Apple’s new mobile operating system iOS 11 might look similar to its predecessor iOS 10, and its functions might be reminiscent of the past, but there are some hidden features any user will want to check out.
Over the last few days, I’ve been digging through all of iOS 11’s features, looking at how they work, and wondering what will happen if I use them in different ways. In that time, I’ve discovered a bunch of hidden functions and neat tools that aren’t so apparent when you’re using some of the apps built into Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch operating system. And in my experience, those features have proven exceedingly useful in improving my productivity.
So, if you have an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11 and you want to check out some new ways to get more out of the operating system, read on for my five favorite hidden iOS 11 features:
Customize Control Center
Arguably the coolest addition to iOS 11 is the ability to actually make the operating system’s Control Center app really, really useful.
From the Settings pane, you can choose “Control Center” and decide whether you want to add or remove controls. Don’t like the Timer control but would love to add an Alarm control? Go for it. Want to quickly access your Apple TV Remote? Just send it over to Control Center.
Once you’re done customizing, open Control Center by swiping up from your screen and you’ll see your customizations.
Share Long Wi-Fi Passwords
There’s nothing worse than trying to remember passwords. So, Apple has added a feature that allows you to automatically share your Wi-Fi password with the tap of one button. Better yet, you don’t need to share the password itself, adding a little security to the scenario.
When someone running an iPhone or iPad with iOS 11 tries to connect to a network you’re already on, you’ll receive a notification, asking if you want to share your password with the person. If you choose to do so, the connection is sent to the other person and they’ll connect to the network.
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The One-Type Keyboard
The iOS 11 keyboard defaults to full-screen, but if you want to type with one hand, just hold your thumb down on the emoji icon in your keyboard. A box will pop up, allowing you to decide whether to keep the keyboard full screen or move it to the left or right. If you choose to move it, typing with one thumb is much, much easier.
When you load up Apple Maps inside popular points of interest, like an airport, you’ll have the option to see an indoor map of your location. You can then use it navigate around, say, an airport terminal to find bathrooms, food, and other important places.
In addition to chatting with Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri, you can also text your queries. To do so, you’ll need to go into the Settings pane and choose Accessibility. From there, pick Siri, and you’ll see the option to “Type to Siri.” When you turn that on, you’ll now be given the option to speak to Apple’s assistant or type your question. It’s a handy way to get answers when you’re in a loud environment and the assistant can’t hear you well.