As Apple so often does, it announced a slew of new things at its keynote on Sept. 12. Traditionally, one of these items is a new number to adorn the iPhone’s operating system, and this year was no different.
iOS 11 is largely an aesthetic update for the iPhone, but it carries a large interface change for the iPad. This review will focus on the iPhone features as my iPad is slower than syrup running through a freezer.
The first thing I noticed was the change in the way the phone unlocks using the fingerprint scanner. Nothing seems to have changed if you open the phone normally, but if you slide open a notification, an artsy, fingerprint-like design appears and fills with color as the scanner begins operation. This way, you can see the exact moment it inevitably fails. However, you can now press the “use passcode” button instead of waiting for the fingerprint scanner to time out.
The App and iTunes Stores have gotten visual overhauls and appear to function with fewer bugs. Updates run more smoothly, and the aesthetic is much nicer than it was. The notification center is easier to access with a downward swipe, but nothing much has changed in that department. The control center is much improved. It is easier to access, like the notification center, and has improved features like customization and the ability to turn off cellular data. Finally. Why was that so hard?
The only significant problem came when I was attempting to use the calculator. Any time I tilted the phone back the screen locked. I thought this might be related to me using the calculator without unlocking the phone, so I unlocked it and tried again. I tilted the phone and the screen locked again. That is a bit annoying to say the least. I have not seen this happen any other time. That seems like a pretty easy bug to fix, and it is hard to believe that this quirk made it past testing.
All in all, iOS 11 is a significant update to the look and feel of Apple’s system. Most features should have been implemented a long time ago, but it is nice to see Apple is finally listening to user feedback.