Apple just finished hosting a special event on Tuesday morning at the Steve Jobs Theater in San Francisco. During the event, Apple announced its latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and most-anticipated tenth-anniversary special edition iPhone X. The event also witnessed the launch of all-new Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple TV 4K. However, there’s one more important element of the Apple ecosystem that shouldn’t go unnoticed: iOS 11.
Apple said iOS 11, which is probably the biggest iOS upgrade in years, is coming out on September 19. Although Apple showed the glimpse into its latest mobile operating system a few months ago, there are many things we didn’t know would come to iOS 11 before. So, let’s take a look:
1) Animated emoji
iOS 11 comes with the set of new, animated emoji. Apple calls it Animoji, and in case you’re wondering like many out there, Animoji is nothing more than animated versions of the famous emoji that have existed on iPhone. Animoji is set to be integrated directly within iMessage app in iOS 11. It also uses Apple’s Face ID technology to create custom 3D versions by scanning your face, based on your facial expressions.
2) Face ID
Although Apple didn’t say it took ‘courage’ to remove the Touch ID on iPhone this time around, it could be Apple’s biggest leap forward in all these years. Now, Apple has come up with something called Face ID which uses the mix of an infrared (IR) camera and 3D depth sensing technology in order to scan and identify a user’s face. Face ID is not just limited to unlocking the phone, but it can do anything that was possible using Touch ID including Apple Pay payments authorisation.
3) New gestures
With the release of iOS 11, Apple made some way for some new gestures to be integrated within its latest mobile operating system. iPhone X users can now access Control Center by swiping down from the top right of the screen. Given that there’s no room for a home button in iPhone X this time around, users need to swipe up from the bottom in order to find their way back to the home screen. Multi-tasking is achieved by swiping up from the bottom and then holding their finger in the middle for a split second.
4) AI portrait lighting
Apple upgraded its portrait mode with something called portrait lighting, which can improve shots with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Portrait mode has already been made possible by leveraging multi-focus feature in the camera that can separate your face from the background. But now with the help of AI, it can identify faces better and determine how they interact in different lighting conditions to create the illusion that the photo was shot using profession, studio grade lighting. While this feature is available on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as well, users of iPhone X will be able to leverage this feature while using the front facing camera as well.
5) Do Not Disturb
One of the noteworthy additions to iOS 11 has to be the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature that is essential to those who spend a lot of time driving. With the feature enabled on the iPhone, the phone will be able to detect that you are driving and hence, will enable the DND mode. All the notifications will be disabled so nothing can distract drivers from concentrating on the road. You can always auto reply to contacts listed under favourites, so others will be notified you cannot respond while driving. It would be interesting to see how this feature works if you’re in a car, but are not driving.
Since this is a special phone for Apple, it is natural that they would put special emphasis on making the software experience as unique as the phone. This they do while maintaining Apple’s signature level of consistency across devices.
With inputs from Swapnil Mathur, Senior Assistant Editor, Techook.