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By Gordon Kinlaw

I decided to go against my own advice and download the new beta OS for my iPhone. I can always go back to 10.3.3.

The process of getting on the beta and installing it took about 45 minutes. I haven’t seen any huge problems so far. I will list some observations I have so far and follow up in a week with more. Google “iOS 11 Beta” if you want to take a chance. The only negatives I’ve seen are the top bar location alerts and some unexpected battery loss.


Unlock: Open lock screen with fingerprint seems to be much faster. If the lock screen shows up as you raise your phone, you have only place your finger on the home button to open. You do not have to depress the home button. If you don’t have Touch ID, and have a lock code, then there is no difference. If you have neither, swipe up unlocks the phone vs swiping the open button right.

Access Notifications: If you have a notification on the lock screen, you don’t slide them right to open any more. You press the notification now and a fingerprint icon comes up in the middle of the screen asking you to press the home button.

Top Bar Alerts: I am annoyed by constant notifications in the top bar about some app that is using my location. I don’t know how to cut it off and I don’t want to know about it every few minutes or seconds. It’s wasting battery.

Battery Drains: If you swipe right on the home screen you will see widgets and maybe lots of widgets running that you don’t want or need. If you didn’t know they were there you probably don’t need any of them. To delete them, get on the Home screen and swipe right to see the widget menu to the left of Home screen. It’s viewable from the lock screen also. Scroll all the way down to see the edit button and then delete any widgets you don’t need or add a few key items that might help you. I am pretty sure they were available in 10 but I’ve never used it from lock screen. I have used the swipe left to get the camera up.

Screen Snaps: When you screen snap, a mini icon of the snap shows up in the bottom left corner of the phone. You can ignore it or tap it to bring up the snap with markup tools and sharing functions. It sure saves some time handling the photo. I snapped the next screenshot, cropped it and then Air Dropped it to my MacBook very quickly to drag into this document.

Messenger Add-ons: They were there in 10 but I didn’t know it. Click on the plus button when you FB message someone.

Remedial Titles: Mail and Text Messaging have new very large titles at the top of Mail folders and Messages

Notification Pulldown Redesign: When you are in an app or home screen, you can pull down at the very top and see notifications. A “Playing Now” will show at the top if you are playing music or streaming in the background. Below that you will find today’s notifications and yesterday’s notifications.

Lock Screen – Now Playing: The new “Playing Now” feature also shows up on the lock screen for quick pausing or volume adjustments. Note the “play where button” in the top right corner when you have a choice. My current choices are the phone and an Apple TV here at this beach house. Bluetooth devices would also be available.

Expanded Control Center: The new swipe-up control center has more functions. It’s a quick way to access the camera from inside an app, control music, toggle radios, and get to the flashlight. And… if you go to settings/control center, you can find a long list of additional functions such as: Magnifier, Alarm, Notes, Voice Memos, and Screen Recording (what !!!!).

Here’s a very short screen video I recorded and uploaded to YouTube: https://youtu.be/U-eMHDBiRrA

Status Bar Changes: The cellular strength indicator has gone back to vertical bar style instead of dots. I think I like that. The battery icon changed slightly.

Messaging Applets: Apps are more accessible inside messaging. Click on the app icon circled in red to reveal the app line at the very bottom. Touch the app line and it doubles in size for easier viewing. i.e. Use Venmo to send money while in messaging. If this was in iOS 10, I totally missed it.

App Store: The App Store has some cosmetic changes but the new tab “Today” has my attention. This tab gives you an “app of the day”, articles of interest and how-to suggestions. The current app of the day is Day One Journal which makes it easy for you to capture memorable events or thoughts during your day. Check out the Today tab.

FILES: The new app FILES replaces the iCloud app with more reach. It will also access files in OneDrive, Dropbox and Box. You create file folders and move files around.


TV Guide – free

This is a must-have app for cord cutters. Plug in your location and you will get an extensive channel guide list for every hour of the day. The sports tab gives you a list of sports on TV for today or you can change that tab to other menu items like “whats on tonight.”

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