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Two headlining iOS 11 features may have just leaked

Published May 8th, 2017 12:20PM EDT

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Remember the good old days when it seemed like every new iOS feature worth knowing about leaked in the months and weeks ahead of WWDC? These days, iOS leaks are few and far in between; apparently Tim Cook made good on his promise to double down on product secrecy, the avalanche of iPhone 8 rumors notwithstanding.

With May already in full swing, Apple’s annual developers conference is now less than a month away and we know remarkably little about what types of features Apple is planning to add with iOS 11. Sure, we’ve seen scattered reports about Apple’s plans to roll out an enhanced version of Siri along with support for multi-user video chats in FaceTime, but more varied details about the next-gen version of iOS have been hard to track down.

Until now.

A few weeks ago, a Reddit user with the handle cyanhat posted a number of interesting rumors about some surprise features Apple has in store for iOS 11. The thread was quickly deleted but a tipster managed to direct us to a screenshot of the retired post. Per usual, iOS rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, but the detailed rumors below are certainly plausible, and some of them even jibe with previous rumblings from the rumor mill.

The most intriguing tidbit claims that Apple with iOS 11 will enable users to make peer-to-peer payments via Apple Pay. Not only will this help transform the iPhone into a true digital wallet, it will also help Apple compete with a number of increasingly popular payment apps such as Venmo and Square Cash. If there’s a cashless revolution afoot, you better believe that Apple wants to be a part of it.

“Apple is completely revamping the Wallet app and adding social functionality,” the rumor reads. “There will be a social feed, just like Venmo. The new Wallet app will also have an iMessage module that allows you to send cash via iMessage.”

The odds of Apple actually implementing this in iOS 11 is arguably quite high. In fact, it’s no secret that Apple has been working on this feature for quite some time. You might even remember that support for peer-to-peer payments was a feature Apple was reportedly hoping to integrate into last year’s iOS 10 release.

The next iOS 11 rumor is rather interesting. It holds that iOS 11 will make FaceTime Audio the “default calling method for iPhone users.” The obvious upside is that FaceTime Audio is incredibly crisp and delivers far superior audio than your standard cell connection. FaceTime Audio was originally introduced with iOS 7 but it still seems to be a feature that most iPhone users are wholly unaware of. The slight downside to incorporating FaceTime Audio as the default calling method is that it eats up your data, albeit not in significant portions. FaceTime Audio users can expect to use a little less than 1MB of data for every minute on the phone, which seems reasonable. Presumably, Apple will allow users to turn the FaceTime Audio default setting off for anyone with more limited data plans.

Another reported iOS 11 feature in the works is a more intelligent low-power battery mode that will be more contextually aware.

Here’s how hit works. If you leave your home wifi network and you have 20% or less, it will turn on low power mode automatically. Since you left your home wifi,  your phone know that you’re not near your charger. This obviously makes the assumption that you don’t have a charger in your car, etc. But it’s pretty smart. This feature is still being debated by the engineers and may actually not ship.

And last but not least, the report claims that Apple with iOS 11 will incorporate support for group video chats via FaceTime, with support for up to 5 concurrent users.

As for other iOS 11 rumors making the rounds, there have been a few rumblings that  Apple this year may finally introduce a Dark Model option. Additionally, iOS 11 is said to include a number of intriguing new augmented reality features that will reportedly only be available on the iPhone 8.

With WWDC right around the corner, we can only imagine that an influx of iOS 11 rumors will begin coming down the pipeline sooner rather than later.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.