Apple has detailed iOS 11, the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhone and iPad.
At WWDC 2017, senior vice president for software engineering Craig Federighi revealed that iOS 11 would include several new features for Messages, Apple Pay, Siri, and the Camera, as well as a redesign of Control Centre.
From iOS 11:
- Messages will be stored in iCloud and will synchronise automatically when you sign into a new device. Messages will remain fully encrypted.
- Apple Pay will get support for person-to-person payments, allowing you to load credit into your account and pay other users directly.
Several improvements to Siri were announced.
Apple has applied deep learning to Siri’s voice, which Federighi said lets it sound more natural.
The voice-controlled assistant has also gained the ability to translate between several languages. Siri’s translation feature is currently in beta.
Siri Intelligence has also been extended to understand what you want next and give you the information proactively.
Federighi demonstrated this feature in Messages, showing how someone asking him what to do in Iceland caused Siri to learn to spell words such as Reykjavík.
Camera – Save 50% of the space you use on photos
Apple also announced improvements to its Camera and Photos apps.
Among the biggest changes was replacing JPEG capture with a format called HEIF.
Federighi said it is based on HEVC, a video format that helped reduce the size of high-resolution video. HEIF photos will be half the size compared to the same picture stored in JPEG format.
Photos captured in HEIF can be shared with others, he added.
Apple said Metal 2 and HEVC are also coming to iOS 11, along with QR Code support integrated into the Camera app.
Federighi said iOS 11 would be the largest iOS release in the history of the iPad.
Apple revealed a Files app for iPad as part of iOS 11, which supports nested folders, spring-loading, and list views.
The app also features support for iCloud and other storage apps.
iPads will also get a new dock which will let users launch and switch between apps. The dock will include a predictive area where iOS will suggest which apps it thinks you are going to use next.
Dragging app icons from the dock over a running app will allow you to multi-task by overlaying a smaller version of that app’s window.
The multi-tasked app may then be dragged around the screen, or snapped to an edge. iPad’s new app switcher in iOS 11 will preserve app pairings so that you may return to previously multi-tasked apps quickly.
iOS 11 on iPad will also introduce drag and drop, which will let you drag items from one app into another. Federighi demonstrated that it will be possible to drag an image from one app, hold it with one finger, then switch to the Mail app with another finger and drop it in place.
iOS 11 is set to release in Q3 2017.