Everyone was focused on the shiny new iPhone 8 and iPhone X that were announced on Tuesday’s Apple event, but there was another new Apple product that was announced — and you won’t have to shell out mad cash to get it. Apple will start rolling out their new iPhone operating system, iOS 11, on Sept. 19, and there are supposedly a lot of hidden features that are worth you making the upgrade ASAP. I personally always make the upgrade as soon as I can just because I hate having the extra unread notification — but even if you’re not like me, having the new iOS will be well worth your while.
One feature mentioned in the presentation that people are especially excited about is called “animoji,” aka animated emoji. (See what they did there?) Apparently, animoji will use facial tracking and voice effects to create fully animated emoji cats, robots, even poop. Sadly, animoji will only be available on the iPhone X, so you won't be able to get them just by upgrading your 6S.
But iOS 11 will still be well worth it. Ahead, check out eight new features that are hidden within iOS 11. Some of them may take a little finagling to make work, but they’ll all be exciting additions to your iPhone life. And don’t forget that updating your iPhone’s iOS is always going to mean updated security measures, so there’s really no reason not to update.
1. Dark Mode
As someone who uses her iPhone in the dark a lot, this is going to be the biggest game changer for me and my eye doctor. If you want to use Dark Mode, you can toggle your screen settings to invert the colors on your display, so it isn’t so much of an eye strain.
2. You can now make messages “echo”
One of my favorite underutilized features that came in iOS 10 was the ability to animate messages that you sent out in iMessage. In iOS 11, they add a new one, called “echo,” that will send your message zooming around your screen. Another one, called “spotlight.”
3. One-handed keyboard
You and I both are guilty of texting on our iPhones with one hand — and nearly dropping our phones in the process of getting our thumbs all the way over to reach the “Q.” Now, iOS 11 has attempted to solve that problem with the one-handed keyboard, which scrunches the keyboard over to one side of the screen to make it easier to type with just one hand. (It works for lefties, too!)
4. Do not disturb while driving
Texting while driving is an awful practice, and Apple is making it easier for drivers to not do it. If you activate “Do not disturb while driving" mode, your iPhone will automatically detect if you’re in a moving car and block all incoming notifications. (You’ll still receive them once you park.) If you’re in the passenger side, you can easily disable the program by clicking “I’m not driving.”
5. Screenshot editing
If you’re like me, approximately half of your camera roll is just screenshots that you either took to save for later, or edit and send to your bestie. The new screenshot feature in iOS 11 will allow you to immediately click to the screenshot thumbnail and edit it without exiting the app you originally took the screenshot in. You can doodle on it, write on it, crop, zoom, etc., and click back to Twitter without hitting the home screen.
6. You can record your screen
Screen recording is one of those tricky features you usually need a third-party app or Apple’s Quicktime player to make work, but not with iOS 11. If you need to record a video of your screen, and not just take a screen grab, that functionality will be available in your iPhone’s control center.
7. Share your wifi with nearby people
No more being that annoying person at the party who’s asking what the wifi password is. In iOS 11, you can ask to have the wifi password shared with you the same way you'd use Airdrop. If you’re on the receiving end of the inquiry, your password will be shared securely with your contact and input automatically.
8. Indoor Maps
I really need to stop saying “game-changer” but this new feature really is one. Apple Maps is rolling out directions for the insides of big buildings like malls and airports, so you won’t get lost trying to get to Victoria’s Secret ever again.