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These are the top iOS 11 features we hope Apple announces today

Updated Nov 22nd, 2019 4:32AM EST
iOS 11 Release
Image: Gabor Balogh

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With Tim Cook slated to kick off this year’s WWDC keynote in just a little while, it won’t be long before we are given a glimpse at what the future of iOS and macOS holds in store. What makes WWDC 2017 especially compelling and intriguing is that Apple has done an impressive job of keeping upcoming software changes to an absolute minimum. In many ways, WWDC 2017 has the potential to be the most exciting WWDC event we’ve seen in years, if only because nearly everything Apple will introduce later today will be a pleasant surprise.

Though some hardware announcements are rumored to be on the docket, the star of today’s festivities will undoubtedly be iOS 11, the mobile operating system that powers Apple’s insanely popular iPhone. While new iPhone releases are undeniably exciting, new iOS releases are interesting in their own right because they provides an avenue for existing iPhone users to enjoy more advanced features without having to upgrade. That being the case, we’ve gone through all of the iOS 11 rumors we’ve seen surface over the past few months and have culled a list of the top iOS 11 features we hope Apple announces later today. We’ve also included a few wish-list iOS 11 features that haven’t been rumored but which we hope make a surprise appearance.

So without further ado, let’s get down to business.

Peer-to-Peer Apple Pay

Word on the street is that Apple with iOS 11 will enable users to seamlessly send other iOS users cash via Apple Pay. Apple has reportedly been interested in adding this feature for quite some time and there’s mounting evidence that it will finally make its long-awaited debut with iOS 11. According to one report based on a source who claims to be familiar with Apple’s plans: “Apple is completely revamping the Wallet app and adding social functionality. 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.”

Now given how easy rival services like Cash are, we can only hope that Apple’s implementation will be a bit less clunky than their implementation of iMessage apps.

Better call quality thanks to FaceTime Audio

Another iOS 11 rumor that we hope comes to fruition centers on Apple using FaceTime Audio as the default for calls between two iPhones. As anyone who has used FaceTime Audio can attest, it delivers much crisper and cleaner audio than what one normally experiences when using a traditional cell network. The only caveat is that using FaceTime Audio for calls can eat into a user’s data plan, though it may only be about 1MB of data for every minute of call time. FaceTime Audio has been around since iOS 7, but the reality is that most users never take advantage it, with many being completely unaware of its existence altogether. In short, iOS 11 may see Apple force better call quality onto the masses whether they like it or not.

Better battery management

As our phones become increasingly complex and advanced, it’s become easier to drain the battery relatively quickly. That being the case, there is a rumor that Apple with iOS 11 will introduce a more intelligent battery management system that will include a layer of contextual awareness. This rumor originally surfaced last month:

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.

Dark Mode

Rumors of Apple implementing a Dark Mode on iOS have been floating around for years. And as expected, it has resurfaced yet again ahead of Apple’s iOS 11 release. While not everyone is interested in a Dark Mode, the users who are excited about it are incredibly vocal about it.

iOS 11 Wish List Features:

Below are a list of features we haven’t seen hit the rumor mill, but we’d love to see Apple introduce later today.

More Control Center flexibility

It’d be nice if iOS 11 gave users more flexibility to control what toggles appear in Control Center. Additionally, some users have said that it would be more efficient if Apple made the Control Center pane just one window as opposed to two separate panes that users have to swipe between. Regardless, if Apple could make the Control Center just a tad more customizable with iOS 11, it would be greatly appreciated.

Group notifications by individual apps

As it stands now, notifications on iOS appear in the order they came in. This may work well for some users, but if you have notifications coming in from every which way, it’d be convenient if there was an option to simply group like-minded notifications all together.

Set default apps for web links and mapping

If you click on a link or an address someone sends to you, your iPhone will naturally open up mobile Safari or Apple Maps. While this is simple enough for most users, it’d be nice if Apple gave users the ability to set default apps for certain things. Some users, after all, may prefer using Google Maps and aren’t too keen to see Apple Maps open up as the default. While the odds of this happening are presumably low, it would be nice to see Apple give its users just a tad more freedom.

More iCloud storage

5GB of iCloud storage is nothing to scoff at, but with 4K videos, high-res photos and device backups taking up more space than ever, it’d be nice to see Apple bump up their free iCloud storage tier considerably.

Swipe-style keyboard

While this functionality is available via third-party apps, it’d be nice to see Apple add it to the stock iOS keyboard.

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.