I had put off updating my iPhone 6 to iOS 11, primarily due to the poor performance reported by Netizens. But, with the release of iOS 11.3 - reported to be focused on improving performance, and more transparent power management (throttling) - I decided to go ahead!

Yes, it's maybe slightly more sluggish compared to 10.3.3 - sometimes scrolling is jerky and some taps don't register. But, I don't think it's very noticable, and not a showstopper. I'm will to trade off some performance to be on the latest release!

I gained just over 2 GB in space, and noted some apps used less storage. Hmmm.

There are enough posts about what's new in iOS 11. I'll mention a few items nobody else mentions.

Assistive Touch

Assistive Touch got even more customizable. Apple usually does not give users much leeway in this regard.. except when it comes to accessibility. In fact, I previously posted about setting up Assistive Touch in iOS 9 and customizing the Top Level Menu in iOS 10. Find these settings under General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch

Now, in iOS 11, you can define Custom Actions to Single-tap, Double-tap and Long press! I am still experimenting - I might assign Single-tap to trigger Home directly and have Double-Tap Open Menu (i.e. open the customized top level menu).

AssistiveTouch Custom Actions

The list of options is quite long:

  • None
  • Open Menu
  • Home
  • Notificaitons
  • Siri
  • Control Center
  • Lock Screen
  • Volume Up / Down
  • Mute
  • Accessibility Shortcut
  • Shake
  • Multitasking
  • Screenshot
  • Lock Rotation
  • Pinch
  • Double-Tap
  • SOS
  • Reachability
  • Restart
  • Speak Screen
  • Pass Through to App

I wish Double-tap (not press) on Home button could be configured similarly, rather than just for Reachability.

Control Center

The iOS 10 Control Center had a torch, timer, calculator and camera. You can set up iOS 11 to mimic this, or add new useful shortcuts - I added Alarm, Notes and Voice Memos (great for adding short notes), Do Not Disturb While Driving and Low Power Mode (which I actually enable for most of the day!), in addition to the must-haves Torch, Camera and Calculator. I've never used the Timer frankly!

iOS 11 Customized Control Center

Remember to long-press or "hard-press" (whatever triggers 3D Touch) for more options. For example, long-press Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and you'll get a shortcut menu which includes AirDrop and Personal Hotspot!

Wish I could trigger some of the items in the AssistiveTouch list like Multitasking. Also why no love for the iPad, which is still missing Voice Memos, Calculator, Torch...

Speaking of Notes, you'll find a new security-releated setting under Notes > Access Notes from Lock Screen, either to None, Always Create New Note or Resume Last Note. I chose the second option obviously.

Speech

I love to have my phone "read aloud" books (ePUBs, not audiobooks) or web pages to me. And now, I get a new voice - Nicky. Well, not really. This used to be Siri's voice! It's still my favourite though, the new Siri sounds like a chripy (annoying) teen.

In settings, General > Accessibility > Speech. I turn on Speak to "swipe down with two finders from the top of the screen to hear the content of the screen." And, under Voices > English, choose your voice.

Speech Voices

Alas

Alas, a few things no longer work.

Chiefly, 32-bit Apps. From settings, General > About > Applications. I had 7, including "Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary" and an audio book from L.A. Theatre Works.

Launchers - like Launcher and Magic Launcher can no longer open the Settings App. According to Cromulent Labs Launcher FAQ:

Apple removed the ability to launch the Settings app to specific screens starting with iOS 11. The only way to get back the old functionality would be to downgrade back to iOS 10 while you still can. I'm sorry about this loss in functionality, but there isn't anything we can do on our end.

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