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iOS 11 Beta Impressions

With the Apple Developer Program ($100/year), the Tech Desk members were able to test the waters on Apple's next operating system. Originally announced at WWDC last week, iOS 11's new features included a redesigned control and notification centers, an improved Siri and much more. We were very excited about the Apple Pay integration with iMessage but sadly this beta version doesn't include the feature. After spending a week with the beta, we noticed a few minor changes that make all the difference. For one, Do Not Disturb while Driving is an invaluable safety feature that blocks notifications and text messages while driving. It also alerts senders that the message will not be seen and has an option to bypass the feature by responding 'urgent'. 

The iPad got the most attention this year. Apple is looking to create an iPad experience that is capable of replacing a PC. The iPad now receives a dock similar to the Mac. Recently opened apps or Handoff apps are shown to the right with static apps on the left. From any screen (not just the home screen), swipe up and access both the dock and the redesigned multitasking screen. The split screen functionality has also been updated. When using 'slide-over', both apps are now active to use. The app in 'slide-over' mode is now a floating window. Slide-Over and Split Screen both allow for items such as text, links, and images to be dragged and dropped between windows. 

The most obvious change in iOS 11, have been the abundant UI updates. The entire iOS uses the new San Francisco font, the majority of text is bold, and most Apple apps match the Apple Music app from last year. iOS 11 has been a breath of fresh air to aging devices. While iOS 11 does not feature prime-time stability, every beta iteration is sure to be better than the last.