Apple Reveals iOS 11 in an Ongoing Battle for Best Operating System

The dust from the countless rumors has finally settled as Apple officially unveiled its latest operating system iOS 11 at the Steve Jobs Theatre, complete with a host of new features and tweaks to the beloved design. The new iOS 11 will be available for download on September 19.

Techvibes outlined many updates last week, but today Apple users had the first official look at iOS 11 and heard from CEO Tim Cook on how the operating system is innovating the user experience in the never-ending software race.

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the iconic iPhone, it was expected for the new iOS 11 to be armed with standout features for the companies new phones and Apple didn’t disappoint.

Custom Control Center, Smarter Siri, Peer-to-Peer Pay and Driving Without Distractions

In iOS 11, there are nearly two dozen features that can be pulled into the iPhone and iPad control center. Users can select and organize as many or as few of these tools as they’d like, including shortcuts to low-power mode, accessibility options and even an Apple TV remote.

Siri comes with notable improvements. The voice is more natural and realistic than ever before, using deep learning to enhance expression and pronunciation. The intelligent personal assistant is also smarter, equipped to better understand user preferences and make suggestions by anticipating needs. Siri can finally translate English into different languages including Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with more expected in the near future. The smart assistant now also makes helpful suggestions in iMessage through a feature called QuickType.

The operating system also allows users to send and receive money through iMessage. With Apple Pay’s new person-to-person pay feature, transferring money is as simple as sending a text.

The Do Not Disturb mode has evolved into a new feature: Do Not Disturb While Driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause of road collisions, and Apple is doing their part to help drivers stay focused when they’re behind the wheel. When the new driving mode is turned on, notifications will be muted for incoming messages and the sender will be notified the person they’re trying to reach is in the car. In the case of emergencies, the sender can override the mode and make sure their message goes through.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is coming in iOS 11, sure to be a game changer for Apple users. The operating system is now capable of powering ARKit, allowing developers to build immersive AR experiences and add 3D virtual objects to real-world spaces.

Animojis will allow iPhone X owners to utilize facial recognition and send animated emoji messages, voice recordings and all. If you have ever wanted to anthropomorphize the poop emoji, well now you can.

A few new games using AR were also shown, including one played on a tabletop involving battling robots. It seems the new offerings will fully use the new technology of iOS 11 and the new iPhone offerings.

Powering the iPad

IOS 11 will make the iPad more capable than ever before, powering the iPad to become more in-line with a personal laptop than a tablet device.

The Files app on both the iPad and iPhone brings all user files together where they can be browsed, searched and organized in one place—similar to Finder on a Mac.

The Dock at the bottom of the iPad display will allow users to jump between apps easily and instantly. Users can also now view two apps at once making multitasking easy, and view all open apps at a glance with App Switcher.

Notable Android Oreo Features

The newest Apple operating system is lacking some features that would simplify the user experience, and they’d be wise to look at Android Oreo for inspiration.

The smart text selection on Oreo automatically detects what kind of text is highlighted and offers useful actions for the user to take like opening up the phone app to call a number or looking up an address in Maps.

While Apple beat Android with offering picture-in-picture viewing, Oreo makes this feature available on phones while iOS only powers picture-in-picture on iPads.

The Operating System Duel

While deciding between phones is more than a debate over what operating system it’s running, the software can be a point of pride or pain for a mobile device owner. Afterall, when a user commits to one operating system and familiarity sinks in, a competitor needs to make a compelling argument to make the switch.

Apple has been criticized in the past for adopting features that Android has launched years ago, but today’s announcement shows the company isn’t only catching up, they’re also starting to lead the charge.