Tech Tips: Upgrade to iOS 11?
October 15, 2017
Question: I noticed that Apple released iOS 11. Should I update? What are some of your favorite new features?
Not only has Apple released iOS 11, it has already released an update (iOS 11.0.1) that fixes a few small problems. It has started beta testing (that is, allowing developers to test) iOS 11.1, which adds some new features.
We have installed iOS 11 on our Apple devices, and it's looking good. (There are the usual stories about the installation causing battery life deterioration, but we haven't seen it. On the other hand, our devices are relatively "young" — an iPhone SE and an iPhone 8.
Your device may behave differently.
Be aware that iOS 11 won’t run on every Apple device
—for phones, you must have an iPhone 5s or later; for iPads, you’ll need an iPad Pro, an iPad fifth generation, an iPad Mini 2 or later, or an iPad Air.
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Be aware that iOS 11 won't run on every Apple device—for phones, you must have an iPhone 5s or later; for iPads, you'll need an iPad Pro, an iPad fifth generation, an iPad Mini 2 or later, or an iPad Air.
Both iPhones and iPads get a number of common new features: a completely overhauled control center, a fancy screenshot editor, a "Smart Invert Colors" mode that acts like a dark mode.
The new Files app allows full access to documents stored not only on the device, but also in online storage, such as iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, and more. This one feature makes iOS devices far more useful as general-purpose computing devices.
Both devices support drag and drop between applications, making it possible to do things like drag text from an application into an email.
iPad users will find a new keyboard that some folks love, and others hate (Ken is a fan). The move visible new iPad feature, however, is the dock, which makes the iPad infinitely easier to use.
Like the Mac's dock, you can pin any (reasonable) number of apps to the dock, allowing for quick and easy access. Larger iPads make better use of multi-tasking in iOS 11, as well.
iPhone users will find a number of iPhone-specific features, including a quick-dial emergency SOS feature (please don't test this out; local 911 services are overwhelmed with the less-than-thoughtful folks who try out the feature).
Ken's favorite new feature: An automatic Do-Not-Disturb mode while driving! Yes, it's possible to override this feature or even turn it off, but if you find yourself absently looking at notifications while at stoplights (or worse, while driving—please don't!), this new feature could save a life or two.
With the default settings, if the phone is moving in a car, it won't display notifications at all. You can have the phone send out a response to texts (like "I'm currently driving. I'll get back to you.") You may disagree, but we think this is a useful, and life-saving feature.
For more information, check out this link for a short list of new features that matter: https://goo.gl/VV9fgN.
Allow a friend to use your computer without granting access to all your stuff
Q: When my friend was in town recently, he asked to use my computer to do some research. I just handed him my laptop, but later worried what I had done. What if he poked around in my documents or email, and found things I didn't care for him to see? Is there some way to avoid this problem in the future?
Both PCs and Macs support a built-in guest user, allowing you to grant access to the internet, and basic file handling, without granting access to any of your content, when you let someone borrow your computer.
Guest accounts can't install applications or configure hardware devices, so it's unlikely that someone logged in as a guest could hurt your computer or find anything private.
On the other hand, because guest users can browse the Web, they certainly can get your computer infected with a virus, just as easily as you can yourself!
The trick is to first ensure that the guest account is enabled on your computer.
On a Mac, go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups, and enable the Guest User if currently disabled. On a Windows 7 or 8 computer, it's really easy: from the Start menu, type "user accounts."
Click on "User Accounts" in the search results, and from this window, click "Manage another account." Click "Guest." If necessary, click "Turn On."
In Windows 10, it's a lot more complicated. You'll find the details here: https://goo.gl/HwUXRV. It's not a difficult process, but it does require a few steps. It's hard to know exactly why Microsoft made it more obscure to enable a guest user (called a Visitor in Windows 10), but the linked article makes it clear how to proceed.
No matter which operating system you're using, handing a friend your laptop while logged into your own account is a bad idea. First, log out, and then have them in as the guest/visitor user, and you'll feel a lot safer!
Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken's tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21 a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.