here are 11 features which may be added to iOS 11 Skip to main content

here are 11 features which may be added to iOS 11

Rumors about the Apple's iPhone 8 -- which is expected to arrive in September 2017 -- have been fueled by suppliers and analysts based out of Asia. This year will be the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone so Apple is reportedly making some massive changes to its flagship smartphone design. Many analysts have agreed that we should see three iPhone 8 options (one with an edge-to-edge OLED), wireless charging, improved chipsets and a new chassis made with aluminum and glass. The Apple iOS 11 software update is expected to be previewed at WWDC in June followed by a public roll-out in September.

There has been speculation about the upcoming iOS 11 features, many of which have been highly anticipated for a while now. Here is a breakdown of those rumors:

1.) Group FaceTime Calls

Apple FaceTime / Photo Credit: Apple

To set up group video chats, people usually turn to apps like Skype, Google Hangouts/Duo, Facebook Messenger and GoToMeeting. According to Israel-based technology blog, The Verifier, Apple is reportedly going to introduce group video chat for FaceTime in iOS 11.

The Verifier cited sources that are familiar with the iOS development process, which was partially developed in Israel. And The Verifier said that Apple will also update the Messages app so that it can trigger group FaceTime video calls with up to five people at the same time. It's worth pointing out that this is the first time I have heard of a rumor from The Verifier, so I am not sure how credible it is.

There is also a rumor that iOS 11 will include the ability to share your screen using Messages or FaceTime. The screen-sharing feature is already built into the Messages app of macOS by tapping on the Buddies menu and tapping on Invite to Share Screen.

Ever since FaceTime was introduced in June 2010 with the launch of the iPhone 4, it has only supported one-on-one video calls. But about three years later, Apple added the ability to make audio calls through FaceTime with the release of iOS 7. So, FaceTime seems like it is due for an update.

2.) Dark Mode

Apple has been hinting that a Dark Mode will be coming to iOS by discreetly integrating that feature to some apps. For example, Apple accidentally showed a dark mode for the Settings app running in iOS Simulator back in June as highlighted by app developer Andrew Wiik:

iDownloadblog pointed out that OLED technology lights up individual pixels without requiring backlighting. So dark interfaces could reduce the power consumption of a display, meaning this feature would increase iPhone battery efficiency. Since the Apple Watch has an OLED screen, Apple likely made the watchOS interface mostly dark to reduce power consumption.

3.) A New Video-Sharing App

When Apple launched iOS 7 in 2013, the Photos app supported the ability to add Instagram-like filters. You can also edit photos by cropping, rotating and adjusting the colors in the Photos app. Unfortunately, you cannot edit videos from directly within the Photos app yet. But last year, Bloomberg reported that Apple was planning to launch a video-sharing application in the next version of iOS.

Apple’s video-sharing application is reportedly going to have an emphasis on social networking with features that are similar to Snapchat and Instagram. The video application features that Apple is developing will include filters and the ability to add drawings. And then those videos can be shared with contacts and on other social networks. There is a chance that Apple may release the video sharing service as a standalone app in the App Store.

The team behind iMovie and Final Cut Pro are believed to be involved in building the new video-sharing app. And Bloomberg pointed out that Apple hired Joe Weil in December 2015, who is known for co-creating a video-blogging app called KnowMe.

4.) New Contacts Features

Apple might also integrate some social features in the Contacts app. Currently, when you tap on the information icon within the Messages app, you can see location, photos and attachments. Apple might add options to see the text messages, emails and social media interactions you had with your Contacts in a single window.

Apple has a patent that describes the ability to determine if a friend is available based on a mobile phone status, which might be applied to this feature. Google Hangouts and Facebook indicate whether a friend is available to chat by placing a green dot next to their names. Perhaps Apple will implement the contact availability in a similar manner. To protect the privacy of users, there will likely be an option to opt out of this feature.

5.) Continuity For Media

The Continuity feature for Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch allows you to move seamlessly between the devices using Handoff, the Universal Clipboard, iPhone Cellular Calls, Auto Unlock and Instant Hotspot. The Handoff feature allows you to continue actions where you left off between the Mac and iOS for the following apps: Mail, Maps, Safari, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Unfortunately, this does not work for Apple Music, Podcasts or iTunes. Rumor has it that Apple might add the ability to seamlessly use the Handoff feature for Apple Music, Podcasts and iTunes.

6.) Voicemail Transcription Improvements

When Apple released voicemail transcriptions in iOS 10, it was labeled as a beta feature. What I particularly like about this feature is that if someone says to call them back at a certain phone number, then that part of the transcription turns into a clickable link so you can easily return the call without having to write it down. Plus reading transcriptions makes it easier to determine whether a missed call is urgent or not. iOS 11 is expected to contain some improvements for the voicemail transcription feature such as increased accuracy.

7.) Drone And Indoor Mapping Data

Last year, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that Apple was planning to use drones and indoor navigation technology to improve upon the Maps app.

The plan is for Apple to fly the drones to monitor changes in roads and determine construction zones. As data is collected and reviewed by the Apple Maps team, it would be updated in the navigation app.

Apple iOS 11 is also reportedly working on integrating navigation within buildings to improve upon Maps similar to what we can see with Google Street View. This technology could be put together through the use of Apple’s acquisition of WiFiSLAM in 2013 and last year.

The Apple Maps app has significantly improved ever since it initially rolled out in 2012. Due to a number of errors, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for falling short on delivering the best experience possible to customers with the launch of the Maps app back then. Now, Apple Maps supports public transit information, search for businesses, third party app integration for companies like Yelp and OpenTable, predictive locations based on Calendar events and a new Parked Car marker to help you remember where you parked your vehicle.

8.) Siri To Sound More Natural

Apple has a team in place in Cambridge, England that is specifically working on improving the Siri digital assistant. And Apple engineers there are working on making Siri have a more “natural sounding voice,” according to BusinessInsider. Rumor also has it that iOS 11 may include support for Siri voice commands with social apps like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. So you could potentially say “add photo to Instagram.”

9.) Control Center Customization

Previously, it was expected that Apple would add the ability to customize the Control Center in iOS 10. Unfortunately, that feature was not added in September 2016. Hopefully, Apple will add Control Center customization in iOS 11.

10.) Multiple Users / Guest Mode

For educational institutions, Apple launched Managed Apple IDs so multiple users can log into iPads for a personalized experience. There is also a Guest mode for macOS so users cannot access the personal information of the users. Apple may potentially add the ability for guests to log into devices for simple functions like making a phone call or using the web browser without saved passwords and history.

11.) iMessage For Android

Rumor has it that Apple will be releasing iMessage for Android. This would make it easier for group texting with your friends that have a Samsung Galaxy or LG device.

This makes sense because BlackBerry released BBM for iOS and Android. And you can set Google Hangouts as the default messaging app for Android — which also works on iOS and the web. Mobile makers releasing messaging apps on other platforms have become commonplace.