Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference revealed a number of much-needed improvements to their devices with the introduction of iOS 11. With iOS 10 having been released nine months ago, this latest update to Apple’s mobile operating system is a welcome one. iOS 11 turns your Apple products into sleeker, more functional and more capable devices. Not to be outdone, Android devices are also sleek, functional and offer a great deal of capability. However, this isn’t to say that there isn’t room for improvement as far as Android goes. In fact, both operating systems can learn a lot from each other. The differences become especially relevant when trying to decide between the two. So if you are trying to decide between Android 7 Nougat and iOS, here are eight new iOS 11 features that you won’t be able to find in Android.
Native Screen Recording – Among the least known features of iOS 11 is the ability to record your screen without the use of an external app. While screen recording is possible on Android, you must use a non-Android app to accomplish this. Apple has made the entire procedure much easier and functional. Native screen recording can be triggered using the newly-redesigned Control Center. Users must first pin the option to the Control Center using the iOS settings app. This will allow you to not only record your screen, but to record your own voiceover simultaneously. After you’ve finished recording, you are able to edit the video and add annotations and even create a GIF.
Sync Messages Across Devices – iOS 11 brings with it the ability to sync your messages across multiple devices using iCloud. In addition to this, if you delete a message on one device, the message will also be deleted on all of your devices. Apple also allows your device to keep only the most recent messages while allowing older messages to be downloaded at will. This decreases the amount of storage you need and makes backing up your devices much faster. While apps made for Android do have this ability inherently, the same is not true for the native Google Android Messages App.
Send Money to Friends in Messages – One of the coolest features of iOS 11 is the ability to send money to your friends using Messages. Wading into territory dominated by both PayPal and Venmo, Apple is expanding the capabilities of Apple Pay to include friends and family. If Siri a conversation about money, she will prompt you to use Messages to send money to your contact. Alternately, you can prompt Siri to send cash. The friend who receives the funds can use it in the apps store, use it to pay for goods and services or transfer it to a bank. Unfortunately, Android is yet to offer similar capabilities.
Real Time Siri Language Translation – With iOS 11, users will be able to get real-time translations for any situation using Siri. Having been beefed up in this new release, Siri can now translate from English to any of five languages (German, Spanish, French, Chinese and Italian) during conversations. For example you can say to Siri, “Siri, how do you ask for directions to the bank in Spanish?” and Siri will outfit you with the proper saying. While Google Translate is very helpful, getting this kind of functionality takes longer and is not as intuitive or fluid.
Setting up Another Apple Device – Although mentioned during the WWDC, this feature is still somewhat mysterious to many users. However, Apple has revealed that users will be able to set up a new device by holding it near to their old device. This means that whether you are adding a new device to your arsenal or you are merely upgrading, setting up a new device means simply holding them close to each other to allow for your personal settings, preferences and iCloud Keychain passwords to transfer from the old device to the new one.
Customizing your Control Center – In Android, the settings folder can be a bit frustrating for users who are made to scroll through long lists of never-used options before finding the options they want. However, when it debuts, iOS 11’s reconfigured Control Center will be both customizable and able to fit on one page. While some default settings cannot be changed, Apple will begin giving users much more flexibility with regards to how their Control Center looks. This means that users will be able to add and organize a number of controls. The Control Center will utilize deep presses that bring up sub menus. For example, you can access WiFi, Bluetooth and Cellular Data by deep pressing Airplane mode.
Easy Drag and Drop Content – Moving content in-app in Android can be an exercise in frustration. Users must select, and long-press to bring up copy and paste options. iOS 11 makes moving data within the app a breeze. Users will be able to transfer text, images and URLs in a snap. Also, users will be able to select multiple apps to transfer in one go. While there is as yet no way to transfer content between apps, this is a much-needed improvement.
Do Not Disturb While Driving – In iOS 11, Apple will help us to be better people by making it easier for us to ignore our devices will driving. In an increasing number of cases, the use of mobile devices while operating motor vehicles is being blamed for accidents, serious injury and death. Apple wants to change this while removing the burden from the user. iOS 11 will be able to detect when your vehicle is in motion, and will quiet notifications during this period. Users can also choose to forward an auto reply message to those users included on his or her Favorites list.
Type to Siri – Having a digital assistant isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes time or circumstance don’t allow you to speak to Siri as you would like. Understandably, users have been asking Apple for the ability to type to Siri for years. With Android lacking even a whiff of a digital assistant, this pushes the operating system even further behind iOS.
Understandably, iOS 11 is still in beta, meaning that Apple can still choose to remove capabilities from the final update if it believes that a feature is premature or confusing. Having said this, these new features promised by Apple may give long-time Android users a lot to think about when shopping for a new device.
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