Apple iOS users will get to upgrade to the latest iOS 11 when it comes in later this year for free. This time iPad owners can expect to see significant changes with the new iOS. In fact there will even be new features that are only made specifically for the iPad, which clearly points at Apple's strategy to promote its new iPad Pro.
Most importantly, you should first make sure that your iOS device can support the new operating system. At the very minimum you must have at least an iPhone 5s, iPad (5th generation), iPad mini 2, or iPod touch (6th generation) (see the full list of devices here). You will also find that your 32-bit apps will no longer work on iOS 11 which only supports the 64-bit platform.
With iOS 11, the iPad will benefit from a new Dock feature, Files app, and additional Apple Pencil functionality. The Dock is an improved version of the iOS 10's updated Split View feature that will give you an easier and faster way to access your apps. You can now easily navigate and drag files between apps using the App Switcher and Drag and Drop functions with the Dock. Meanwhile the new Files app will allow you to better manage your files and folders which also offers a dedicated storage for your files.
Another key feature of iOS 11 is an improved iPad's keyboard which now lets you conveniently access letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation marks on the same keyboard. This will save you the hassle of having to switch between different keyboards.
For the iPad Pro, the new iOS will add on useful features like Instant Notes and Inline Drawing to the existing Apple Pencil and Markup functions on the iOS 10. With Instant Notes, you will be able to take quick notes with the Apple Pencil on the Lock screen, while Inline Drawing lets you draw or write in both the Notes and Mail apps. You can also do a search for handwritten words and even scan and sign documents in Notes using the built-in Document Scanner.
On iOS devices, iOS 11 will introduce new and improved features through common apps like Messages, Siri, and Maps. One of the main highlights will be the ability to use Apple Pay services with your contacts through messaging on the Messages app. Additionally, iPhone users can now choose to key in messages quickly using the one-handed typing mode on the new QuickType keyboard. The keyboard when enabled will conveniently move the keys closer to your thumb while you hold the phone on one hand.
While Siri on iOS 10 can already work with third party apps as can be seen in the Apple HomePod, iOS 11 further improves on Siri to enable integration into more apps. Now whenever you give commands to Siri, it will be smart enough to learn about your preferences and will also give suggestions based on them. By asking Siri to play you a song, it might play the song you want to hear. Or Siri might recommend you your favorite news in the News app or even suggest to add your travel bookings from another website to your calendar. Other than that, Siri will also have a more natural voice as well as the ability to translate your commands into multiple languages.
Do Not Disturb is another new interesting feature of iOS 11 which after you turn it on from your iPhone while driving, it will block any incoming calls, messages and notifications. This would come in useful especially when you are using Maps navigation while on the road and you won't want to be distracted. While this feature is turned on, those trying to call you will also get notified that you are driving.
One of the more anticipated updates by iOS 11 would be the new Control Center interface. iOS 10 users should be happy to find that they can now access all features of Control Center on a single screen instead of having to go through different screens. This also comes with a bonus to let you customize the Control Center so that you can quickly access the settings that you need. You can even use 3D Touch to find more options and controls. The improved Control Center would especially come useful for Apple HomePod users to control their Apple HomeKit devices more easily via Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless audio streaming technology.
Other features on current iOS devices like the Lock screen, App Store, Camera, and Live Photos will also get updated by iOS 11. With plenty of goodies to look forward to, it will be exciting to explore each and every one of them when iOS 11 finally arrives.