Available today, the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system adds new capabilities for file management, augmented reality, photo/video creation, safer driving, and intelligent, automated language translation.
And sometime later this fall, an iOS 11 update will enable several new features for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users, including instant money transfers to friends and family via Messages, and indoor mapping of airports and shopping centers.
Apple calls iOS 11 "the biggest software release ever for iPad." The new mobile OS is rolling out ahead of this year's new iPhones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which arrive in stores Friday, and the 10th-anniversary iPhone X, scheduled to become available on Nov. 3.
Different Ways To Install
Many iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users will be able to update to iOS 11 wirelessly -- when an iOS device displays a message that the update is available, over-the-air installation can be launched by tapping "Install Now."
Apple device users can also install iOS 11 manually via iTunes. Apple advises users to access iTunes via trusted computers and then connect their devices to the computers. After a summary description of the mobile device appears in iTunes, users should click "Check for Update" and then proceed to download iOS 11.
Devices that support iOS 11 include the iPhone SE and iPhone 5s and up, all generations of the iPad Pro, both generations of the iPad Air, fifth-generation iPad, iPad mini 2 and up, and the sixth-generation iPod touch.
In addition to a smarter Siri digital assistant, improved photo/video capabilities, and new support for immersive augmented reality, iOS 11 introduces a customizable Dock display for accessing recently used apps and tools, a Files app that provides a centralized location for files stored either on the device or in the cloud, a redesigned App Store, and a do-not-disturb feature that can be used to silence notifications while a user is driving.
Message-Based Payments Coming Soon
After installing iOS 11, Apple device users will also be able to take advantage of some other, less-heralded new features. Among the "hidden" new capabilities described today in Business Insider: the ability to transfer settings from one device to another; customize the appearance of the Control Center; share personal WiFi hotspots with others via Bluetooth; and record on-screen images via a built-in screen recorder.
In its review of iOS 11 today, Fortune noted that the updated operating system will deliver noticeably different improvements depending on the device it's installed on. While iPhone owners won't see much change, iPad owners should "put everything down and download iOS 11 right now," according to Fortune.
"Apple's iPad Pro owners will be able to do more out of the box, including the ability to digitally scan and sign files with Apple Pencil," Fortune's Don Reisinger wrote. "But the most important additions to iOS 11 on the iPad come in the form of multitasking features, like the ability to quickly switch between apps or use two programs at once."
For now, however, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners alike will have to wait until a later iOS 11 update this fall to use two new features: the ability to send and receive money via Apple Pay using Messages (this will also be enabled for Apple Watch owners via an update to watchOS 4); and indoor maps of airports and shopping centers to make it easier to locate different shops and restaurants. The map update will also provide drivers with lane guidance and speed limit information, Apple said.