Apple announces iOS 11, improvements on Siri, Photo, Apple Pay, UI and lots more
One major and obvious change in the latest iOS 11 is the iOS interface, the Control center now fits all controls on a single page. 3D touch can be used to access additional controls.
Apple’s digital assistant is used by 375 million people monthly. But that was old Siri, the new one is much, much smarter. And it sounds smarter too, thanks to deep learning, Apple has created a more humanly sounding female voice and there’s a male voice too. In a demo, Siri pronounced the same word differently, matching natural pronunciation of a sentence.
Siri now looks different too. The new UI is better at question-and-answer conversation and shows multiple results by default. It understands context so it will suggest creating an appointment based on what web page you just bookmarked in Safari. It will also suggest new topics you may be interested in, based on what you’re reading. This learning will be synced across all your devices so they improve together.
One trillion photos are taken with iDevices each year and Apple is moving to make them take up less space. To do so, it introduced a new image format to replace JPEG, meet HEIF. It’s based on HEVC and promises great image quality at half the file size.
The App Store is a cornerstone of the iOS experience. It’s turning 9 this year and has served 180 billion downloads over its exciting life. And it has paid out $70 billion to app developers (30% of which just in the last year).
The headlining feature of AirPlay 2 is multiroom audio. It can be used by any app, not just Apple Music, and it allows your guests to queue up songs too. Your Apple TV can turn into a music player that you control with your iPhone (or Mac), a la Chromecast.
Apple Pay is the #1 contactless mobile payment service in the US and is supported by 50% of retailers. And it is now a part of iMessage. With iOS 11, you’ll be able to send and receive money as easy as sending a selfie (well, almost, you need proper TouchID authentication). The money goes into your Apple Pay cash card, but you could transfer it to your bank account too.
Apple wants to jump to the front of the mobile AR competition. The new AR Kit will make it easy for developers to create impressive AR games and apps for iOS devices.
It’s a short but sweet story. Apple Maps now has lane guidance (finally!) and it shows the speed limit. Indoor navigation is available for malls and airports, with floor by floor directory and search (initial support will be for big US cities and a few foreign ones).