12 September rolled into 13 September without much fanfare, would you agree? Well, not unless you were glued to the Apple website on your MacBook waiting for the annual keynote on new devices and launches.
To avoid becoming yet another online piece going over the oft-repeated features of the new iPhones, we present to you the alternative iPhone launch article – shall we do a whistle-stop tour of features on the newly released iPhone 8, 8 Plus and the forthcoming iPhone X*? We’ll also be diving into some iOS 11 changes you may be unfamiliar with.
Common across all three devices are the connectivity technology (major LTE bands as well as 2G/3G and CDMA are supported), nano-SIM support, Apple’s A11 Bionic hexa-chip and tri-core GPU, storage memory variants (64GB and 256GB), a 7MP front-facing camera for selfie-takers, the absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack (a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter is your trusty companion now), Bluetooth 5.0 support and WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and dual-band.
While the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus sport familiar 4.7” and 5.5” displays, the iPhone X raises stakes higher with its 5.8” display with a near-83% screen-to-body ratio. It is impossible to miss the X’s almost bezel-less design, and the OLED display (contrasted with the IPS LCD displays on the 8 and 8 Plus) is a key reason for its pre-order commencing 27 October (while you can pick up the 8 and 8 Plus today). The X’s OLED therefore points to better colour balance and contrast as well as deeper blacks. The X’s dual 12MP OIS-capable rear-cameras match the 8 Plus’s, while the 8 features a 12MP shooter.
Another big talking point from the keynote, if you missed it, was the Face ID technology on the X, while the fingerprint sensors return on the 8 and 8 Plus. Granted, this will take some getting used to for those accustomed to unlocking their phones by tapping the home-button. We reserve our judgement until we get to check this out for ourselves (trust us when we say there is no mythical iPhone X wandering the halls here at Virgin Media during the months of September or October). Oh, lest we forget, 3GB RAM makes an appearance on the iPhone X and 8 Plus, but the 8 comes with 2GB RAM – Apple’s close integration of hardware and software is likely the reason for not splurging on a higher RAM option.
And just like that one of the industry’s key players performed the equivalent of a mic-drop and returned to its slumber for another year to work on the iPhone (insert suitably relevant notation here). Are you waiting for next September with bated breath?
Moving onto 5 new iOS 11 features you should look out for:
Expecting to see the same Control Centre with your swipe-up action from the bottom of your iPhone’s screen? This is by far the biggest change you will notice while using the newly available iOS 11. No longer are you confined to WiFi and Bluetooth toggles and sliding controls for volume and screen brightness. Instead, this new iteration of iOS allows more granular control (editor: pun?) over the usual suspects like connectivity (WiFi, Bluetooth, airplane mode), music, screen-brightness, torch, camera and now including screen-recording, accessibility, low-power mode, voice memos and more.
Curious? Head into Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls to check this out for yourself. It is worthwhile knowing that the once the relevant controls have been added to the Control Centre, long holding to activate Force Touch may bring up additional options for each control menu.
One other odd curiosity – toggling the Bluetooth and WiFi from the control centre does not toggle functionality off. Rather connected devices are detached while the corresponding radios (for Bluetooth and WiFi) run in the background. This is an intended feature, according to Apple, and allows for other features to function. As with all new things, some getting used to is in order.
Always wanted to do more with your screenshots instead of diving into the gallery to edit afterwards? Now you can – screenshot as normal, and you are now presented with a thumbnail of your screenshot in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Tapping said thumbnail brings up an editable version of the screenshot allowing for changes, annotations and more.
Just updated to iOS 11 and noticed an app you previously used not working? This is likely because support for 32-bit apps have been dropped in the latest version of iOS as Apple switches to 64-bit support. You can confirm 32-bit or 64-bit support via Settings > General > About > Applications to check compatibility.
And while we are on the topic of apps, iOS 11 introduces an option to automatically manage your least used apps by removing these to free up storage gold-dust. Diving into Settings > iTunes & App Store and toggling the Offload Unused Apps option will remove your least used apps while retaining any app-specific data on your iPhone.
No doubt, you are now familiar with incoming notifications for messages, emails and similar appearing as banners at the top of your iPhone screen. But iOS 11 now brings persistent notifications that require the banner to be acted upon (either through a swipe or tap) to dismiss them. iOS 11 gives you the option to select between either Settings > Notifications and tapping the relevant Temporary or Persistent options to enable this feature for the corresponding app.
Steady, there is no hocus-pocus involved here; iOS 11 now allows one-handed operation of the keyboard. If you have had the (mis)fortune of enabling this option, you will have noticed your screen keyboard skewed to one side of your screen. Fret not, this is easily remedied by tapping the arrow on the edge of the on-screen keyboard to revert to the full-screen keyboard. Re-enable this by holding down the emoji (insert obligatory smiley-face here) button and then tapping the corresponding left/right-handed keyboard.
What else have you found from your time using iOS 11 that you think the community would benefit from knowing? Drop us a comment!
*Apple aren’t skipping from 8 to 10, with the soon-to-be-released iPhone X. The X is to mark the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone.