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Apple iOS 11 Unveiled, Brings AR And Other Powerful Features This Fall

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AR on iPad with iOS 11

Apple announced the successor to last year’s iOS 10 at WWDC 2017 in San Jose — iOS 11, obviously. The update is the biggest iOS software release to date, especially for iPad. With iOS 11, Apple finally showed its commitment toward Augmented Reality (AR) as a feature among hundreds of updates coming to iPhone and iPad this fall.

To start off, Siri on iOS 11 is more human-friendly now, with its voice at least. Apple says Siri has new male and female voices that are more natural and expressive, thanks to the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It can also translate phrases into different languages, including Mandarin, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Based on your usage pattern, Siri now learns your behavior, offering more personalized search results and suggestions when typing in Mail, Messages and other apps.

iOS 11 Preview

The update for Photos and Videos is an array, as it lets you create seamless live photo loops and bounce effects, long exposures, choose the best frame to use as the featured still, and use optical image stabilization, flash, and HDR in Portrait mode. If you’re on iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, then you’ll be more than happy to know that Apple has introduced a new technology called High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) that reduces the file size of every photo taken on the device.

Apple Pay on iOS 11 is better than ever. With the arrival of iOS 11 this fall, you’ll be able to make person-to-person payments from within iMessage or using Siri. The service, currently available only in the US, brings in Apple Pay Cash account, where you’ll receive the money and can use it to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web. You can even transfer it directly to the bank account, if you wish.

In fact, iOS 11 can now automatically detect when you’re driving (thanks to machine learning, again!) and help you stay focused on the road with Do Not Disturb while driving. As simple as the name sounds, the feature automatically silence notifications and keep the screen dark, which can be interrupted by a simple tap on the screen. You can also send an auto reply to contacts in your Favorites list when DND while driving is active.

iOS 11 iPad and iPhone

As mentioned above, the iPad becomes even more powerful with iOS 11. Apple has drastically improved multitasking on iPad, offering a new, powerful Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and files from any screen by swiping from the bottom of your screen, and a redesigned app switcher. While it uses artificial intelligence to predict which app you want to open next, the Dock welcomes as many apps as you’d like to add. Drag-and-drop feature comes useful when you want to open up an app from the Dock in slide-over mode, or transfer text and content in between the running apps in the same mode. And finally, your split-screen configuration will not be altered while in the recent apps view.

Apple Pencil now comes with a tight integration with iPad. There’s support for inline drawing and a new Instant Notes feature that opens Notes right from the Lock Screen — all you need to do is tap Apple Pencil on the display. The App Store also received a major design overhaul.

Remember iFile on your jailbroken iPhone or iPad? Well, this time Apple has soldered its own file management app on iOS 11, which allows you to access nested folders, recent files, search, and cloud services such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.

Apple didn’t announce any VR/AR headset, but it did show its interest for AR. The Big A introduced a new platform — dubbed ARKit — for developers to create high-quality AR experiences for iPhone and iPad using the built-in camera, processors and motion sensors. ARKit is available for developers now alongside iOS 11. Developers registered for Apple Developer Program can get their hands on iOS 11 Beta at the dev center. Public beta will follow later this month.

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Apple releases iOS 11.2 with Apple Pay Cash, 7.5W Wireless Charging, Date Bug Fix

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iOS 11 Icon

Apple today released iOS 11.2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The OTA update for iOS 11 brings in a bunch of new features and improvements; however, the unusual timing of the software update makes sense to say that it is likely intended to fix a major date bug that began affecting users beginning December 2. After all, this is the first major iOS update to be dropped on a weekend.

First spotted by Yoshimasa Niwa, the bug caused some iPhones running iOS 11.1.2 crash when receiving local notifications from third-party apps. (The bug doesn’t have a fancy name!)

The date bug is now fixed with this release of iOS 11. If you’re affected with the bug, then it would be better to turn off Notifications before proceeding to install the iOS 11.2 software update, as it can crash the Springboard while you’re waiting for the download to compete. The best way would be to enable DND before installing the update and disable it after you’re on iOS 11.2. Simple as that. Apple’s official comment on this can be viewed here.

Apple Pay Cash

Aside from the immediate bug fix, iOS 11.2 comes along Apple Pay Cash, a peer-to-peer mobile payment system that lets Apple users send and receive money between each other. Although Apple Pay Cash is mentioned in iOS 11.2 changelog, it doesn’t appear to be live as of writing this post. Assuming that some server-side work is yet to be done from Apple, we’re hoping to see the service go live early next week (when the software update was originally scheduled to air).

Faster Wireless Charging and more

iOS 11.2 also includes faster wireless charging, jumping from 5W wireless charging to 7.5W. It is supposed to reduce the wireless charging time, of course, on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. The software update also adds three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X, improves video camera stabilization, VoiceOver stability in some apps, and more. You can read iOS 11.2 full changelog right after the fold.

iOS 11.2 Full Changelog

Here’s what’s new in iOS 11.2, straight from Apple:

Apple Pay Cash (US Only)
● Send, request, and receive money from friends and family with Apple Pay in Messages or by asking Siri
Other improvements and fixes
● Adds support for faster wireless charging on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X with compatible third-party accessories
● Introduces three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X
● Improves video camera stabilization
● Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
● Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
● Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
● Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
● Improves stability in Calendar
● Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
● Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
● Addresses an issue that could prevent Music
● Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
● Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
● Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
● Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
● Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
● Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
● Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
● Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
● Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store, and Music
● Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

Happy Updating!

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Apple Heart Study app launches in the US in partnership with Stanford Medicine

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Apple Watch Series 3

Apple has launched Apple Heart Study, a research study app that uses Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor to collect data on irregular heart rhythm, in partnership with Stanford Medicine. The app also notifies users who may be experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib), with additional monitoring. The Apple Heart Study was announced back in September and is now available to Apple Watch users in the US.

AFib, the leading cause of stroke, is responsible for approximately 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations in the US every year. Many people don’t experience symptoms, so AFib often goes undiagnosed.

iPhone Watch Heart Study

Apple explains how the Apple Watch is used in the research study:

To calculate heart rate and rhythm, Apple Watch’s sensor uses green LED lights flashing hundreds of times per second and light-sensitive photodiodes to detect the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. The sensor’s unique optical design gathers signals from four distinct points on the wrist, and when combined with powerful software algorithms, Apple Watch isolates heart rhythms from other noise. The Apple Heart Study app uses this technology to identify an irregular heart rhythm.

If an irregular heart rhythm is identified, users will receive a notification, of course, on their Apple Watch and iPhone alongside consultation with a study doctor for free, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for more in-depth monitoring. The research study program is open to Apple Watch users (Series 1 or later) who are 22 years or older. The Apple Heart Study app is available in the US App Store and is limited to US residents — for now.

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iOS 11.1.1 now available, fixes keyboard autocorrect bug

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iOS 11 Icon

Apple has addressed the autocorrect bug found in iOS 11.1 keyboard, with the public release of iOS 11.1.1 today. The over-the-air update is now available for iPhone and iPad.

The keyboard bug that turned the letter “i” into the letter “a” and a strange symbol is now fixed. Now you can normally write ‘iPhone’ on your iPhone, again. Besides the autocorrect fix, the iOS 11.1.1 firmware update also resolves an issue where Hey Siri stops working. That’s pretty much for this minor yet very important over-the-air fix, according to release notes.

iOS 11.1.1 Update

You can grab the iOS 11.1.1 software update now from Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device.

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