Now that Apple has rolled out a new version of its iOS, it's time to dig into all the major features we've been hearing about since iOS 11 was first previewed in June. And once you install iOS 11, you'll discover that there's more to the update then what Apple featured during its developer conference. iOS 11 is full of hidden goodies, including some pretty useful tools such as a one-handed keyboard mode, a new way to interact with Siri, and even new AirPods controls.
Here are the coolest new iOS tricks to explore in iOS 11.
Users of iOS devices have to download often poorly-made third-party apps in order to read any QR codes, such as those used in membership programs at lunch spots. Apple's own Camera app will now feature its own QR-code scanner.
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If you live in a densely populated area, you're likely tired of your iPhone's attempts to join Wi-Fi networks every time it smells the faintest scent of connectivity. A new Auto Join setting, which stops your phone from automatically hopping onto networks with lesser signal quality, should put a stop to that.
Apple's given iOS 11 users a new way to shut down their device. In the case that your iPhone's lock/wake button stops working correctly, you can open Settings, tap General, tap Shut Down and swipe the shutdown slider at the top of the screen. If this doesn't do the trick, and holding the lock button doesn't wake the phone, plug your iPhone into a power source and it will start up.
iPad Pro owners who use the Apple Pencil will become more efficient. In iOS 11, tapping on the locked tablet's screen with the stylus automatically opens the Notes app.
If there's a moment in one of your FaceTime conversations you'd like to capture forever, just tap that shutter button in the lower left corner of the video messaging app. You'll be able to take a Live Photo from the Mac or iPhone camera of the person on the other end of the line that's saved to your Photos library. (Worried that someone will snap a photo of you without your knowledge? Everyone on the FaceTime call gets a notification the photo was taken.)
As the owner of a Plus-sized iPhone, I'm typically typing with both thumbs, which isn't convenient. The new one-handed typing keyboard in iOS 11 can be found by holding down on the emoji key and selecting it from the menu.
Last year's iOS 10 update added the ability to send a text in Messages in your own handwriting (or at least in whatever you could scrawl on an iPhone-sized screen). In iOS 11, Mail adds that capability. Just long-press on the screen to summon up the copy/paste pop-up window; scroll through all the options until you reach Insert Drawing. Tapping that option takes you to a blank page where you can use a virtual pencil, pen or marker to write out a message. When you're done, you can insert it directly into the body of an email.