Top 50 Hidden iOS 11 Features

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 6 Jun 2017

iOS 11 features iPhone Featured

WWDC 2017 keynote is over and iOS 11 is officially in the wild, as a developer beta. As is usually the case, Apple highlights the best features in the keynote. But there are a lot of small, interesting changes and features that don’t make it to the keynote. This is where we come in.

This time, iOS 11 is hiding some productivity focused gems. There’s a customizable Control Center, screen recording feature and a lot more.

Must Read: The 10 Best iOS 11 Features for iPhone

1. Drag Multiple Apps

ipad ios 11 multiple apps

On both the iPhone and iPad, you can now select multiple apps. Tap and hold apps till they jiggle. Tap on one app and drag it. Now tap on other app icons and they’ll be selected as well. Now go to another page and release your finger to drop them all.

2. Type to Siri

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There’s a new toggle in Settings -> Accessibility -> Siri that enables the options to type to Siri.

3. Customizable Control Center

iOS 11 Control Center toggles

The redesigned Control Center is one of the biggest features in iOS 11. But it gets better. Control Center is actually customizable. Go to Settings -> Control Center and you’ll be able to add and remove actions.

4. Screen Recording

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One of the actions that you can add to Control Center is Screen Recording. This is the only way to enable this feature. When you tap on the Screen Recording feature, you’ll start recording your screen. Tap on the blue bar at the top to stop the recording. The video file will be saved in the Photos app.

5. One Handed Keyboard

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iOS 11 brings one-handed mode for iPhone 6 and higher. Tap and hold the Globe icon. Then tap on the left/right docked icon to engage the one handed mode.

6. Unified Notifications

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You’ll now be able to access all notifications from the Lock Screen. In the empty space, just swipe up to see the Notifications.

7. Flick Keys in iPad

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On your iPad Pro, swipe down on any key to type the alternate character.

Must Read: The 10 Best iOS 11 Features for iPad

8. Redesigned Storage Management Tab

iOS 11 hidden features 2

The Storage and Cloud Usage tab is now just called iPhone Storage. And it now shows a storage bar at the top. The apps are listed based on storage space used. You’ll also see when the app was last used.

9. Automatically Uninstall Unused Apps

There’s a new option in iPhone Storage section that lets you automatically uninstall old apps when you’re low on storage. This only uninstalls the app. The app data and documents are saved. You can do this on a per app basic from the detail view of the app.

10. Bolder Text Everywhere

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A smaller design change in iOS 11 that’s everywhere from the Phone app to Notes app is the use of bolder typography, especially in headings.

11. Siri and Search Settings Unified

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In Settings, there’s a new section called Siri & Search that merges the Siri and Search sections.

12. New Accounts and Passwords Section

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There’s also a new Accounts & Passwords section that gives you access t all iCloud and Mail accounts. You can also access passwords saved in Keychain after authenticating.

13. Prevent Cross-Site Tracking in Safari

There’s a new toggle in Safari section in Settings called Try to Prevent Cross-Site Tracking, it is enabled by default.

14. Emergency SOS

iOS 11 hidden features 1

Emergency SOS is now built into iOS 11, for all users. Auto Call feature will automatically dial the relevant emergency services hotline when the user presses the Sleep/Wake button five times, quickly.

15. Scan QR Codes in Camera

Camera app in iOS 11 can automatically scan QR codes now. All you have to do is point the camera on a QR code.

16. Password Autofill for Third Party Apps

iOS 11 supports the option for third party integration for password autofill. This means in future we can see 1Password integration.

17. AirPods Settings

You can now customize the double tap gesture for both the left and right AirPod. What this means is that you can set one to engage Siri while another for Play/Pause.

18. Control over iCloud Photo Library Sync

iOS 11 gives users some control over the iCloud Photo Library. When the transfer is auto-paused, users now have an option to manually resume the sync.

19. Automatic Setup

iOS 11 will make the process of upgrading to a new iPhone much easier. During setup, you’ll be able to transfer information like your passwords, messages, and apps using the Automatic Setup feature. Just bring your old iPhone near to the new iPhone when you’re prompted during the setup.

20. On iPad: Long press App Icons for Recent Documents

This will only work for certain productivity apps that deal with files. But just long press on the app icon and you’ll see a widget style popup that shows the recent files.

21. Files app Replaces iCloud Drive

iOS 11 iPad Files app

With iOS 11, Apple has removed the iCloud Drive app. Instead, when you load up iOS 11, you’ll find the Files app preinstalled on your iPhone and iPad. The Files app is a better-designed version of the iCloud Drive that includes local files and provides easy access to files stored in third-party cloud storage services like Dropbox.

22. iCloud Storage in Family Sharing

If you have more than 200 GB iCloud Storage plan, you’ll be able to split the storage space with your Family Sharing account members.

23. Live Photos During FaceTime Calls

There’s a new toggle in the FaceTime settings for Live Photos during call. This feature will let users capture an animated Live Photo during a FaceTime call, that will automatically be saved in the Photos app.

24. Calculator App and Icon Redesign

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There’s now a redesigned icon and app UI for the calculator app. It now has circular buttons and looks more like the keypad in the Phone app.

25. Smart Invert

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In Accessibility -> Display Accommodations -> Invert Colors you’ll find a new option called Smart Invert. It inverts the colors for only UI elements and no the images or media. So right now it’s the closest we have to a dark mode.

We’re still going through iOS 11 and as we find more hidden features, we’ll keep updating the list.

26. One Handed Zoom in Maps

Now just tap and hold with one finger on the Maps and swipe up and down to zoom in and out in Apple Maps.

27. FLAC Support

iOS 11 officially supports FLAC format and you can play FLAC files in the built-in media player.

28. HEVC Video Support

Videos captured by devices running on iOS 11 will be encoded in the new HEVC H265 format. This will help users save half the storage space without sacrificing on the quality.

39. HEIF Images Support

Just like HEVC, HEIF format for Images provides a 2x gain in compression. When exporting, the images will be converted to JPEG on the fly.

40. Persistent Location Services Tab

When an app is using location in the background, you’ll see a persistent bar at the top of the screen. This will help users spot notorious apps like Uber that use your location way after you’ve closed the app.

41. Better Location Services Control

iOS 11 location services

Speaking of Location Services, you can now select “While Using the App” for every app.

42. New Background Refresh Options

iOS 11 background app refresh

You can have the Background App Refresh run only when you’re on Wi-Fi and not when you’re on Cellular data.

43. Create PDF from Safari

iOS 11 mark up as PDF

There’s a new option in Safari’s Share sheet called Markup as PDF. It will convert the current page and will let you mark up using the same screenshot tools. This works on both iPhone and iPad. But you don’t have to markup. You can use this as a quick shortcut to convert the page to PDF. Then tap on the Share button to send it to any app. This is much faster than the convoluted Print way in iOS 10.

44. New iMessage Effects

iOS 11 iMessage effects

iMessage has two new effects – Echo and Spotlight. Echo creates a thunderstorm of your message on the entire screen. Spotlight puts a literal spotlight on the message you send.

45. Faster Scrolling in Safari

Scrolling in Safari now works the same way it does across iOS. Safari’s inertial based scrolling is now gone, replaced by smoother, faster scrolling.

46. Document Scanning in Notes

ios 11 iPad document scanning

Notes app has a new and useful feature hidden inside the + menu in a note. Tap on + button and select Scan Document. You’ll be able to automatically scan multiple pages – in color or grayscale. You can edit the borders later as well.

47. Auto Answer Calls

iOS 11 auto answer calls

This is a new Accessibility feature hiding behind Accessibility -> Call Audio Routing -> Auto-Answer Calls. Basically, you can tell iOS 11 to automatically answer any call after a set amount of time – a couple of seconds that you can specify.

48. Screenshot Markup Tool

iOS 11 Screenshot markup

In iOS 11, when you take a screenshot, you’ll see a preview in the bottom-left corner. Tap on it and you’ll see the screenshot ready with markup tools. If you want to share the screenshot without marking up, tap on the Share button and select the app. Or markup by doodling, adding text, zooming in and more.

49. Share Wi-Fi Password

When someone comes over (who’s also running iOS 11) and they try to connect to your network, you’ll get a popup asking if you just want to let them through. This only happens if the two iOS devices are close to each other.

50. iCloud File Sharing

You can now share files stored in iCloud over the web, just like Dropbox.

Have you found a cool new hidden feature in iOS 11? Share with us in the comments below.