Since we still aren’t in a truly compatible world where devices can simply talk with each other, I have to wait for companies like Apple to continue to step up their game. Just think, it was only 10 years ago that Palm users (myself included) regularly beamed contact info directly into another’s address book, as well as sent data and applications to and fro. Today, whenever I’m asked to send a video to an Android user I cringe that they don’t have AirDrop.
I get the whole “proprietary” concept when it comes to operating systems and devices. While technology continues to wow us, some of the restrictions make it feel like we’re living in antiquated times. This may be why I’m having difficulty containing my excitement for iOS 11. It’s due out in September, and will be chock full of new features. Seeing as I use Siri and a portable keyboard a great deal, there are many features of which I won’t take full advantage. There are seven highlights, though, that will probably change everything for me.
Here’s my list of iOS 11 “Yes, please!” features:
1. Siri will work with more apps! Having a totally blind husband, I understand just how difficult it can be to navigate various iPhone apps using VoiceOver. My dream? To see Siri work seamlessly across everything on my iPhone and iPad. And, yes, I mean everything. Until that happens, I will embrace any update that provides for more digital access by third-party apps.
2. The Files App. A big hurdle when transitioning from a desktop to smartphone is learning an entirely different interface. The Files App looks similar to the Mac’s finder, and Windows users will pick it up quickly, too. Bonus – we’ll get to see everything stored on iOS devices, iCloud drive, and on other services like Dropbox.
3. Drag and Drop. Moving elements from one app to another. Need I say more?
4. Scan and Sign. Currently, I use a portable rolling scanner (like this one) to scan any contracts so I can digitally sign them and send via email. Part of Notes, this new feature will save time and let me do it on the fly.
5. A Customizable Control Center. Being able to dictate what goes here is going to make both my business and personal life much easier! Now, if it prevents me from accidentally playing music when I’m standing in line at the post office? All the better!
6. Long Exposure Live Photos. I’m eager to see just how Apple is going to pull off time-exposure, which involves using a long duration shutter speed that captures stationary objects while moving objects are blurred. If it really works, it’s going to change everything in the world of smartphone photography.
7. No more asking me for the WiFi password! Most of our friends use iPhones. When we host parties, I set up a separate router with a ridiculously simple password. Then I have to remember to disconnect it after the last guest has left. iOS 11 will make this easier by letting me approve password requests made by nearby devices.
As you can tell, I’m not so interested in one-handed typing, multi-lingual support and having Siri tell me what music I’m going to love. I’m perfectly happy with the current set of emoji, the lack of real GIF support and the fact that I have to spend time deciding which news topics I want to peruse. I’m sure, though, that plenty of you are more excited about iOS 11’s more playful features.
To see more about what’s coming in iOS 11, check out the preview at Apple.com. Take a look, and let me know what ranks at the top of your list.