New Features to Look for in Apple's iOS 11

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2017-02-01
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    New Features to Look for in Apple's iOS 11
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    New Features to Look for in Apple's iOS 11

    An improved Siri virtual assistant and even support for iMessage on the rival Android operating system are among the rumored enhancements that will appear in iOS 11.
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    Will Apple Provide iMessage Support for Android?
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    Will Apple Provide iMessage Support for Android?

    Arguably the biggest iOS 11 rumor is that Apple is planning to offer iMessage on Android. The feature would mean Android owners could download iMessage for free and communicate with their iPhone, iPad and Mac counterparts without sending their messages through a wireless carrier. Apple’s iMessage likely would be offered in the Google Play marketplace.
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    FaceTime Conferencing Calling Support
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    FaceTime Conferencing Calling Support

    FaceTime historically has been a solution for two people to communicate from their iOS or macOS devices. But that could change in iOS 11, when Apple offers group- and conference-calling support in the tool. That means many more people would be able to participate in a single call, and FaceTime finally could find a way to appeal to corporate users.
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    Apple Gathering Indoor Mapping Data
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    Apple Gathering Indoor Mapping Data

    Over the last few months, Apple has been said to be investing in cameras and drone technology to boost its Maps service. More specifically, Apple reportedly is capturing photos of prominent locations around the world to offer Maps users indoor mapping data. Apple will continue improving its indoor data, but will offer its first glimpses at the feature in iOS 11.
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    Big Improvements to Siri Are Predicted
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    Big Improvements to Siri Are Predicted

    Apple’s Siri gets updates every year, so it shouldn’t surprise folks if that happens again in 2017. Look for Siri to get smarter and more capable of hearing and responding to requests. Apple has a big fight on its hands against Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana, and improving Siri is rumored to be among its priorities for iOS 11.
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    Look for Multiuser Support
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    Look for Multiuser Support

    Apple already offers multiuser support in iPads that run custom software developed for the education market, but the company hasn’t yet brought the feature to the masses. But this is expected to happen with iOS 11. The feature would mean users could log into their own accounts on an iOS-based device and access their apps and settings. It also could offer a guest mode for unauthorized users to quickly perform a couple tasks on a device.
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    Night Mode Is Overdue on iOS
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    Night Mode Is Overdue on iOS

    A night mode has been conspicuously absent from iOS, but that could change this year. According to several reports, Apple is readying a night mode for iOS 11 to reduce eye strain by adapting to low-light conditions. It’s likely the feature will work with the iPhone’s ambient light sensor, so users can adjust the display automatically depending on the light in their environment.
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    There's Talk of Major Improvements to Apple Music
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    There's Talk of Major Improvements to Apple Music

    Apple has said it has high hopes for Apple Music, which likely is why there are rumors of a big update in 2017. Apple Music could come with an improved recommendations engine and new features that would make it easier to find and play content both through Apple’s servers and locally on the device.
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    Apple Gets Serious About Video Streaming
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    Apple Gets Serious About Video Streaming

    Apple already has invested in original video content and is said to be considering other big media acquisitions. Therefore, several rumors have surfaced that Apple could offer a dedicated video-streaming app to accommodate its programming. Look for it to be available alongside Apple Music.
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    User Interface Will Get Only Minor Tweaks
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    User Interface Will Get Only Minor Tweaks

    Apple seems satisfied with its mobile operating system’s design, suggesting there won’t be major updates in 2017. Instead, Apple is expected to make only minor updates to iOS’ look and feel and instead focus on its functionality.
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    Apple Will Stick to its Usual iOS Release Schedule
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    Apple Will Stick to its Usual iOS Release Schedule

    Apple has kept a familiar release schedule over the years, and that likely won’t change in 2017. Apple reportedly plans to announce the iOS 11 update the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and make a developer preview available soon after. The final iOS 11 is expected to be released days ahead of the next iPhone, which is projected to reach store shelves in September.
 

Many of the rumors surrounding Apple’s plans for 2017 have centered on the next iPhone and what hardware the company might have planned for the smart home. But over the past few days, mobile market observers have turned their attention to the possible features in the next iteration of Apple’s iOS. The next version of Apple's mobile operating system is likely to be introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June and could include several improvements including an indoor mapping feature, a dark mode for use at night and enhancements to the Siri virtual assistant. There’s even talk that Apple has warmed up to Android enough to allow users to send text, photos and video messages to Android devices via iMessage. Of course, Apple hasn’t commented on its plans and won’t until it’s ready to unveil the operating system later this spring. But if the current rumors are true, Apple’s iOS 11 will include some significant improvements over iOS 10. Take a look at this slide show to learn more about the features that may show up in iOS 11.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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