In September, Apple launched iOS 11 — its latest mobile operating system — and it’s currently available for download. Just head to Settings > General > Software Update to kick off the installation process. As with any new operating system, updates are released to include new features and bug fixes. Read on to find out what’s new in each update.
iOS 11.2 was released on December 2, and brings with it a number of features. For starters, iPhone X and 8 wallpapers are available to all iPhones that support iOS 11. Apple also tweaked a few emojis and launched Apple Pay Cash, which will be available in the Messages app (once Apple activates the servers).
One of the main features includes support for 7.5W wireless charging speeds, which is an upgrade from the previous charging speed of 5W. According to MacRumors, which tested the new charging speed using the Belkin wireless charging pad, the iPhone X charged from 46 to 66 percent within 30 minutes. We tested the Belkin wireless charging pad with our iPhone 8 before the update, and it took about four hours with 5W wireless charging.
Apple Pay Cash allows users to send and receive money via iMessage. Using the credit or debit card in your Apple Wallet, you can transfer funds in real time. You’re able to then either transfer the money to your bank account, or immediately use it wherever Apple Pay is accepted.
Video camera and calendar stabilization have been improved with iOS 11.2, and the HealthKit now supports downhill snow sports. When watching Podcasts, you can automatically advance to the next episode from the same show.
MacRumors reports a new Sports section is available in the TV app, which integrates with the ESPN app to enable you to watch live sports events.
Issues such as Find My iPhone not displaying a map, along with one that prevented Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen, have been fixed. Your keyboard should no longer overlap your most recent message, and the keyboard itself should respond more quickly. App icons now display correctly on the Home screen, and typing fast in Calculator should not give wrong results.
iOS 11.2 adds support for real-time text (RTT) calls for the deaf and hard of hearing, while VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, the App Store, and Music has been improved.
Other new features are more minor. For instance, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles in the Control Center are now white when toggled off. There is also a new message window that pops up when they are turned off, indicating that they are disconnected. There are also three new live wallpapers to choose from.
In November, Apple launched the fourth watchOS 4.2 beta and fourth tvOS 11.2 beta — the latter of which brings the ability to control when video is played back in high dynamic range (HDR).
Later in December, Apple released iOS 11.2.1 which includes bug fixes that were discovered in the initial release of iOS 11.2. One fix addressed the problem of the iPhone X screen becoming unresponsive when going from a warm to a cold outdoor environment. Another fix was for distorted Live Photos and videos specifically on the iPhone X.
The most important fix of all in iOS 11.2.1 has to do with HomeKit. When iOS 11.2 was first released, a vulnerability potentially gave hackers unauthorized access to HomeKit accessories such as smart locks. As a solution, Apple disabled remote access for shared users but the latest update re-enables the access and the vulnerability is fully patched.
Apple has continued to respond to security threats quickly with the release of iOS 11.2.2. Earlier in January 2018, the security vulnerability named “Spectre” was identified in a wide range of CPUs, including those used by Apple in its iPhones and iPads. Thankfully for users, this update is aimed at closing that security flaw by updating Safari. Apple recommends this update for all users, and the update should be available on iPhones from the iPhone 5s and older, and on iPads from the iPad Air and older.
The iOS 11.1 update officially rolled out at the end of October and included new emojis, a 3D-touch app switcher, and a variety of bug fixes. Ranging from mythical creatures, to T. rex, and more, the update includes More than 70 new emoji characters. You may notice that some emojis come with small design changes The bee, snail, and dolphin in particular now look more realistic and detailed than previous versions.
For optimal emoji use, there’s now a built-in keyboard feature that offers more emoji symbols when typing a specific word. For example, when you type in the word “love,” your iMessage predictions will give you three different types of heart emojis instead of one.
Other improvements were made to the Photos app — specifically blurry photos, swiping through screenshots, and Live Photo Effects. The reachability bug has also been fixed, after first being found in the initial release of iOS 11. The 3D Touch App Switcher is back as well, allowing you to perform a 3D Touch gesture at the left of the display, and also bring up the multitasking App Switcher.
In terms of bug fixes and security improvements, iOS 11.1 also specifically addresses the exploit called KRACK that allowed hackers to access all modern Wi-Fi networks. Apple also launched iOS 11.1.2, which included a bug fix for the unresponsive iPhone X display.
The iOS 11.0.3 update, which began rolling out to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and other supported iOS devices on Thursday, October 11, contains fixes for long-standing hardware problems. A bug that affected the audio and haptic feedback motors of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has been addressed, Apple says, and so has an issue that causes the iPhone 6S touchscreen to become unresponsive if it had been serviced with third-party replacement parts.
Before the update, some users reported hearing a static noise from the iPhone’s earpiece during phone calls and FaceTime sessions. The only way to avoid the crackling noise was to wear headphones or use the speakerphone function, MacRumors noted. The iOS 11.0.2 update contained a partial fix, but iOS 11.0.3 should resolve the problem once and for all.
iOS 11.0.1 and iOS 11.0.2
The iOS 11.0.1 and 11.0.2 updates, the two versions of iOS 11 before iOS 11.0.3, fixed bugs that caused photos to become hidden on devices and attachments in S/MIME encrypted emails to disappear. They also tweaked a few behaviors.
Under iOS’s Accessibility menu, there are more custom actions to choose from. You can now assign different apps and settings — like Apple Pay, for example, or volume controls — to the single-tap, double-tap, and long-press gestures.
It’s clear that iOS 11.0.1 focuses a lot on animation. The app window that appears when you tap a notification sinks a little deeper than before. And web content moves more fluidly when you scroll to the top of the screen after tapping the status bar.
Even though iOS 11.0.3 doesn’t include many changes, there is still tons to learn about iOS 11. From a redesigned control center to an entirely new App Store, the mobile operating system has plenty of new features.
Update: Apple releases iOS 11.2.2 update
- Common iOS 13 problems and how to fix them (iOS 13.3 update)
- Here’s how to download iOS 13 on your iPhone or iPod Touch
- Apple’s new iOS parental controls for limiting who your kids talk to are broken
- Apple addresses iPhone 11 location services controversy with iOS 13.3.1 toggle
- Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?