Apple’s WWDC 2017 Keynote Address Gives us iOS 11, HomePod and other Goodies

The Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2017 keynote address was a great one.  iOS developers from all over the world showed up to learn about Apple’s newest offerings.  But, lets not waste any time and jump right into the Top iOS 11 Features for the iPhone. There is so much to uncover.

Smarter Siri

While Siri didn’t get as much attention as most of us thought it would, Apple did upgrade our little assistant that lives in our phones.  Siri can now translate a phrase from English to Chinese, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

A big focus of this keynote was machine learning.  Siri will learn about us as we use it.  For example, if you want tell Siri to play music, Siri should play a song that it knows you enjoy.  This machine learning through Siri will also extend to Apple News, Safari and a new feature called QuickType.  QuickType is a way to integrate your recently viewed activity through Siri and suggest certain words or phrases during your conversations.  For example, say you were looking up tickets for the Yankees game.  Then you go and message your friend, “Hey do you want to go to the…” Yankees should appear in your autocorrect field. All done through Siri.
We also got a new male and female voice for Siri.  These voices sound much more realistic and conversational than ever before.  To make Siri more conversational, the same word can have 3 inflections all based on machine learning.

File System & Drag and Drop

When doing iOS 11 expectations, getting a file system and some type of drag and drop seemed like a long shot. Apple  exceeded my expectations when it came to both. While this will be more helpful on an iPad, I am welcoming a file system on the iPhone with open arms.
With the file system, you can easily view all of the information stored on your device along with those third party cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
Drag and drop will be very helpful when moving files around to open in another app. This should make inserting attachments into emails a breeze and a lot less clicks to get there.  I am ecstatic Apple decided introduce this.

The Liveliest Photos, Yet

Currently, my Live photos stays turned off.  I know some people that absolutely love them. And some that have no idea they are taking them and I watch in amusement at the face they make prior to their perfect selfie.
This is going to change.  Live photos just got a really cool update.  The first thing is that you can make a video loop from your Live photo.  It seems so simple and makes you wonder why they haven’t had this from the beginning.
If you all are familiar with Instagram this next one will sound familiar.  Apple is calling it Bounce. Bounce is the Live photo moving back and forth.  It is essentially Instagram’s Boomerang feature but Apple branded.
The last update to Live photos is my favorite, Long Exposure.

Long Exposure makes objects that are in motion buttery smooth.  There is not much to say about this other than to just stare at that beautiful picture.

Apple Maps is Speeding Up

Remember when Apple Maps was a complete joke and gave you directions telling you to turn into San Francisco Bay to get to Oakland?  Well, Apple Maps is slowly getting better, and I mean slowly!  We saw a new update to Apple Maps that gives us lane guidance.  If you travel a good bit and use Apple Maps, you know what we are talking about here.  This is going to be a very handy feature while trying to navigate.  While we pick Waze to still be the best Turn-by-Turn Direction App, Apple maps has come a long way AND Apple keeps your personal data much more secure than does Google.
They also introduce indoor maps.  This will allow you to see where certain stores and restaurants are in a mall or airport all over the world. This will be so much better than trying to walk around the mall looking for one of those directory boards that are more than likely outdated.
One of the best parts of the update, especially for the drivers with a lead foot, Apple Maps tells you the speed limit on the current road you are on.  Sure, Waze has had this for years but it’s a nice addition.

Control Center Redesign

We finally got what we have been asking for, a customizable Control Center.
The best thing about it is that is all on one page.  That was one of those things you never knew you hated until they fixed it.
Personally, at this early stage of iOS 11,  the new Control Center looks very thrown together.  It looks like someone just threw up a bunch of settings and there they are.
Apple snuck in a screen record option into the Control Center so that you can record what you are doing on your screen with or without audio.  I take many screenshots a week and the video screen recording will be a much welcome addition.

Person to Person Apple Pay

Here is probably my favorite, new iOS 11 feature.  If you have ever used the app Venmo, you already know what this is about.  With the update to iOS 11 we will be able to send our friends money from the credit or debit card you have on file through Apple Pay.  Apple takes customer security very seriously.  I do trust Apple a little more with these types of transactions than PayPal owned Venmo.  Think about how easy it will be for you to split a bill with your friends or pay someone back for buying you all those rounds at the bar.
Let’s hope that the fees for the Apple Pay transaction are $Zero.  Obviously it won’t be free if you use a credit card, because Visa and MasterCard need their 2+% cut. But, with a bank account, hopefully it will be simple and free.The possibilities are endless, but person-to-person Apple Pay is a huge step forward.


Last year, Apple revamped Messages with the addition of stickers and games.  The interface of adding stickers is still confusing to me.  It just not intuitive.  That is what Apple fixed this year.  Messages is already fantastic, this just polished what Apple built up last year in iOS 10.
Now, stickers, games and other apps that have a Message extension will be in a drawer at the bottom of your message that you can easily swipe between for quicker and easier access.  I love the idea and may this will encourage us all to use those features more.
My favorite thing about the Messages update is that your Messages will finally sync amongst all of your Apple devices through iCloud.  It is mind blowing that this isn’t a thing yet. It is much needed.

Brand New App Store

Apple has never updated the App Store.  It is kind of crazy to think about for it being around this long.  The new App Store redesign takes a very Apple Music-esque appearance.

We now have a Today view. In the Today view, it shows you the apps that are currently trending and recommended apps.  Games and Apps are now separated.  It is almost like two different stores within the one App Store.  I like this idea and think it will make it easier to navigate through what you are looking for.  It will most certainly make it so the top developers make all the $ as each App card takes up the full page so you won’t scroll as deep as you used to.  But, changing the App Store Daily will allow more apps to possibly be showcased at the top of the list.
It looks fantastic, but I really hope Apple fixed the search engine within the App Store.  If they didn’t fix that, it will still be a crap App in my opinion.  Apple can lean alot from Google in terms of good search.  Currently, too many irrelevant apps pop up in any given search.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

Texting while driving is a huge issue and caused many accidents and fatalities.  Until autonomous cars take over the driving, we have to figure out how to make driving safer.  Honestly, every time I drive I now assume every other car is distracted so I’m ready when a car veers right into my lane.  This is a great idea and hopefully people will actually use this feature to keep us all safe out there on the road.
Apple pulled out the safety card here on this one.  Now, you have the option to put your phone in Do Not Disturb (DND) mode when you are in the vehicle.  It will not show you any notifications on the display of your phone unless it is a contact that you do wanted pinged from in case of an emergency.  Apple also put in a feature to alert those trying to get ahold of you that you are driving.

Odds and Ends

  • With the new Apple Music, you and your friends can discover new music by sharing with one another.  You can share playlists, albums and songs.
  • AirPlay 2 was announced.  This will allow you control all of the speakers in your home at the same time.
  • Core ML and ARKit was announced. These are developer tools that will assist in creating Machine Learning (Core ML) and Augmented Reality (ARKit) content.
  • Apple refreshed their Mac line-up with the new Kaby Lake processors from Intel.
  • And…HomePod.  Interesting name, to say the least.  This is Apple’s attempt to get into the speaker game.  As of now, they aren’t positioning this as an Amazon Echo or Google Home replacement.  This is a smart speaker. It will be debuting this December for $349 and I am sure you will be hearing more from us on that in the near future.

Final Thoughts

iOS 11 is shaping up to be a really nice upgrade from iOS 10.  I  welcome it with open arms.  Apple seems to be loosening up a little and letting us have fun with our devices while also keeping it to the high Apple standard.
I am bummed we didn’t a dark mode but I know Apple has to keep something in their back pocket when we are least expecting it.
iOS 11 will be available to download this fall as a free update.
What did you think about iOS 11? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @iphoneteam, what your favorite feature was.
As usual, thank you for stopping by and we will see you all soon!