5 Hidden iOS 11 features that’ll make your life a little bit easier

With each new iPhone comes another iteration of iOS, and this year’s no different. The latest update — which is set for release alongside the iPhone 8 and later the iPhone X is chock-full of small refinements and features, such as portrait lighting, an App Store makeover, an emergency SOS feature, and screen recording, just to name a few. The iOS 11 update is pretty expansive, and along with the notable changes coming, there are several hidden iOS 11 features that you might not know about. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Smaller videos and images

If you’re an avid photographer or an aspiring social media star who’s looking to go viral, your iPhone is likely filled to the brim with photos and videos that you probably don’t want to part with. Thankfully, the latest update to iOS 11 utilizes HEVC (high efficiency video codec) video files and HEIF (high efficiency image format) image files. In laymen’s terms, your photos and videos will stay the same quality but will benefit from a smaller file size.

Better storage management

Speaking of storage, iOS 11 has simplified storage management for the better. What used to be called “Storage & iCloud Usage” in the Settings menu is now just “iPhone Storage.” With the name change comes a cleaner layout. You’ll also get recommendations on how to better condense your storage.

If, for example, you have 2GB of messages on your iPhone, you might get a recommendation to upload those messages to iCloud and delete them from your phone. It’s a simple solution to what is a never-ending problem for most people, and we welcome it with open arms.

A built-in QR scanner

You know those weird, black-and-white codes that you see on some signs and business cards? Those are QR Codes, and in order to scan a code in the past, you’d have to download a third-party QR scanner in order for your iPhone to redirect you to the site affiliated with said code.

QR codes are not all that popular (at least not in the United States), but it looks Appl is trying to change that. With iOS 11, you can use your regular camera to scan a QR code, which will take you to the website in question — no third-party app required.

Greater control over when apps have your location

iOS 11 has now added the Location Services option to every app you download. Before this, it was up to the app developer to add the feature, and most wouldn’t. This meant that you’d be stuck with two choices: Never allow the app to access your location, or always let the app access your location, which would quickly drain your phone’s battery.

Thanks to iOS 11, you’ll now always have the “while using the app” option in your Settings, which represents the best of both worlds.

No more ads chasing you around

In the never-ending battle to piss off Google, Safari is once again trying to fend off ads by stopping sites from being able to track you. Sites can track you with cookies, which are affixed to your browser once you visit a page that is of interest to advertisers.

Fortunately, Safari now blocks cookies in iOS 11. This doesn’t mean your browser will be rid of all ads– just the ones that follow you around. This feature might be all for nothing, however, because it looks like Google might’ve figured out a way around this.


Google Maps brings its real-time journey-tracking feature to iPhone

It's been available on Android for a while now, and now Google Maps has brought its real-time journey-tracking feature to iOS. It lets you choose who to share a journey with, and tracking ends automatically when you arrive.

Apple's iOS 12.1 update will include a fix for iPhone XS, XR selfies

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.

The best iPhone deals for October 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for September 2018.

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for October 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Product Review

With both style and substance, the ‘budget’ iPhone XR is the iPhone to buy

Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max are flagship smartphones that do everything and anything. The iPhone XR is more interesting, because while it looks as futuristic as its siblings, it’s also less expensive and more stylish.

Galaxy S10 leak shows radical tech that could help Samsung kill the notch

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675 will power the next generation of midrange phones

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that will likely go on to power the next generation of Android smartphones. The Snapdragon 675 is set to show up in phones in the $350-$500 range over the next few years.
Product Review

North’s Focals aim to keep you ‘heads-up’ with smartglasses

North, formerly known as Thalmic Labs, has unveiled a new product alongside the brand-name change. Focals is a pair of smartglasses, like Google Glass, that attempts to help keep you heads-up.

Motiv smart ring can use your walking pattern to unlock online accounts

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.

Misfit's new Vapor 2 packs built-in GPS, NFC chip into a sleek smartwatch

Misfitlaunched its latest smartwatch in the Vapor lineup, the Misfit Vapor 2. The smartwatch comes with improved heart rate tracking, built-in GPS, runs Google's latest version of Wear OS, and more. Here's everything you need to know.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your photos off the 'gram and saved elsewhere. But Instagram has recently launched a tool that lets you download all of your…

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next device, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.