iOS 11 Preview: Enhanced Siri, Voice Translation, Unified Control Center & More

Apple's senior VP of software, Craig Federighi, took to the stage at WWDC today to give a preview of iOS 11, showing off new features like a smarter Photo Library and a redesigned Control Center.

Messages is set to receive a redesigned app drawer that makes it easier to use apps and stickers, while a more optimized device storage system will make Messages backups smaller and faster, with messages stored and synced across devices over iCloud. Beginning iOS 11, for the first time, Apple Pay is also integrated into the Messages app.

Siri is will become more naturally spoken, with a new voice powered by deep learning techniques. Also set to feature is a beta translation feature that will allow users to get live translations between English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. More languages are promised by Apple in the months to come.

Lastly for Siri, a new on-device learning system will enable the virtual assistant to understand what a user is likely to want depending on circumstances and time of day. User data will be synced across all devices on a user's account with end-to-end encryption.

Control Center will be substantially redesigned to appear on a single screen and fill the bottom half of an iPhone's display, implementing 3D Touch for sub-options within buttons, and sliders to adjust volume and brightness. The Lock Screen and Notification Center will be unified on a single screen, with a swipe up or down from the Lock Screen offering immediate access to notifications.

Apple Maps will include detailed shopping floor plans for shopping malls in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, and London, with several other major cities also covered and additional ones to come. Major airports will also be included in the floor plans, while lane guidance and posted speed limits will be displayed during navigation.

Apple is introducing an optional Do Not Disturb While Driving feature in iOS 11 to prevent distracted driving. HomeKit will also support a new AirPlay 2 protocol for supporting speakers, with a Shared Up Next feature for the protocol where multiple connected users can edit a party playlist. A new MusicKit API will let third-party developers get full access to Apple Music in iOS 11.

iOS 11 will also bring several new features specifically to the iPad for its larger screen, including Drag-and-Drop, a new customizable Dock, a redesigned app switcher, and more.

Top Rated Comments

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34 months ago
Now we know why there hasn't been any leaks...there was nothing to leak. This is nothing but "bug fixes and minor improvements".
Rating: 18 Votes
34 months ago
This is iOS 11? Wow.. I came in to this expecting to be underwhelmed but this..
Rating: 15 Votes
34 months ago
Huge disappointment. Missing major overhaul to Springboard.

BOO: new app switcher, dock and files app only for iPad.
Rating: 10 Votes
34 months ago
A whole new iOS number for a redesigned AppStore and Control Center
Rating: 8 Votes
34 months ago
Nothing impressive. Period.
Rating: 8 Votes
34 months ago
Gonna have to say I agree with the other posters here. Major disappointment. To me, this feels like a 10.x.x update. Tweaks, a few "features" and nothing more. Apple clearly hasn't heard the footsteps (Pixel, Galaxy, LG). It may be too late now.
Rating: 7 Votes
34 months ago
I really like the new Control Center!

Still no dark mode :(

Any why are they bringing Music App's oversized UI to AppStore and Messages? :(
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago

No real changes. Only updates the stuff for titty babies.

What's a titty baby?
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago
Badly Disappointed!!:mad:
No Major Redesign!
Nothing impressive!!
Seems like :apple: took pass on ios 11
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago

I have a question that maybe someone who is a tech journalist or otherwise "in the know" hopefully can answer: is the reason why Apple repeatedly refuses to redesign the home screen because of some kind of patent issue? Put another way, does Google own certain generalized patents on the Android OS home screen design and that's why Apple won't redesign the iOS home screen to something similar?

I think at one of the trials it came out that Apple's lawyers were behind the iPad screen looking like an iPhone, right down to defaulting to only four docked icons.

This was so Apple could claim that an icon grid with four icons at the bottom was their own special trade dress, and win over Samsung.

Of course, those trials are long over with. So if that was true, it's not a good excuse any more.

I'd love to see Apple do something like that years old Android Kickstarter project homescreen called Chameleon.

Where you could pick and choose and rearrange all sorts of handy widget areas... and really make use of all that tablet real estate.

Rating: 5 Votes

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