Apple has released iOS 11, its latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
The release, scheduled ahead of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X release dates, is one of Apple’s biggest updates yet with some powerful new features and a complete redesign of some of the iPhone’s most-used features.
Where iOS 11 will really make an impact however is with the iPad, giving it more Mac-like features including the ability to manage your files using folders, a Mac-style dock at the bottom and seamless multi-tasking.
When is iOS 11 out?
iOS 11′s UK release date is the 19 September. Now contrary to what you might think the update does not go live in the morning, so don’t panic if you haven’t seen that little notification pop up yet.
Instead iOS 11 will go live in the UK from 6PM GMT.
How to download iOS 11
Downloading iOS 11 is a relatively straightforward process but it does require you do to a bit of housecleaning before you can press that ‘Download and Install’ button.
1. Backup your iPhone/iPad to iCloud.
Apple’s software updates are almost always smooth hiccup-free experiences, however in the off-chance that something does go wrong and your iPhone didn’t backup the night before then you’re going to be in trouble.
This is really easy to avoid. Simply plug in your iPhone or iPad to a charging outlet, connect to a WiFi network and then go to: Settings - Tap on your name at the top - iCloud - iCloud Backup - Back Up Now.
You’ll then see a small bar indicating that your device is backing up.
2. Make sure you have enough storage.
One of the most common issues is that people will press ‘Download and Install’ but then get an error message informing them that they don’t have enough storage.
This is annoying but again there are some simple things you can do to prevent it happening and in the long run it’ll let you take more photos, videos and store more songs on your device.
Check out our article for easy tips on how to free up storage:
3. Download and install iOS 11
Now you’re backed up and you have enough space you’re ready to go.
Your iPhone or iPad will be out of action for a while and make sure it either has over 50% of battery or is charging while you’re doing it.
Anytime past 6PM GMT on the 19 September simply head to: Settings - General - Software Update - Download and Install.
What’s new in iOS 11
To check out a complete list of all the new features coming to iOS 11 on iPhone and iPad head here.
Here are some highlights though:
Messages is a lot better
Apple’s Messages app has been given a subtle but important update. Before you bring up the keyboard, conversations will now allow you to quickly access your iMessage apps.
Your iMessage conversations are now also synched across all your Apple devices automatically which means everything from conversations to individual messages can now be synched and deleted across all devices.
You can take a LOT more pictures
The camera gets a small update but one that’s going to make a huge difference to your storage woes.
Apple’s moving over from JPEGs to a new type of image formate called HEV. It’s still compatible with everything you use currently but thanks to compression technology that’s twice as good it now massively reduces the amount space it’s going to take up on your phone.
Control Centre has been completely redesigned
Control Centre now has a new minimalist look that takes up just one screen so there’s no swiping between different cards. It looks more simplistic but Apple’s using 3D Touch on the newer iPhones to let you expand them into more complex settings menus.
Apple Music is more social
Apple Music hasn’t been given the major overhaul it was given last year. This time it’s about bringing your friends into the mix. You now have a profile that can be set as public or private.
Your friends’ Apple Music listening habits will then appear on your app and help you find new music or allow you to tap into their playlists and music tastes.
The iPad is now more like a computer
iOS 11 has the potential to fundamentally change how we use the iPad thanks to some major new features.
First up is Files, a new iOS app that lets you see every photo, video and document stored both on your device and in the cloud in a way that will feel very familiar to anyone who uses a MacBook or iMac.
Secondly there’s the new Dock, which is a permanent tray of apps that you can swipe up and access at any given point, again very similar to macOS. To open multiple apps you simply press and hold on the dock and drag that app up into the screen.