After dabbling with the beta versions for many months, Apple has finally released its latest operating system called iOS 11. While this year’s flagships, iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X will come pre-loaded with this firmware, the existing, compatible devices will receive the update in phases. Like always, Apple attempts to better its platform from last year with the new iOS. From the looks of it, iOS 11 seems like a wonderful operating system. This OS lends a better visual appeal to the devices, gives a cosmetic uplift to various elements and brings to you a wide range of new functions and features. In this article, we get acquainted with 15 incredible iOS 11 tricks that can make your experience more amazing. Keep reading!
1.Control Center Customization
Control Center of the iOS devices has remained as one of the most useful aspects of the device. iOS 11 now brings significant makeover to Control Center. It is now packed with more features and functionality. What’s truly incredible about the new Control Center is that it is way more customizable than before. It slides out when you swipe up from the bottom of the device screen. It has pre-added buttons but now you can edit it almost completely. You can add or remove the buttons of your choice by navigating to Settings >> Control Center >> Customize Controls. Control Center has also undergone some cosmetic overhauling and now it looks more elegant.
2.Smart Invert For Night Use
The white background is known to offer the best legibility to the smartphone users. But, at night, when the lights are low, the white space appears brighter and can strain our eyes. In fact, prolonged night use could also cause certain eye defects. This is why the smartphone manufacturers have started offering the ‘Night Mode’ feature. This feature makes the background darker and texts lighter for more comfortable viewing in dark conditions. iOS 11 tricks also introduces the dark or night mode with its Smart Invert feature. This feature, as you may have guessed, is the part of Accessibility and can be enabled as follows:
– Go to Settings >> General >> Accessibility
– Select ‘Display Accommodations’
– Tap ‘Invert Colors’
– Turn on ‘Smart Invert’
You will now have a dark theme for your iOS device and you must feel less tension in the eyes at night.
Even though this serves as a workaround for night-mode, this feature has some issues. Smart Invert in essence inverts the colors. This is why some of the elements may look a little funny or even awkward. Until Apple introduces native Night Mode ability, we will either have to rely on this or download a third-party app.
3.Type To Siri
Siri is one of the most advanced digital assistants that comes packed with a wide range of iOS devices for free. This voice-enabled assistant can carry out a number of smartphone task for you at your voice command. Its ability to interpret a variety of voices and accents is truly incredible. But, sometimes you would want Siri to do things for you by typing. For instance, if you are stuck in a noisy environment where Siri isn’t able to listen to you properly, you would like to type in your command. Or, let’s say you are in a meeting and you cannot speak, you will have to type in the command to Siri.
Thankfully, there is a feature called Type to Siri that lets you do exactly that. But, remember that you once this feature is activated, voice controls are disabled. Here is how you can enable Type to Siri:
– Go to Settings >> General >> Accessibility
– Select Siri from the list
– Enable ‘Type to Siri’ by moving the toggle to the right
– Long press the Home button to start Siri and start typing the commands or queries
Apple introduces the new ‘Offload’ feature with iOS 11 that helps you save some storage space on your iDevices. When you normally uninstall any app, all of its data and documents are also deleted. You could back up the data but that could be a long drawn process. However, when you Offload and app, you are uninstalling it without removing its data. The installation files eat up a considerable amount of space and offloading can free up some storage space. This could be pretty handy for the devices with smaller storage capacity, such as 32 or 64 GB iPhones. Here is how you can offload any app of your choice:
- Go to Settings >> General >> iPhone Storage
- Choose the desired app from the list
- Tap ‘Offload App’
- Tap ‘Offload App’ again when you see the confirmation message
5.Live Photos As GIF
The iPhone users were introduced to Live Photos feature in 2015, which Apple had first added to iPhone 6 series. It wasn’t really as successful as the company might have thought. In fact, many called it a marketing gimmick. The biggest problem with Live Photos was that you could share it only with other iOS device users and that too with the 3D touch capability. Apple seems to have learned from its mistake and with iOS 11 lets you convert the Live Photos to GIF images, which are more or less completely platform independent. You don’t have to do anything special to create a live photo if the feature is enabled, but you need to convert it into GIF manually. Here is how you can do it:
- Once you have taken the Live Photo go to the Camera Roll (the native Photos app) and open the picture to view it
- Swipe up over the photo. This will show the Effect menu
- Choose either Bounce or Loop effect and tap ‘Share’ (bottom left)
- Select ‘Mail’ app by Apple
- The mail app will open with a new screen to compose the email. The GIF of the Live Photo would already be attached to it. Simply enter the recipient and tap Send on the upper right
For the longest time, iOS devices did not support screen recording apps and even revoked the licenses of the apps providing such facility. This is why the users had to download third-party apps from outside Apple’s App Store. But, with iOS 11, Apple offers to you the native ability to record the screen. Great news! You can access this feature from the Control Center itself and record the screen with just one tap of the button. However, it must be first enabled. Here is how you can do that:
- Go to Settings; scroll down and select ‘Control Center’
- Tap ‘Screen Recording’ from the list of the options. This will add the Screen Recording toggle to the Control Center (which you can bring up by swiping up from the bottom of the screen).
- Tap the toggle to start recording and tap again to stop recording. It’s that simple!
7.QR Code Scan
Well, every smartphone these days can scan QR codes. So, what’s new about iOS 11? In order to scan a code, you must pull out a special app designed for scanning the codes. However, with iOS 11, the default camera application will be able to scan any QR code without having to open any special app. All you have to do is open the camera app and place the camera before the code. You will see the code details right on top of the camera screen in a banner.
iOS 11 uses a new compression technology for images called High-Efficiency Image Format (HEIF). This technique reduces the image file size considerably and saves a great deal of space on your device. What’s even more amazing is that the file format is almost lossless allowing you to retain nearly all the useful details in a picture. Images take up a lot of space and Apple had to do something about it as the iOS do not have expandable storage.
HEIF is a great technique, but this file format is not compatible across all the platforms. If you were to share the photos as it is, it may not open on other systems. In fact, some of the image editing tools also do not recognize this format. This is why you may feel the need to disable it at times. Here is how you can do that:
- Go to Settings >> General
- Select Camera and tap on ‘Formats’ on the next screen
- Select ‘Most Compatible’ instead of ‘High Efficiency.’ The images will now be captured in the JPEG format
In order to convert the paper documents into digital format, you need to have a scanner attached to the computer. But, now you don’t need to spend money on a scanner. iOS 11 allows you to scan the documents and save them in the digital format. This can be done using the Notes app. Follow the steps below:
- Launch the Notes app
- Tap the Create Note icon on the bottom right corner of the screen (pen and paper)
- On the next screen tap the + icon which will appear just above the keypad
- Select ‘Scan Documents’ from the list and point your device camera at the document you wish to scan
- Take the picture like normal
- Tap ‘Keep Scan’ to save the scanned document on the device storage
10.Shut Down The Device Without Pressing The Power Button
In order to shut down your iOS device you need to long press the sleep/wake or power button and then select the appropriate option from the onscreen menu. What if the power button is damaged and does not bring up the Power menu? Thankfully, iOS 11 allows you to shut down the device without having to press any button. This will also be very useful to the iPhone X users. Even though iPhone X has a Sleep/Wake button but it does not double as the power button. If you long press the button it opens Siri instead (that’s because this device doesn’t have a home button to do that for you.) So, here are the steps to shut your device down using the interface:
- Go to Settings >> General
- Scroll down to the bottom and tap ‘Shut Down’
- A slider will appear, which you can slide to turn the device off
11.Enable Persistent Notifications
Banner notifications are pretty cool as they give you the preview of a notification without having to open the notification tray. The banner notifications slide up from the top and then disappear very quickly. They are also called Temporary notifications. But, sometimes the time a banner notification remains on the screen is not long enough for you to read it completely. Thankfully, iOS 11 lets you enable the Persistent banner notification that does not go away automatically. The Persistent notification must be enabled for each app separately. Here is how:
- Go to Settings >> Notifications
- Select the app for which you wish to enable Persistent notification
- Select the ‘Persistent’ icon
All the smart mobile devices let you capture the screenshot using gestures or combination of buttons. However, if you need to annotate the screenshot you need to open the image from the location where it is saved. With iOS 11, you will be able to add the annotation right after taking the screenshot. Once you capture the screenshot a small thumbnail preview appears on the bottom-left of the screen for a little while. Just tap the thumbnail and add the annotation.
13.Save the Web Pages in PDF Format
All the browsers allow you to save the web pages, that are usually saved in the HTML format. You can view the saved web pages even when you are offline. But, HTML is not the best format, especially when you need to share the pages with others. iOS 11 has introduced a feature to the Safari browser that allows you to save any web page in a PDF file. Here are the steps:
- Open the web page you wish to save as PDF in Safari browser
- Tap the ‘Share’ icon on the bottom (square with an arrow through the top)
- Now select ‘Create PDF’ icon from the menu
- Tap ‘Done’ to save the page as a PDF file
We talked about how you can annotate the screenshot by pressing the thumbnail preview that appears on the bottom-left corner. Do you know that iOS 11 also lets you share the screenshot rather quickly? You don’t have to go to the Photos app to locate the screenshot and share it. Take the screenshot and long press the thumbnail preview. The device will show the list of the applications you can use to share the image. Simply choose the desired app and share the screenshot. Easy!
iPhone plus series phones have a pretty large screen and in all likelihood, you need to use both the hands to type. In fact, we are accustomed to using both hands with almost all screen sizes. But, sometimes you may have only one hand free and the other busy. For instance, you may need to reply to an urgent message while eating. Most third-party keypads, such as Google Keyboard, offer the one-handed feature. However, iOS stock keyboards did not have this function yet. Thankfully, iOS 11 introduces it now. Here is how you can enable it:
- Long press the emoji button on the keyboard (bottom left)
- A pop-up will appear offering you to choose between the left-handed and right-handed mode; select the preferred mode and you are all set to type with one hand
iOS 11 Tricks –Winding Up
iOS 11 brings to you a number of enhancements over its predecessors ranging from minor to major. Apple hasn’t just given your device a cosmetic uplift with this new OS; it has also added a host of new functions and features. For instance, Control Center has been completely redesigned, native screen recording ability has been added, apps offloading is now possible and many more. All in all, iOS 11 looks like the best firmware Apple has rolled out. So, whenever this OS is available for update on your device, I would recommend you to install it immediately.