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iOS 11 Public Beta: First Impressions

4 min read

So I have played with the iOS 11 public beta, first on my iPad Pro and then the 2nd beta on my iPhone 1.

First, I should list out the new features.

iOS 11 Changes the Game for iPad Power Users

My wishlist for iOS 11 pretty much came true:

  • Drag and Drop
  • Native Screen recording 2
  • The Files app 3
  • Improved Photos(?)

The implementation of Drag and Drop is innovative yet muscle memory is proving to be a struggle for me. I am so used to the really, really poorly thought out app switcher for iOS 9/10 for multitasking that I am having a hard time trying to get another app in Slide Over. I usually exit the app I am in, open the app I want to multitask with, and then reopen the previous app, swipe up from the bottom to bring up the dock, and pick the app I opened before that one in the Recents part of the dock and drag it to the side. This works and is the way to do so if the app you want isn’t on your dock. There is another way, though.

You can bring up Spotlight search and drag an app from there, though I haven’t been able to figure that out currently. 4

Some drag and drop examples:

Three apps, one screen
Drag and drop for multitasking
Batch icon rearranging

Native Screen Recording on iOS

I didn’t think I’d see the day, but here it is. I have recorded a few screencasts using my iPad Pro when I first installed public beta one but unfortunately the video was horribly distorted. That was fixed in beta 2.

Here is a little short of me using Federico Viticci’s Prizmo Go Workflow for capturing text from books in Marvin as book notes I can store in DEVONthink to Go.

The Files App

The Files app is a nice addition to iOS on the iPad and iPhone. When third-party apps start taking advantage of it, that’s when it will really shine.

Most of the document providers I use have utilized the Files API. I am still waiting on Working Copy’s 5 full integration with the Files app so it integrates with Textastic 6 better.

You can access any of your document providers in Files app with ease.

You also have access to files on your iPad but not at a system level.

Improved Photos(?)

Photos for iOS just cannot find what I want. I haven’t tried it since the beta but on iOS 10 it just didn’t cut it.

I downloaded Google Photos and wow the difference in search was very, very noticeable.

I use Photos as a database/sync client between my Apple devices. Having separate libraries is a plus. I just recently separated a bunch of photos that were clogging up my iCloud Photo Library into separate libraries using Power Photos and haven’t looked back.

Conclusion

My iPhone is super buggy right now. It is a 6s and I am stuck with it for a while so I am hoping iOS 11 doesn’t hinder it too bad.

For iPad, this is the best thing to happen to the iPad since Retina screens.


  1. I don’t advise putting even the second beta on it. Buggy as hell. 
  2. On iPhone and iPad both. 
  3. This is the closest we will get to the filesystem on iOS, at least for now. 
  4. Annnnnd just after I wrote that I realized I can bring it up from pretty much any app. Yeah… 
  5. A powerful Git client for iOS 
  6. My preferred text editor for iOS because Coda by Panic doesn’t integrate with much on iOS.