15 neat hidden features in iOS 11

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15 neat hidden features in iOS 11

After months and months of beta, iOS 11 is finally here — and it’s a huge update. In particular, Apple has tucked away many little features that you won’t see right away.

If you want to impress all your friends with your mad iOS skills, here is a list of some of these features. I also wrote a short and sweet review of iOS 10 if you want to learn more about all the changes coming with iOS 11.

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Controlling Control Center

Apple has redesigned Control Center. Everything now fits on one page so that you don’t have to swipe around.

But it means that some shortcuts are tucked away. Deep press (or long press on an iPad) on network icons to access AirDrop and personal hotspot, on the brightness indicator to access Night Shift and more.

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Customizing Control Center

But that’s not all. You can finally add custom icons to the Control Center panel — well, at least some. Apple is still limiting those shortcuts to iOS features and native apps.

But it feels good to be able to trigger Low Power Mode or launch Voice Memos from Control Center.

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Emergency Mode

If you’re facing an emergency, you can now press the sleep/wake button five times to activate Emergency Mode. On the iPhone X, you need to long press the sleep/wake button and the volume button.

This mode disables Touch ID and Face ID so that nobody can force you to unlock your phone. You can also access medical information and call 911 from this screen.

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The password is: A932JDPOQ02JDXMZ

Chances are you’ve been to a friend’s place and didn’t join the Wi-Fi network because the password was too complicated.

Now, if another iOS device tries to join the same Wi-Fi network as the one you’re currently using, iOS will show this popup so that you can effortlessly share the password with this device.

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Record your screen from your device

If you’re a developer, you’re going to love this. You can now add a custom shortcut to Control Center to record your screen.

After a three-second countdown, your iOS device records everything you do and saves the movie file in your photo library.

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GIFs, with a hard G

This changes everything.

If you love this GIF, you can now save it to your photo library and share it later. The Photos app can store and display all your favorite GIFs. This feature alone makes iOS 11 a game changer.

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Customize AirPods shortcuts

With iOS 11, you can now configure two different shortcuts for the AirPods. For instance, you can double-tap on the left AirPod to trigger Siri, and double-tap on the right AirPod to skip to the next track.

Neat!

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Watch out, Google Maps

Apple Maps is learning some new tricks. The team is slowly adding maps of malls and airports. You can now search for the nearest restaurant or navigate through different floors.

I know, Google Maps users. Google’s app has had this for years. But some people like Apple Maps!

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Do Not Disturb While Driving

If you connect your phone to your car using Bluetooth, iOS can now automatically turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving. When this is on, iOS silences all notifications so that you can stay focused on the road.

And if you don’t use Bluetooth in your car, iOS can autodetect when you’re driving based on your location and accelerometers.

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Screenshot Magician

It looks like Apple is learning from Snapchat and Instagram. When you take a screenshot in iOS 11, a thumbnail appears in the bottom left corner. If you open it, you can crop your screenshot, annotate it and open it in another app.

Even better, when you hit done, iOS asks you if you want to keep the screenshot or if you want to delete it right away. Finally!

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The great app purge of 2017

In the App Store settings, you can now automatically delete apps you don’t regularly use. Icons won’t disappear from your home screen. But the next time you’re going to try and open the app, iOS will download the app from the App Store first.

16GB iPhone owners are going to love this.

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Scan QR codes

QR codes are so passé… Or maybe not?

When you point the iPhone camera at a QR code, iOS is now smart enough to detect that it’s a QR code and read it. And if you spend your life in WeChat, you know how important this feature is.

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Smaller photos

iPhone cameras are getting better and better. But it means that photos and videos are also getting heavier. A 4K video at 60 frames per second is going to take a ton of space.

iOS 11 now uses HEIF and HEVC for photos and videos. It means that your media files should be half the size for the same quality. And if you send an email with a photo or video, iOS automatically converts the files to standard JPG and MP4 for non-iOS devices.

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iPad double keyboard

Can you see those gray letters on the iPad?

On the iPad, if you swipe your finger down on a key, you can type a number or symbol without going to the second keyboard. It takes a bit of time to get used to it, but it’s quite efficient.

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Ever-Notes

On the iPad, the Notes app is learning some new tricks. You can now scan documents using the Notes app.

iOS also tries to index your handwriting so that you can search for your notes later. Many hardcore Evernote users were waiting for this to switch over.

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