Over the past decade, we’ve experienced the evolution of iOS.
Back in June 2007, when the first iphone was released, the early adopters were entertained by the ability to watch YouTube videos via the app, intrigued by multi-touch gestures and fascinated by Google maps (back when Apple and Google were best buddies!).
This was a time before 3D Touch, live photos, and even before Siri.
It’s crazy looking back the journey of iOS – it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with ups, leaving users delighted, and downs, sparking serious controversy. Nonetheless, several technological advances and innovative ideas has ultimately shaped iOS – the driving force behind the iPhone, into what it is today.
We are eagerly anticipating the launch of the iPhone 8 which commemorates a decade since the iPhone was launched, and with it, we are speculating what features the incoming iOS 11 will bring us.
In the run up to the release of the new iOS, many have spread rampant rumours online, predicting and debating the likeliness of particular features of the incoming software, and some people have even created and shared extensive ‘i0S wishlists’, expressing the features they would love to see in the new i0S.
Here are 3 features that are rumoured for iOS 11:
#1: Advanced Siri
When the iPhone 4s was launched in 2011, Apple introduced the world to Siri, a computer program that functions as an intelligent personal assistant.
Voice recognition software has been around for some time now, however, since iOS 5, Siri has provided users with answers and recommendations, and has performed various tasks, across Apple devices including the MacBook, and even Apple TV.
Now, with iOS 11 imminent, what features can Siri users expect?
In recent years, the smart assistant space has become increasingly competitive. We’ve got the Google Assistant, and the massively successful Alexa, by Amazon’s Echo range.
Apple’s Siri has faced some criticisms in the past – Walt Mossberg even composed an article entitled, “Why does Siri seem so dumb?” In light of the launch of the more advanced smart assistants, Siri will apparently be getting an upgrade.
According to reports from The Verifier, Siri will see some impressive improvements across all devices.
If the report holds true, i0S 11 will facilitate integration between Siri and both iCloud and iMessage, which would probably work in a similar fashion to how the Google assistant works, offering context-based suggestions within your iMessage chats.
For example, supposing you scheduled a catch up with a friend at a particular location, and you wanted to know their estimated time of arrival, Siri would then check the location of your friend and provide you with that information.
This rumour seems credible as Apple already has a patent outlining such a feature. Some people may find the introduction of Siri into their iMessages to be quite invasive of their privacy however, there are clues within the patent that suggests that safety and privacy remains a top priority for Apple. For example, recipients will receive a notification that the siri assistant feature is being used, and participants of the chat will be able to select what personal data is accessible to Siri within the chat.
Another key feature this integration could facilitate is the ability to send payments to your contacts via iMessage. Once activated, Siri would ask you what payment method you would like to use based upon what payment Apps users have installed on their devices.
Even though this patent exists, it isn’t a guarantee that Apple will bring these features to life however, given the fact that the smart assistant space is becoming more competitive, and given Apple’s interest in enhancing Siri and the iMessage user experience, these upgrades remain possible.
#2: Group Face Time
The big question is, will FaceTime (FT) get a big upgrade this year?
Since 2010, FT has enabled us to host two-way video chats.
We’ve got Google hangouts, and we have Skype – both of which enable users to talk with more than one person at a time. Therefore, it seems about time for Apple to catch up, and offer users the option of hosting group video conversations with other Apple device users.
According to The verifier, (who have cited that they have connections with people familiar with the iOS development) iOS 11 will enable users to hold group FT conversations, with up to 5 people simultaneously, and that this option would be available via iMessage.
The report doesn’t go into any great detail about the potential FT upgrade, but it does mention that whilst in a group chat, your screen display will divide into four sections so that each of the participants can be seen simultaneously.
#3: Advanced Multitasking
In today’s busy world, not multitasking isn’t really an option.
The same holds true for using your smartphone – not only is multitasking convenient, it speeds up productivity.
Multitasking features, such as the ability to continue listening to music outside of the music App, and to receive push notifications (updating you of any changes in other Apps) was introduced in 2010 when iOS 4 was launched.
i0S 9 saw the introduction of multitasking for the iPad. One of three main multitasking features on the iPad is the split view feature. As the name suggests, this function enables users to simultaneously open, and work on two Apps, such as Safari and your calender for example.
The other two multitasking features now included within the iPad are:slide over and picture-in-picture. The former allows users to briefly address a secondary App, to check your inbox or jot down a few notes, and the latter enables users to simultaneously watch a video, whilst using another App.
There have been several rumours pointing towards these multitasking features being included in iOS 11 for the iPhone 8.
iOS 10 was released in September 2016, after being previewed at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer’s conference (WWDC). This year the WWDC will be held between the 5-9th June 2017.
If Apple follows this custom this year, we can expect to hear more news about the new iOS update in June.