Apple’s recent September 2017 event has disclosed the secrets of iOS 11 and presented to the public its new features and services. What should we expect from the new generation of Apple OS for iPhones and iPads? Our team has been exploring the new iOS 11 version for only a while now, but already we can bring to light for you some of the great features and improvements which you can find in the new OS. We have collected some helpful tips on how to make your mobile app ready for it.
Before diving into the iOS 11 features, we recommend verifying that your device is included in the list of the Apple devices that will get the new OS version.
Which Devices Will Get iOS 11?
• iPhone 8 (with pre-installed iOS 11)
• iPhone 7
• iPhone 7 Plus
• iPhone 6s
• iPhone 6s Plus
• iPhone 6
• iPhone 6 Plus
• iPhone SE
• iPhone 5s
• iPad Pro 2nd generation (12.9-inch)
• iPad Pro 1st generation (12.9-inch)
• iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
• iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
• iPad Air 2
• iPad Air
• iPad 5th generation
• iPad mini 4
• iPad mini 3
• iPad mini 2
What Are the New Features of iOS 11?
1. Customizable Control Panel
Apple boasts that the new iOS 11 is a great step forward for the iPhones and iPads. One of the iOS 11 features that proves this is the completely new Control panel; it is not just a set of options, the panel is turned into a separate page where multiple sections and shortcuts are displayed.
Additionally, the volume and other settings can be found there. The new control center is more functional, as it allows users to to adjust the settings and turn them on and off. One more thing that should be mentioned is that the new control panel is customizable, and you can easily keep the necessary settings accessible while removing the unused options.
How can I prepare my app for the new iOS 11 features?
When the control panel is being used together with the testing app, make sure that your app continues working smoothly and passes all the interruption tests successfully. Try to navigate the panel and change some settings. This will help in verifying that the app operates without delay during the testing.
One more thing to pay attention to is the app’s behavior in the background – your testers have to prepare a thorough checklist and make sure the app doesn’t crash or is not frozen while you are examining the control panel.
2. Multitasking Dock for iPads
The new iOS 11 dock for iPads makes it operate exactly like a Mac. Previously accessible only from the home screen, the dock can now be reached by swiping the bottom of the display. Basically, you can switch between your favorite apps in a few seconds without any further navigation. The iOS 11 dock can contain up to 13 apps, and this is usually enough to have your Instagram, Skype, Mail and any other favorite apps at the tips of your fingers.
The multitasking option allows you to open two apps simultaneously and operate with both of them or make slight changes in a second app while still operating in the main one. The second app will be shown as a pop-up, and you can easily close it by swiping back to continue working with the main app.
How can I prepare my app for the iOS 11 features?
Make sure you don’t put the UI elements at the bottom of the page, as they will be invisible for the user when the dock is enabled. Does your app launch fast enough if you open it from the dock directly?
Is the app’s performance decreasing when you use it in the Split View along with another app? Your team of testers should create enough test cases to cover all the functionalities. If you don’t have enough testers, just drop us a note and our crowd testing team will fill in where you can’t.
3. Files Application
Users now have more control over their files and can modify them using the native ‘Files’ app. It’s not a secret that Apple iOS 11 will not provide access to the whole system as it might be quite risky. Users, however, will be able to fully manage their files when they are stored locally on their iPhones and iPads, or the files located on the native and third-party cloud services. The app works exactly like Finder on Mac, and is searchable which makes navigation through multiple files much easier.
How do I prepare my app for this feature?
When developing an app, consider adding an integration of your app with the Files. In this case, your app will be available in the Files app listing. This will attract the advanced users who would like to learn more about the iOS system.
4. Drag and Drop
Another interesting element of iOS 11 on iPads is the drag-and-drop feature. It allows for the transfer of images, photos, videos and documents between apps. It is also possible to tag the necessary files or mark them as favorites.
5. Intelligent Siri
Apple users got used to Siri as a personal voice assistant, but with iOS 11 it has turned into something bigger. The service is expected to be a stronger AI solution. Siri is going to learn and adapt to user habits and preferences, and react to questions based on its previous experience. Therefore, you can expect not only faster and more profound replies from it, but also more anticipation on what you would ask next.
Siri’s voice has also been improved in iOS 11, and now sounds more natural and realistic. In addition, the assistant will be able to translate the necessary text into several languages. With the help of Apple Music, Siri will analyze your musical tastes to play exactly what you want on request: "Siri, play some music."
What should the developer and tester remember?
A great enhancement was made to the existing SiriKit API. The list of app types Siri can work with has been extended and now includes task management, online payments, etc. Before publishing your app to the App Store, make sure the integration testing has been fulfilled completely and that Siri is an inherent part of your app.
6. Updated Notifications
Notifications are collected in one place in iOS 11. The system shows you the recent notification along with the previous ones, and does so on the same tab. To get back to the recently seen notifications, just swipe in the middle of the display.
7. Improved Maps
Apple introduced new features to the Maps app. Now it shows the speed limits, which is very helpful while driving.
The other new addition is the indoor maps feature that allows you to navigate within shopping malls and large airports, eliminating any chance of getting lost.
8. Augmented Reality Changed
Understanding the importance and popularity of augmented reality technologies, Apple presented its ARKIt to the world of developers. You can expect new futuristic apps will be developed after iOS 11 and be presented to the public in the not so distant future.
Special tools will allow developers to bring some virtual things to real life with the help of iPhone or iPad cameras. As the behavior of an app strongly depends on the device’s hardware, the augmented reality features will be available only for the recent iPhone devices starting from iPhone 6s.
AR apps don’t need special equipment or multiple sensors, and this makes them really user-friendly. The ARKit will also help improve the existing AR apps, such as the famous Pokemon Go app, and place them on a new level.
The AR apps attract not only game developers, but all other types of developers. Such apps can be widely used in different spheres, such as design, education, IT, etc.
What should be checked?
iOS 11 is the first Apple OS version with multiple AR tools. The QA team should, therefore, be prepared for a detailed and thorough testing process. Test how smooth your AR app operates with multiple devices and their camera and see what happens when you turn on/off the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad.
The AR app has a lot of different parameters to be tested. Besides that, it is necessary to test the app on every Apple iPhone and iPad. All this makes the testing process of AR apps more complicated than the testing of non-AR apps and games.
To test your AR app properly, keep in mind that you need to cover two parts: to test all the functionality and to check how smooth the user experience is. When it comes to the user experience, the QA team should always remember how important the accessibility testing is. Augmented reality apps have an influence on the human body due to their immersive structures, The task of the testers’ team is to check if the app users are comfortable when playing and navigating through it, and to prevent some accessibility issues, such as visual or physical discomfort.
The main target of AR apps are gamers, and you should know that 20% of game users have a disability. Make sure all the app’s functionality is available for them in a special mode.
Speaking about a more common testing approach, we need to emphasize that the testers’ team should have enough experience and skills to execute the performance, functionality and integration testing.
Check how smooth the app renders the objects, and how simple and understandable the UI is. Most AR apps require access to a user’s location. For this reason, we recommend testing that the app asks the user whether or not they want to enable access to their iPhone or iPad.
Having tried all the new features of iOS 11, we came to the conclusion that it is going to be not only the ‘next’ OS version, but the version that will really improve the overall Apple user experience, and bring new, important, and useful features to the public.
The customizable control center and grouped notifications are exactly what the Apple users were looking for. The new Files app plays to advanced users who are eager to learn more about Apple’s system and transfer files between apps smoothly.
As for the ARKit, it opened up new ground for game developers, which will most probably result in a rapid increase in the number, and quality of AR apps.