Dan Counsell

I write about life, work, technology, and everything in-between.

Thoughts on the iOS 11 public beta

July 7th, 2017

I finally got round to installing the public beta of iOS 11 on my iPad yesterday. Here’s a brain dump of my initial thoughts while I was using it for the first time.

  • The lock screen blurs as you swipe it up, this is weird. If anything I think the app behind should be blurred and come into focus as you slide up the lock screen.
  • The typography and icons in most of the stock apps are chunky and bold, this is a bit heavy imho.
  • A lot of the animation in iOS feels more playful and bouncy. I like that.
  • The new App Store looks amazing. Very modern and clean, love the separate section for “Games” and “Apps”.
  • Not sure about the Autoplay videos in the new App Store though, at least the sound is muted by default.
  • I really dig the new dock, this is a great improvement. I do find myself looking for the “Finder” equivalent on the left. For some reason, I want an icon like we have on the Mac so I can return to the springboard.
  • I wanted to add more items in the Dock, it stopped me at thirteen.
  • The Dock has a separator on the right, a few apps are sitting on the other side of it. I’m not sure why yet.
  • Ah-ha! Turns out the apps the other side of the dock separator are the two most recently used apps that aren’t already in the dock. Handy.
  • Feels like it takes longer to get to Control Center to change the brightness, etc. I think it’s because you have to swipe upwards and the app you were using shrinks to a thumbnail.
  • The “Files app” is great, this is certainly going to help those of us wanting to get work done on the iPad.
  • Pencil seems to work everywhere in the UI, but doesn’t work to adjust the split between apps.
  • Split screen (swipe in from the right is gone), you now have to drag in a secondary app from the Dock.
  • Still no easy way to swap apps around when both are split screen.
  • Dragging files around feels powerful, would feel great to use this feature an even bigger iPad.
  • Dragging down the keys for the alternative character on the new iOS keyboard is genius.

In the short time I’ve played around with iOS 11 I’ve been very impressed. I've encountered a few bugs, but that’s to be expected as this is a beta. I do think this is probably the best iOS update in years, mainly because it's starting to feel like it's got some features aimed squarely at pro users.

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