If you’re still dismissing pop-ups from apps asking for reviews, or writing your Wi-FI password on a Post-It note, you’re not living your best life.
You don’t need to buy an iPhone 8 (or an iPhone X for that matter) to get that shiny, new-iPhone feeling. All you need to do is upgrade to iOS 11, which Apple dropped yesterday, to get in on tons of new features, access to the brand-new App Store, and a fresh coat of paint for the whole experience.
In addition to a new design and big features like augmented reality support, Apple has added a number of solid smaller changes and settings options to iOS 11, the latest mobile software for iPhones and iPads.
From recording your FaceTime calls to silently communicating with Siri, here are some hidden iOS features worth trying:
1. Controlling Control Center
Apple has redesigned Control Center. Everything now fits on one page so that you donít 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.
2. Customizing Control Center
But thatís not all. You can finally add custom icons to the Control Center panel ó 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.
3. Emergency Mode
If youíre 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.
4. WIFI Password
Chances are youíve been to a friendís place and didnít 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 youíre currently using, iOS will show this popup so that you can effortlessly share the password with this device.
5. Use the camera to scan QR Codes
It’s a bit late to the party, but Apple has added QR support to its mobile software. Turn on the camera, point it at any QR code and a pop-up notification will offer to open it in Safari. QR codes have been around for years and are mostly used for marketing purposes — or they have specific uses inside third-party apps like Snapchat.
6. Take Live Photos of video calls
You’re on a FaceTime call with your grandparents and they do something adorable, like smooth. Now you can relive that moment in a proprietary image format invented by Apple. To take a Live Photo of someone during a FaceTime call, you’ll need to press the white button in the bottom left corner of the screen. Both participants need to have iOS 11 running and Live Photos turned on for it to work. The other person will get a notification that they’ve been Live Photo-ed.
You can prevent someone from taking Live Photos of you by turning off the option in FaceTime’s settings. However, they can still use screen recording during a call (sans audio) and you won’t be notified.
7. Doodle on screenshots
Now when you take a screenshot (Power button + Home button), it will appear as a thumbnail in the bottom corner of your screen. Tap to start marking it up and then send it off to a friend or save it to your camera roll.
8. Make Live Photos do more
If you swipe up on a Live Photo, a new menu appears with options to add some pretty routine effects. Loop turns it into, well, a loop. Bounce reverses it mid-shot, and Long Exposure uses the frames captures to create a photo that looks like it had a slow shutter speed. As long as you’re playing with pictures, check out the updated photo filters.
9. Silly Messages Tricks
In the last big iOS update, Apple added a ton of features to Messages like stickers and balloons. It’s still tinkering with the format and has added a line of apps along the bottom of messages. You can tap around to see which of your existing apps have Messages stickers and integration. There are also two new animation effects, spotlight, and echo. Spotlight darkens everything but puts a bright light on your latest text. Echo covers the screen in floating copies or your message.
10. 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. Googleís app has had this for years. But some people like Apple Maps!
11. 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 donít use Bluetooth in your car, iOS can autodetect when youíre driving based on your location and accelerometers