications screen. On iOS 11, if you swipe down from the top—you go to the Lock Screen…where the Notifications are. It’s a little weird, but Apple essentially just merged the two screens. What that means is, you swipe down to see all Notifications you’ve not yet cleared when your phone is unlocked. When your phone is unlocked, swipe up from the middle of the screen to see those notifications.
9. Customize the Crap Out of Control Center
Swiping up from the bottom of the screen on an iPhone has always brought up Control Center, but in the past it was limited to just the controls Apple wanted to provide. While that’s still true for many of the controls, like the network connections, audio playback, screen mirroring, brightness, and volume, to name a few, you can now customize all the rest. Never use the flashlight or calculators? Dump those buttons.
The customization is much more about the cool controls you can add when you go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, including: Low Power, Text Size, Wallet, Stop Watch, Voice Memos, Do Not Disturb While Driving, Notes, and many more. Your options may change depending on the type of iPhone you have, since some have other features.
Tap the green plus button to add something to Control Center; select the red minus button to delete. To organize the order of the buttons, drag them using the menu on the right.
In Control Center, use a long-press to access an adjuster that controls the intensity of screen brightness, volume, and flashlight.
10. Record Video of Your Screen
One of the best new features hidden in iOS is Screen Recording. You can only access it one way: by adding the button to the Control Center in Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, if it’s not already there.
Swipe up to get Control Center, hit the round button, and you get a 3-second countdown to the iPhone recording all the moves you make on screen—you’ll be able to tell from the red banner at the top. It’s a perfect way to show off errors you’re experiencing, or to show someone how to do something. The video is stored in Photos and shareable.
Want audio with the recording? Use 3D Touch (or press it for a long time) and you’ll get an extra option to turn Microphone Audio On—this lets you do a narration as you record.
Tap the red status bar to confirm it’s time to stop—all of which is also recorded. Trim your videos using the built-in tools to cut the beginning and end off of whatever you record, just to make it go faster. You can’t get rid of the red banner at the top, but some video-editing apps and programs can probably crop that out (along with your status bar at top).