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Apple Releases Public Beta of iOS 11: Here’s What You Need To Know

Several new features stand out in iOS 11, the coming update to Apple’s mobile operating system that became available in public beta yesterday. They include a new keyboard mode for easier one-handed typing, a “Do Not Disturb” feature for driving, and the option to ask digital assistant Siri questions by typing rather than speaking.

Set for general release in September, iOS 11 will be the “biggest software release ever for iPad,” according to Apple. For now, however, the developer preview and public beta are not necessarily “ready for prime time,” so users should expect bugs and avoid downloading the OS onto their primary work or personal devices.

Early reviews of the iOS 11 beta are calling the update “massive,” great,” and “ambitious,” and note the changes are particularly noticeable on the iPad. TechCrunch, for instance, said the operating system “feels like a completely new beast on the iPad.”


Half-Keyboard & Handwritten Email Options

Unveiled earlier this month at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, iOS 11 will bring “hundreds of updates” to Apple devices. Changes include new multitasking capabilities, support for quick money transfers to personal contacts via Apple Pay, a redesigned App Store, and more customization options for the Control Center and Dock for accessing frequently used apps.

For users on the road, the “Do Not Disturb” feature automatically silences notifications to keep iPhones dark and reduce interruptions. Users can also have automatic replies sent to their favorite contacts letting them know they’re driving and will respond later.

The updated keyboard, meanwhile, gives users the option of using Apple’s standard QuickType keyboard or shifting a half-screen keyboard to the right or the left of their iPhone screens. The narrower typing interface is designed to make it easier for users to type one-handed without having to reach across the entire screen to reach different…

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