A ton of new features with iOS 11

Among iOS 11's new features are the Live Photos new effects, Siri's multi-language prowess and improved Notes functions.
Among iOS 11's new features are the Live Photos new effects, Siri's multi-language prowess and improved Notes functions.PHOTO: APPLE

The iOS 11 operating system for iPhones and iPads is said to come with more than 100 new features. Trevor Tan picked some of the highlights.


Many use their iPhone as an everyday camera. But not all use its Live Photos function. When enabled, it takes animated footage 1.5sec before and after a picture is taken. While it did not sound useful previously, the new effects in iOS 11 will make it much so.

After taking a Live Photo, swipe down on the photo to see three effects available - Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure. Loop will replay the moment from start to end, while Bounce will play and replay a special moment, similar to Instagram's Boomerang.

The interesting effect is Long Exposure. It will show light streaks when you take a shot of a night street scene, or "freeze" flowing water in rivers.


The personal voice-assistant Siri's voice is now more natural and expressive. More importantly, it can now translate English words and phrases into Chinese, French, German, Spanish or Italian.


The Control Centre in iOS 11 has undergone an overhaul. It now takes up the entire screen with bubble-like icons. It is also customisable. By default, the new Control Centre has seven options like brightness, volume and rotation lock. But there are 17 more control settings, such as Camera, Low Power Mode, Calculator, that you can add to the Control Centre.


The ARKit for developers allows virtual content to be laid over real-world scenes in iOS 11. So, not only will Pikachu look more realistic in Pokemon Go, but it also provides great tools for industrial or interior designers to create designs that their clients can immediately visualise. Furniture-maker Ikea will be making an AR iOS 11 app that allows customers to "place" a sofa in their living room to see if it fits.

The most significant features, though, belong to the new iPad Pros' iOS 11.


Also available for the iPhone, the new Files app keeps all your files, allowing you to have easy access. You can keep the files in folders, thus making your iPad work more like a computer than a tablet. Plus, it supports cloud drives such as iCloud Drive, Box and Dropbox.


You can move text, photos and files from one app to another and anywhere on the screen.


The new always-on dock provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents. In addition, there is now no limit on how many apps you can place on the new dock.


There is now a built-in document scanner in Notes. You just need to use the camera in Notes and hover it over the document, and Notes will automatically focus and capture the document to save as PDF. You can choose filters like Monochrome to improve readability.


With the new Instant Notes features, you can open Notes from the Lock Screen by tapping the Apple Pencil on the iPad's display. iOS 11 also supports in-line drawing to write along text in Notes, Mail and Instant Markup so you can sign documents, draw on screenshots and even annotate PDF files. Furthermore, your handwritten notes using Apple Pencil are searchable.

• The iOS 11 will be available as a free software update for supported iPhones and iPads around September this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'A ton of new features with iOS 11'. Print Edition | Subscribe