Apple today announced iOS 11 will become publicly available on September 19. The news was shared Tuesday during a special event at Apple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater, the first-ever at the new headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple today also announced the release of iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple TV 4K, and Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular service.
The operating system is available for many existing iPhones and iPads. This means most devices made in recent years can upgrade to the new iOS, with the exception of the iPhone 5 and 5c and iPad 4th gen, all released in 2013 or earlier. iOS 11 has been available in public beta since June and comes with a series of new features, including:
- App Store redesign: Cards are used to feature apps, and a Today tab has been added to showcase an App of the Day and Game of the Day.
- Siri personalization: In addition to a more expressive voice and on-the-spot translations, Siri in iOS 11 will begin to serve up personalized recommendations in native iOS apps like Safari and News.
- iPad-specific updates: Drag-and-drop on iPads will be able to move text and images between apps. A new toggle feature will make it easier to switch between apps.
iOS 11 also comes with ML Core, a framework for developers to add machine learning and deep learning to apps, as well as ARKit, which Apple said it wants developers to use to turn iOS into “the largest AR platform in the world.”
Airplay 2 for iOS 11 will bring multi-room audio support for Apple devices and the new HomePod, akin to the kind Alexa just introduced for Echo devices.
iMessage in iOS 11 gets a sleeker presentation of apps and a new iMessage App Store. Also coming to iMessage are Apple Pay peer-to-peer payments and Business Chat, a service to connect businesses and customers.
The control panel, the set of options you can see when you swipe up from the bottom of an iPhone, have all been placed on a single screen.
Other cool updates as part of iOS 11 include Do Not Disturb mode while driving. If you tap the power button five times it brings up SOS mode, which allows you to call emergency services or quickly display medical information such as your blood type, height, weight, and emergency contacts. Steps have also been taken in iOS 11 to make it harder for law enforcement officials to extract information from a locked iPhone.