iOS 11 Tidbits: Customizable Control Center, One-Handed Keyboard, Type to Siri and More

iOS 11 introduces a huge number of major changes to the operating system, ranging from a redesigned Control Center experience to a host of new features specific to the iPad, but along with all of these major changes, outlined in our iOS 11 announcement post, there are also dozens of smaller changes that have been added to the beta.

Below, we've outlined some of the smaller but still significant tweaks that went unmentioned during Apple's whirlwind keynote announcement.

- Lock Screen - The Lock screen has a new look with a bolder font for the passcode numbers and lighter circles that don't feature a white outline.

- One-handed keyboard - On the iPhone, there's a new option for a one-sided keyboard that can be enabled by pressing down on the globe keyboard button. It moves the keyboard to either the left or right side of the device.


- Type to Siri - There's an Accessibility feature that enables Type to Siri. With this option toggled on, when Siri is accessed via a Home button press, it brings up a keyboard where you can type something to Siri.


- iPad keyboard changes - On the iPad, symbols and numbers accessible via the shift key are visible on the keys themselves. The alternate symbols and numbers are accessed by pulling down on the key and releasing.


- Customizable Control Center - Apple showed off the new single-page revamped Control Center on stage during the keynote, but what wasn't mentioned is that the Control Center is customizable. Users can select what's displayed in Control Center using the Settings app, and there are a huge range of options including Low Power Mode, Notes, Text Size, Wallet, Screen Recording, and more. There's even a new option to add Apple TV Remote controls to Control Center. Layout can't be changed, though.


- Offload Unused Apps - In the Settings app, there's a new option that will automatically uninstall apps that haven't been used in a while. Documents and data for uninstalled apps will remain available in case the app is re-installed.

- Bolder text - Throughout the operating system, there are bolder text labels and starker, bolder looks for many apps like Phone, Contacts, and FaceTime. Many apps have received design changes ranging from subtle to more significant, such as the revamped Calculator app.


- Unified Siri and search settings - In the Settings app, there's now a single tab for Siri and Search, which is a more logical layout. There are also options for toggling on Siri suggestions for each individual app that's downloaded on a device.


- Revamped storage management - The "Storage and iCloud Usage" tab is now just "iPhone Storage" and it features at at-a-glance view of the storage space available on a device along with recommendations for improving storage space like auto deleting old conversations, clearing large Messages attachments, and storing Messages in iCloud, a new feature that syncs Messages across all of your devices.


- Accounts and passwords - There's a new "Accounts & Passwords" section in Settings that provides access to all iCloud and Mail accounts along with app and website passwords stored in Keychain, accessible only after authenticating with Touch ID. Passwords are also available in the Safari section of the Settings app.

- Safari Settings - Additional privacy options are available for Safari in the Settings app. There's an option to "Try to Prevent Cross-Site Tracking," a new iOS 11 feature, and there are options for Camera and Microphone Access.

- Emergency SOS - There's an Emergency SOS option in the Settings app that allows users to turn on an "Auto Call" feature that will immediately dial 911 when the Sleep/Wake button is pressed five times.


- Drag and drop - Drag and Drop was announced as an iPad feature, but in apps like Files, drag and drop is available for moving files around on the iPhone. Drag and Drop is a feature that's limited to use within apps on the iPhone and it isn't system-wide like on the iPad.

- Camera QR code scanning - The Camera app automatically detects QR codes and will respond appropriately, doing things like opening up Safari to a specific website.

- Password Autofill - Password autofilling options are now available for third-party apps.

- AirPods settings - AirPods can now be customized with separate double tap gestures for the left and right AirPod. One can be set to access Siri, for example, while another can be set to play the next track. In iOS 10, double tap settings are applied to both AirPods.


- Auto-pausing for uploads - Photo syncing and other such updates are automatically paused in iOS 11 when battery life is low.


- Automatic setup - When setting up a new iOS device, there's now an option to hold it near an existing device to automatically copy over settings, preferences, and iCloud Keychain.

- Screen recording - There's a Control Center option that will automatically capture a screen recording of what you're doing on an iPhone or iPad.

- Smart Invert - In the Accessibility section of the Settings app, under Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colors, there's a new option for "Smart Invert." Smart Invert reverses the colors of the display except for images, media, and some apps. It's quite similar to the Dark Mode that users have been hoping for, but it doesn't extend to all UI elements.

- GIFs In the Photos app, GIFs saved in the Camera roll now animate when opened. In the main album view, they are still, but will work properly when tapped.

There are many, many more undocumented tweaks and changes in iOS 11, and additional features will be added and updated throughout the beta testing process. For now, iOS 11 is limited to developers, but Apple plans to make a version available for public beta testers in late June.

Devices compatible with iOS 11 include the iPhone 5s, SE, 6 Plus, 6, 6s Plus, 6s, 7 Plus, and 7, along with the new fifth-generation iPad, the iPad Air, the iPad Air 2, all iPad Pro models, and the iPad mini 2 and later. iOS 11 essentially works with all devices that include an A7 or newer chip.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
37 months ago

- Type to Siri - There's an Accessibility feature that enables Type to Siri. With this option toggled on, when Siri is accessed via a Home button press, it brings up a keyboard where you can type something to Siri.

It is about time! #Deaf #Accessibility
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
LOOK AT THE NEW VOLUME INDICATER. Yes it deserves all caps

Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

What does the calculator look like ?

Still using every single digit, 1 through 9 (including 0!).
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
AirPods customization VERY welcomed
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

More here. https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith/status/871857521979527169/video/1

The dragfest is real. Seriously, that's some good coding right there
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

The dragfest is real. Seriously, that's some good coding right there

Indeed. Apple is back.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...