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Each year, Apple releases a new version of their mobile device operating system they’ve dubbed “iOS,” and each year the new version feels like a modest improvement over the last. This year, Apple’s release of iOS 11 is right on schedule, but it feels like a bigger upgrade than previous years. The technicians at Connectech have had the pre-release beta running on their iPhone for a while now, which is why we’d like to share four very cool features of the upcoming upgrade we think you’re going to love.

Control Center
Control Center was introduced as part of iOS 7 back in 2013, and it has largely gone untouched by Apple. This year, Control Center gets its biggest update yet, with expandable icons that use Apple’s force touch to incrementally change certain widgets in Control Center. New widgets with options we didn’t even know we wanted arrive to Control Center as well, like an Apple TV remote, easy access to low power mode to help extend your battery life, and even screen recording, which is how we’re recording some of the footage for this video. Imagine being able to record an issue you’re having on your device at home and sending it to one of our technicians.

Apple’s introduction of Do Not Disturb was a feature that was intended to be an easy toggle switch to turn notifications on or off, to help minimize distracted drivers, or to just help you take a nap without your phone beeping or vibrating. Now, Do Not Disturb While Driving is available as a widget in Control Center as well, using your car’s bluetooth to detect when you’re in the car, and will automatically disable notifications for incoming calls, texts, and so on. It even responds to text messages automatically, letting the sender know you’re driving and can’t talk at the moment. The feature is voluntary, but recommended for easily distracted drivers. Apple has also added Emergency SOS to the iPhone, which allows the user to click the sleep/wake button 5 times in rapid succession to call emergency services, and even contact your emergency contact.

Notes is an application that has just been getting better and better with each update of iOS, and this year is no exception. In addition to the improvements we saw last year of adding scribbles, checklists and pictures to Notes, this year expands on those features and adds some very relevant and cool ones. First, scribbles in the form of handwriting are now searchable in the Notes app. This means you can write a note with your finger, a stylus, or an Apple Pencil with your own handwriting, and search for that note among all of your notes with pretty good precision. In addition to adding pictures to your notes, you can now use your camera to scan documents and add them to your note as well. All of this is fine, but once you have text, a checklist, handwritten scribblings, and a scanned document, how do you make sure it gets to another person the way you have organized it? You can send the note as a PDF.

When Siri was first implemented in 2011, it was a big improvement over Apple’s Voice Control. However, Siri was still limited in what it could do on the phone, and the voice was a little robotic. Now the voice has been improved to sound considerably more human, and the list of things Siri can do has expanded significantly, including cross-app integration, meaning Siri can look into the goings-on of one app and make a suggestion in another app based on that information. Siri can also translate, meaning integration between languages has come a long way as well.

There’s a lot more happening in iOS 11, and we’d love to show you more. If you want to know more about the coming update, or are thinking about upgrading your phone this Fall, give us a call, or contact us, and we’ll be happy to give you some instruction on the upcoming upgrade.