The other day I plugging in my i-devices and let them update to the latest and greatest iOS 11. Sometimes these releases wreak havoc on launch day, but I was pleased to say that my devices updated without issue. I’ve had a couple days to spend with the new OS now, and I had a couple of initial thoughts.
First, on my iPhone I really don’t see much in the way of a difference. The visual aesthetic is only mildly changed, perhaps most notably in the animations when changing applications. Some of the apps have switched to a new design that focuses on a big block letter heading before letting you at the content. Otherwise, it looks like the same old iPhone I’m used to.
The main place where you notice a change is in the revised Control Center. The new layout of icons feels cluttered, but since it’s almost all text, it still feels sleek. I do have to say that I was a little confused by the new sliders for volume and brightness. It’s more akin to something you find in Star Trek styled technology. I have managed to navigate around it just fine though, so I can’t complain too much.
On my iPad there are more striking differences, most notably in the Dock. You can now add many more icons to it, and it keeps track of your previously used apps for quick re-launch. This is a nice and welcome feature, as the dock space always felt under-used in previous iOS iterations.
There are other neat tweaks that are more behind the scenes, like turning off notifications when driving, and drag and drop functionality. However, since I’m not a power iPad user, these don’t get much of my day-to-day attention. I would highly recommend anyone who has considered using an iPad as a regular laptop check out my friend Wes, as he is almost completely converted to an iPad life. He writes often about his experiences and has recently shared his thoughts on iOS 11.
For me, I’m just glad to get a nice new refresh, as that often makes it feel like you got a new phone. It gives it that “new device smell” again for a short bit. Overall, my first impressions of iOS 11 are fine. Nothing that blows me away or strikes me as revolutionary, but it’s a solid update.