iOS 11

Cool factor ***** |  Usability *****


The look and feel of iOS 11, Apple’s newest software update, shows that it continues to evolve by introducing small but attractive changes to the interface.

One place you’ll really see the change is in the control centre, which has been redesigned for the better. Controls like screen brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and volume are all there in a single space and with better graphic presentation of their settings or status.

Some of these have further settings available through "hard press" — such as hardpressing the camera icon in the control centre to access the selfie, video or slow-mo options directly. You can customise what appears here through the new control centre option in the settings menu.

The App store is also redesigned. It’s a much better look, but I’m not convinced it adds to the device experience significantly.

Another useful addition is that iOS 11 offers a files folder — finally — for some simple, accessible storage of a range
of files. How did it take that long to get a basic files folder?

Nonetheless, we have it now. iPad users will also enjoy the reworked dock that gives you quick access to all open apps and recently opened apps, and can be brought up from
any screen with a single up-swiping gesture.

Siri has also got another shot in the arm. A cool function that is not available to you when you choose the SA English Siri option, however, is translation to German, Italian, Chinese and French (among others). For now, Siri tells me, "I can’t translate from SA English yet. Sorry about that." Fingers crossed she’ll get there eventually. If not, you can change to American English in Settings and retrain her to recognise your "Hey Siri" prompt.

There are many other little changes. Though they are largely incremental, it’s safe to say that the OS is becoming more intuitive and innovative.

One oft-reported niggle to look out for is the impact the system has on the battery life of devices, as well as reports of crashing apps and hung devices. Expect these to be the focus of bug fixes in the next few updates.

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