All posts in “Ios 11”

Android Oreo vs iOS 11: What’s different and what’s the same?


Google just announced Android Oreo and it packs a handful of new features. Some are at the system level and speed up the system and extend the battery life, while others are features that will change the way users interact with their phone.

A lot of these features should be familiar to iPhone and iPad owners. Normally Apple is the one accused of copying Android, but for Android Oreo, Google lifted a handful of features straight from iOS, while a couple of new functions are hitting Android before iOS.

Notifications

Google cribbed iOS for Android’s new notification scheme. In Android Oreo there will be a little dot in the top-right corner of the app’s icon to represent a notification. This has been a staple in iOS since the first iPhone and third-party Android launchers have long featured the scheme, too.

Google even copied how users interact with the notifications, too. A long press on an icon with a notification badge reveals a pop-up menu that presents the user with several tasks — just like an iOS 3D Touch interaction.

In the end, it’s a win to the user that Google copied this system. These dots have survived numerous iOS revisions for a reason: they work.

New emojis

Both Android Oreo and iOS 11 are getting new emojis because emojis are the future of humanity. And Google completely redesigned their take on emojis for Android Oreo. Gone are the blobs and traditional, round emojis have returned.

Google’s new emojis follow Apple’s move to increase the detail found on the little faces. Yet according to a preview by Apple’s Tim Cook, iOS is about to get emojis that are even more detailed.

This tweet by Apple’s CEO shows emojis with a crazy level of detail. Apple has yet to say when the new characters will hit iOS, but it’s logical to expect them in the general release of iOS 11 and High Sierra.

A smarter copy and paste

Android has supported copy and paste functions from the first release and has often led iOS’s implementation of the user interaction. It’s a critical function, yet the small screen size of phones often means copy and pasting is a clumsy affair. Android Oreo now makes it even easier to copy text and perform an action.

Called Smart Text Selection, when a user highlights, say an address, a link to Maps will be displayed next to the standard actions of copy, cut and paste. If a series of digits that looks like a phone number is highlighted, the phone app will be displayed.

This is sort of like how data detectors work in iOS, but Google’s feature looks to be more comprehensive, and it’s powered by Google’s AI for smarter identification.

Picture-in-picture

Apple added picture-in-picture to the iPad in iOS 9 and Android is now gaining the capability, too. But with Android Oreo, phones can get in on the PiP action, too, which is something missing from the iPhone.

Android Oreo’s PiP mode works as expected. It allows users to minimize a video and let it float on top of the screen while other tasks are performed behind it. This video window can be moved around the screen to best position it.

Right now iOS limits this process to the iPad, though that could change in the future.

Autofill

Android Oreo finally brings the ability to have apps auto-fill user information like user names, passwords and addresses. Password manager apps have long performed some of these functions, but through convoluted means. Apps can now implement the Autofill API so the interaction should be much more seamless.

iOS kind of has a similar function, but it’s mostly reserved for a few apps, like Amazon’s, and it’s not nearly as omnipresent as it is in Safari on the web.

Apple could guide you around your city using augmented reality


ARKit is one of the biggest changes in iOS 11. Under the hood, Apple is about to transform the iPhone into a very capable augmented reality device. Felix Lapalme‏ has been looking at assets in the Maps app package to find out if the company is going to leverage augmented reality for turn-by-turn directions.

On July 22nd, he dug around a beta version of iOS 11 and found this mysterious 3D arrow for the Maps app:

You might think that Apple is going to use this arrow for traditional turn-by-turn directions on top of a map like in traditional navigation apps. But some code tells you to tilt your phone in front of your face when you’re using walking directions.

In addition to that, it looks like the Maps app is going to use your phone cameras. That’s a lot of smoke for a feature that could ship with the iPhone 8. And when there’s smoke, Apple hides it:

You might remember Google’s Project Tango. Among other things, Google promised to use augmented reality to provide turn-by-turn directions inside museums, malls and more.

Apple already announced that it plans to add detailed maps of airports and malls in iOS 11. iOS 11 and the next iPhone are shipping in September. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple talked about some feature that lets you walk around an airport to find the nearest coffee shop using augmented reality. It would look like this app developed by Andrew Hart‏, a developer who has been playing around with new frameworks:

Is this the iPhone 8’s glorious new wireless charging sound, hidden in iOS 11?

Ah, the magical tones of wireless charging.
Ah, the magical tones of wireless charging.

Image: JHILA FARZANEH/MASHABLE

Wireless charging is undoubtedly one of the most exciting, hyped-up features expected to debut with the iPhone 8 later this year. 

The wireless charging capability will likely come via the inductive Qi standard, which means the phone will require some form of power mat. So, we have a good guess at what the new wireless charging will look like — but what will it sound like?

The answer to that question might just be hidden deep down in iOS 11. An audio file of a new charge tone surfaced from a beta version of the upcoming OS after it was posted to YouTube and spotted by MacRumors. The tone gives our ears a sweet preview of what they might be treated to every time we put our iPhones down on the new inductive power mats, leaving our Lightning cords in the past. 

The short video plays two sound files. The first, “connect_power.caf,” which is the familiar ping you hear every time you plug your phone into a Lightning cable. Standard stuff. 

The second sound, “engage_power.caf,” is something else entirely. It’s a clearer, more extended noise, giving off sort of a compressed THX sound vibe. 

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Introducing a new tone could be a good idea for Apple. Users with wireless charging get the extra reassurance that their device is powering up, and the company can lay claim to a new iconic sound within our collective audio consciousness, joining its default ringtone and text tones.  

Wireless charging isn’t the only new power-centric feature slated for the next-gen iPhone. Reports also claim the flagship device might have a bigger battery than its predecessors, which could help extend life between power ups, as well as new USB-C Power Delivery chips for lightning-fast charging when you’re using the Lightning cord.

None of these features are confirmed, however, and there are other unused tones in the annals of iOS 11 that may or may not make their way into use. We won’t know for certain what will come with the iPhone 8 — or everything about the final version of iOS 11, either — until Apple finally unveils its latest and greatest hardware and software later this year.

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Watch out Google Earth, Apple Maps has a hidden VR-like ‘flyover’ mode

Apple Maps has a new 'flyover' mode in iOS 11 that looks like Google Earth VR.
Apple Maps has a new ‘flyover’ mode in iOS 11 that looks like Google Earth VR.

Image: screenshot/ Apple maps

You’re soon going to have a new reason to use Apple Maps.

Apple is adding a new feature to its mapping app that lets you go on 3D “flyover” tours of cities around the world. Though not technically VR, the feature is reminiscent of Google Earth VR and raises fresh questions about Apple’s plans for virtual reality.

The feature, which has not been publicized by Apple, is available now in the iOS 11 public beta. When you search for a location that has “flyover” enabled, you can dive into a first-person 3D view of the city.

Navigating flyover mode is a lot like watching a 360-degree video on your phone: you can change your point of view by moving your phone around or walking around. You can also go on a “flyover tour” for a more passive experience. 

The feature, which appears to be built with Google’s ARKit frame work, looks a lot like Google Earth VR, even though there isn’t yet a way to navigate Apple’s flyover in a VR environment. Still, the similarities, combined with the use of ARKit, raises interesting questions about Apple’s eventual plans in the space.

It’s easy to see how the flyover feature could eventually translate to a true virtual reality experience. Apple fueled more rumors about its plans for some kind of headset or eyewear earlier this week when its acquisition of a company that makes eye-tracking technology was revealed.

Whatever the longterm goal of Apple’s new flyover feature, though, it’s a pretty neat way to get an up-close look at cities without donning a headset or downloading a new app. It might even be enough to make you give the rest of Apple Maps a second look.

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Screenshots are about to get so much better in iOS 11

Managing screenshots on your iPhone is about to get a whole lot easier.

One of the biggest changes Apple introduced with iOS 11 is the ability to quickly edit and share your screenshots as soon as you take them, without having to hunt them down in the Photos app.

This is thanks to improvements to a feature called Markup, which is what allowed you to add doodles and annotations to photos beginning with iOS 10. But the feature was easy to miss if you didn’t know where to look.

Apple has now streamlined that process with iOS 11, putting Markup one-touch away whenever you take a new screenshot. Now, when you snap a new screenshot, the image appears in the bottom left corner of your phone.

Tapping on the image brings up an editing menu, where you can use Apple’s new and improved Markup features, which allow you to add doodles, text, shapes, and signatures to your image. 

The best part, though, is that the new workflow for screenshots lets you decide whether or not you want to save the images to the Photos app. This will be particularly useful when you’ve taken multiple shots at once but only want to keep one or two (and it should help keep your screenshots folder in photos from getting too unwieldy).

The new screenshot feature will roll out to everyone with the launch iOS 11 later this year. You can also check it out for yourself now by signing up for the iOS 11 public beta.

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