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.