iOS 11: 15 hidden expert functions

Available since the 19th of September, iOS 11 has introduced quite a few innovations for the iPhone and has radically changed the iPad user-experience. While Apple has put the emphasis on augmented reality, its new control center and the iPad user-experience – now similar to that of a Mac, iOS 11 has also introduced other innovations. PCGAMER presents 15 hidden functions that will give you better control over the latest Apple update.

Screen capture as a video

Requested for years by its users, the possibility of recording the screen’s content as a video is now possible with iOS 11. Once enabled within the new control center, it activates quickly and is even able to record the sounds emitted by the device. It can also record sound from the microphone on demand.

Editing screenshots

Screenshots have become more sophisticated in iOS 11. With each screenshot, iOS offers the possibility, for around 10 seconds, of accessing an editing mode – visible in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Pencil, highlighter or cropping tool, iOS 11 offers a few practical editing options – especially Apple Pencil.

“Type to Siri”

Are you uncomfortable speaking to your telephone in public? With the “Type to Siri” function – available among the “Accessibility” functions of iOS 11, it is now possible to use your keyboard instead of your voice to interact with Siri. It is also possible to mute Siri whenever the silent mode is engaged.

Lightweight photos/videos

Truly revolutionary: Apple has replaced the JPEG format with HEIF and now encodes videos in HEVC format. In other words: for the same level of quality, photo and video files can be half the size as they were before. This new setting is however exclusively reserved for devices equipped with an A10 – or higher – processor such as the iPhone 7 and iPad Pro. If for any reason – mainly compatibility – you would prefer to continue using JPEG format, you can deactivate this feature in the camera settings – on the “Format” tab.

Share a WiFi network

Invited to spend the evening at your place, your friend asks you for your WiFi access code, but this code is 26 characters long and is hidden behind your TV. The new iOS allows you to share your password with a simple tap of the device, provided that your friend’s iPhone (which must also have iOS 11) is in proximity to yours. Your friend will simply need to attempt to connect to your WiFi network and you will receive a notification to your iPhone.

A one-handed keyboard for the iPhone

Owners of the iPhone Plus with small hands will rejoice in iOS 11 since Apple has now incorporated a one-handed keyboard into its operating system. You will simply need to press the globe button or emoji for 3 seconds in order to compress the on-screen keyboard into the right or left-hand side of the screen.

A slider keyboard for iPad

In addition to having improved multitasking, drag-and-drop and Dock capability, iOS 11 for iPad introduces an all-new keyboard. Every key has a secondary character associated with it which can be accessed by sliding your finger down over the key. This new functionality makes the touchscreen keyboard much more appealing.

Autofill within applications

iOS 11 has improved its password manager (integrated with iCloud). In addition to suggesting user IDs and passwords for web-based login portals, the Autofill function is now capable of recognizing the login portals of applications. For instance, if you have previously connected to Facebook.com, iOS can now automatically log you into the Facebook application.

Reading QR codes

The “Camera” application of iPhones and iPads is now able to recognize QR codes and to display an option to open the associated link with Safari. This option can be deactivated within the OS’s settings.

Sharing iCloud storage

With iOS 11, Apple makes it possible to share the 200 GB and 1 TB iCloud storage plans with your family members who will simply need to accept your invitation to share your iCloud storage space with them.

A different function for each AirPod

With iOS 10, by double tapping on an AirPod, it was already possible to pause a song or to launch Siri. With iOS 11, Apple has added two new options, accessible in the AirPods section of the Bluetooth settings: “next track” and “previous track”. What is great is that it is now possible to assign a different function to each AirPod. Siri on the left and next track on the right for example.

SOS mode

Exclusively available in India since last year, the SOS mode is now available the world over with iOS 11. It allows users to configure trusted contacts – from the SOS settings menu – to be alerted in case of emergency. Five consecutive presses of the power button will allow you to activate the SOS mode in case of danger; you can then decide whether or not to alert your emergency contacts. Activation of this mode also deactivates Touch ID (or Face ID).

Hidden dark mode

While it lacks a true dark mode, iOS 11 has introduced an “intelligent” inverted color mode – which can be activated within the accessibility settings. This function inverts the iOS’s colors – towards darker color tones – while leaving images in their original colors. This mode should be ideal for the iPhone X’s Super Retina OLED display.

New iMessage effects

With iOS 10, it was already possible to enhance an iMessage with a visual effect such as confetti. With iOS 11, Apple has introduced two new effects:“Echo” which gives the impression of having been sent the same message a dozen times and “Spotlight” which puts emphasis on your message by placing your message bubble under a spotlight.

Automatic configuration

You will no longer need to spend several minutes configuring your Apple device. With iOS 11, Apple has introduced a feature called “Automatic Setup”. Have you just bought a new Apple Watch, Apple TV or iPhone? You will simply need to get your new device close to an already configured device in order to be able to share all of its preferences and accounts.

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