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Making the Switch to iOS 11: What Users Need to Know

If you’re planning to buy the iPhone 8 or X or if you just want to upgrade your Apple mobile device to the latest operating system, iOS 11 is the latest update. It comes with several different features, which might surprise some long-time Apple users. Before you update iOS, here are some changes that you should know.


Always, Always Back Your Stuff Up

First things first. Whether you’re using the previous version of iOS or switching from a different platform entirely, before you do anything, back up your data if you haven’t already.

If you’re upgrading to iOS 11, keep in mind that it’s a fairly large update. When performing the upgrade, be sure your device is plugged into a power source, in order to avoid interruptions during the installation process.

Even if you carefully follow the installation process, sometimes hiccups occur. Knowing that you’ve backed up your important files will give you peace of mind in the event of a mishap. Isn’t cloud storage a wonderful thing?


Multi-Tasking with Multiple Apps

Previously with iOS, you had to switch back and forth between different apps, which was especially cumbersome when you wanted to chat with one person while doing a task on another app. But with iOS 11, you’ll now be able to drag one app to the side while working with a secondary app, like when you’re training!

It’s a simple concept that has been on desktops for decades, but it’s new with iOS 11. Slide the messenger to the right dock and leave the other app on the left running as you chat. The result is a split-view window where you can work on both at the same time without minimizing screens. This feature is especially handy if you are using iOS devices at work.


Have you Met the New, Improved Siri?

Apple redesigned its UI for most tools including the main home screen, the App Store, and even Siri got an upgrade. Virtual assistants have become all the rage, thanks to Amazon’s  Alexa. So, you’ll want to get familiar with Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, which got a makeover in iOS 11!

Beyond a new UI, Siri’s voice also sounds more natural, and more importantly, her conceptual awareness has improved, meaning she’ll be able to better associate follow up queries and seamlessly provide the answers you’re looking for.

Other enhancements to Siri include being able to type in requests, which can be a godsend in noisy environments. Another nifty feature is that Siri now can translate English to French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. Since the translation feature remains in beta, more languages are likely going to be added.

Siri is one of the hallmarks of iOS and the latest version only reaffirms this, so being aware of it and how it can benefit you is helpful. Especially if you’re worried about leaving Cortana or Google Now behind.


Comprehensive Maps with Augmented Reality

Do you travel a lot for work? Or get to go to conferences? Well, iOS 11 has complete floor plans of busy locations such as airports and shopping centers. You can walk along an airport terminal to find your gate more quickly and without getting lost.

iOS 11 is compatible with augmented reality and you can use it to superimpose a map to the location’s floor plans to find your intended destination. When you download the new operating system, you’ll already find apps that support augmented reality. There’s no need to wait for new apps to be developed.


Phone-to-Phone Apple Pay

You’ve likely heard of Apple Pay. And if you been thinking about getting one of the newest iPhones, 8 or X, arguably the biggest buzzes around the devices is its biometric functionality.

The new iPhone 8 and iPhone X have biometric identification tools. You can tap the Home key and iOS will read your fingerprint to log into your account. It also uses biometrics to pay people through iMessages. That’s right, you can send payment to someone directly from your text messages using a fingerprint as authorization.

Device security is always a paramount concern, especially considering there are too many weak passwords out there. Knowing that iOS 11 was designed to be used with biometrics adds an extra layer of security.

And iPhone X users have the option of Face ID, which uses facial recognition to unlock phones. You also can use Face ID to authorize payment instead of fingerprints to use the peer-to-peer payment system.


While there can be a learning curve with a new iOS, Apple is known for making intuitive tools and features, so you should be able to get up to speed. Of course, being aware of some the key differences and features will help ensure you make a smooth transition to iOS 11.



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