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As of this writing, Fall is upon us and in the United States we will soon be celebrating Halloween, and some of us (or our kids) will be going out "Tricking or Treating". A treat that Apple has given us is iOS 11. Beautiful icons, simplistic design, and loads of new features are what this new upgrade of Apple's venerable mobile operating system is all about. To keep this article short I'll just give you the five best and most helpful tidbits I've found.
Control Center will be, more likely than not, the place that you access most on your iPhone. Why? Because it holds a significant amount, if not all, of the tools that you need on a moments notice. The treat that Apple put in our bag is a revamped Control Center (no more three screens to swipe through when switching from music to other Control Center tools). Everything now is contained in one area where the tap and hold feature, which brings up extra goodies for whatever tool you're accessing, is more apparent. My favorite app to do this with is the camera app. Once you tap and hold you get options to take a selfie, record video, record slo-mo, and of course the option to take a photo. Also, if you tap and hold on the Music app in Control Center, you'll get the ability to increase/decrease the volume, or send it your Apple TV/AirPort Express. Lastly, you can edit Control Center to your liking and hide all of the stuff you don't need by going to:
2) Control Center
3) Customize Controls
4) Tap the minus button on the tools you don't need
This feature is for all who have the iPhone 6S and above (5s and SE owners don't need it because the phones are small enough to type one-handed on already). How you access this gem is to tap and hold on the emoji or globe icon and select one of the three options (left, right, or center). Once you choose an option, you'll notice that the keyboard shifts to the right or left, which makes typing one-handed on your giant iPhone easier. No, I'm not taking a dig at your iPhone 6S, 7, or 8 iPhone, I'm an SE guy, so all other iPhones are giant to me.
Why would you need this option? Because your friends, parents, and grandparents need your tech advice in a hurry. To get this into your Control Center go to:
2) Control Center
3) Customize Controls
4) Scroll to the bottom and tap the green plus symbol
Now, swipe up from the bottom, and you'll notice an icon that is a thin circle encompassing a small filled in circle. To use this nifty little feature, tap on it, and you'll immediately receive a 3-second countdown before your iPhone starts recording. But wait! There's more! Remember that tap and hold to get goodies bit above? Well, do that, and you can add your voice to narrate the actions that you're doing onscreen.
Emergency SOS (Revamped)
Unfortunately, Superman/woman aren't real, so you'll need to depend upon your Dare Devil-like striking skills and the revamped crisis feature Apple put into iOS 11 to get you out of sticky situations. To make this work you will need to turn it on by going to:
2) Emergency SOS
3) Toggling on "Auto Call"
4) Adding an Emergency Contact if one isn't already there
5) Toggling on "Countdown Sound" if you want a notification when your iPhone is calling the police.
Great, so how does the feature work?
Just click the power button (aka sleep/wake button) five times during your hour of need (minute of need more like it) and your iPhone will contact local law enforcement. Lastly, while you're here you might as well set-up your Medical ID by tapping "Edit Emergency Contacts in Hea...". As a former Army Medic, I can't stress enough how important it is to set up the Emergency settings on your iPhone. Sure you're in fantastic health (wink), and you hit like a freight train (wink), so why would you need to contact anyone for help? The short answer is because you're still human. The long answer is because you're still human. Even us old in shape Combat Veterans, who have extensive training in close quarter combat, understand that we may need to call in the Cav every now-and-then. So, take my advice and be like my old regiments motto "Toujours Prêt" (Always Ready).
While the app is not new, the features that Apple put in are, and they're outstanding.
1) Lane Guidance: You know that "turn here!" scream you've seen on commercials when the driver is right on top of the turn? Well, Apple is avoiding all that with Lane Guidance. Your iPhone will now show you the speed limit of the road, the exit number, and calmly give you visuals of the lane you need to be in to make that turn on time.
2) Indoor Maps: This is perfect for the jet setter who is always arriving at new airports. Instead of waiting in line to talk to an airline attendant, or consulting the dreaded directory, your beloved iPhone can quickly direct you to the nearest exit, or even bagel/coffee shop if you still have more air miles to go (I feel for you). Also, if you have a long layover, or you're going to be in the area for a bit, your iPhone can be your directory for the mall, so you don't look like a mall walker.
Side note: Another feature that deals with you and a car is, "Do Not Disturb While Driving." While simple, in that it knows when you're driving and turns off all distractions, it can be a lifesaver. Somehow a phone call has been pushed to the back burner as a valid means of communication, and people are killing themselves (and others) by trying to send a line of text. For those of you who are parents with teenagers that are behind the wheel, you don't have to do anything to turn on this feature, the phone senses when your loved one is driving.
Still wondering if your iPhone is compatible with iOS 11? Here is the official list from Apple: Compatibility list
That's it! I hope these new gems from Apple simplify your life, and so much so that you can take advantage of the autumn weather that's just around the corner. Take care everyone.