It has been over a month since the iOS 11 Developer Beta was released. In the last five weeks, I have explored iOS 11 to its depths, and it is unquestionably a great update. iOS 11 is not a design overhaul; rather, it is a design evolution - perfection, of sorts. It takes the best of iOS 10 and packages it with even more features and a stronger control over functionality.
I know I criticized iOS 10 for not being a significant update, and I still stand by it. iOS 10 was half-baked - the pagination of the control centre caused more havoc than expected, the Music app had a standout new design that didn’t match with the rest of the OS, the Health app didn’t show steps until you tapped into the ‘Activity' section, and the animations were old and boring.
iOS 11 corrects many (if not almost all) of iOS 10’s mistakes, making it an update worthy of a positive review.
The All New Control Center
iOS 11 features a new control center with blocks for various settings. The basic settings toggles are in one block and the music controls are in another. The brightness and volume have larger vertical sliders for better access. Almost all the control center blocks can be 3D Touch[ed] or long pressed for additional options and functionality. But other than basic aesthetic changes, the new Control Center has a few features worth mentioning:
- You can (finally) toggle on and off cellular data and personal hotspot in the Control Centre
- You can customize the Control Centre to some extent to add additional toggles
- There is a 'record screen' toggle that finally makes screen recording on iOS a reality
- The Apple TV toggle has a full remote accessible through 3D Touch
Those are just a few, but there are plenty more great enhancements (and some small tweaks) that make the new Control Centre more useful.
Refined Animations + Improved Design
iOS 11 for iPad
Okay, I’ll admit it. I love the iPad even more after this update. In fact, iOS 11 on the iPad may be a good enough reason to get yourself a new iPad if you don’t have one or want to upgrade. I tried iOS 11 Developer Preview on the new 9.7” iPad, and the multitasking features with drag-and-drop blew me away. Plus, the Files app on the iPad (and the iPhone, for that matter) are a great improvement from the iCloud Drive app from iOS 10.
Here’s a video by The Verge that covers some of the features:
There is just so much iOS 11 brings to the table - from sending money on Apple Pay through iMessage to scanning QR codes using the camera app - that there is no reason to hold off from upgrading to it when it comes out this fall. iOS 11 makes iPad a beast. It makes Siri better. It makes simple tasks like annotating screenshots more direct. It’s hard not to like iOS 11.
Should you upgrade to the Public Beta? I’d say yes - and no. If you are doing it on an iPad that isn't given too much attention, you should do it, because it is worth it. On the iPhone though, be ready to experiences some camera crashes, battery drain and overall slowdown. Or maybe you can wait for a future beta release before hopping on the train!
You can try out iOS 11 here for free, officially, via Apple’s Public Beta program: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/
Follow Technonerds on Facebook and Twitter