Not every software upgrade is going to be a huge, revolutionary change. iOS 11 is not the biggest update Apple has ever done, but it does bring quite a few worthwhile changes, tweaks, and improvements. Especially for the iPad lineup.
Apple released iOS 11 to the public on September 19, so it has been more than a week since the new software has been available, giving plenty of time for most users to dig around with the new mobile operating system version. Apple made a big deal about how the iPad family will improve with the iOS 11 update, and rightly so. For iPad owners all of the changes in iOS 11 make the experience a lot better, especially with multitasking and the brand new dock.
For iPhone owners, the changes are a bit more subtle. Apple, in its marketing way, describes it pretty well: “A giant step for iPhone. A monumental leap for iPad.” That really gets to the meat of it right there. iOS 11 is an important update for Apple, as usual, but the biggest takeaway in its usefulness is for the company’s tablet. Of course, that’s not really a bad thing. Apple talks about the iPad being a replacement for a computer, and while some might have been able to do that with iOS 10 (and even earlier versions of the OS), iOS 11 simply makes that statement a bit easier.
On the landing page for iOS 11, the majority of the focus is on the iPad. The page talks about the new dock, which allows for easy access to apps, along with making multitasking easier, too. It talks about the new Files app (which is on the iPhone, too, thankfully), and drag-and-drop gets its moment to shine, too. iOS 11 does indeed offer quite a bit to like, and surely some of those features stand out for some users.
Even quiet updates have a way of leaving their mark, and iOS 11 is one of those upgrades.
For me, I’ve got a couple of favorite new features in iOS 11. One is specific for the iPhone, and the other is specific for the iPad. The first is Do Not Disturb While Driving. I’m someone who tries not to use their phone at all while they are driving. I usually keep it in my pocket to help with that, letting the phone connect to my car via Bluetooth and just letting the music play, using the built-in controls on the steering wheel to control playback. Sometimes the phone is in a small compartment, though, and hearing notifications –even when the phone’s on vibrate– can be distracting.
Turning on DND While Driving has been one of the best moves I’ve made, though. I think it’s an important update on Apple’s part, a company that has been taken to court several times over distracted driving claims. Apple shouldn’t be held responsible for accidents when someone is using their phone, but Apple can make software that helps try to decrease those situations. DND While Driving is one way to help.
The other standout feature for me has been instant notes. The ability to tap the Apple Pencil on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s locked display and quickly start taking notes, which are then saved to Apple’s Notes app. I honestly haven’t used the Apple Notes app all that often up to this point, opting to use third-party alternatives, but this particular feature has me using the app almost exclusively. It’s a feature that I’ve used on other devices, so I’m glad to have it on the iPad, where I do a lot of note taking.