SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Holding off on upgrading your trusty old iPhone? You won’t need a spiffy iPhone 8 in order to get new maps, photos and other features with a free software update Apple began rolling out Tuesday.
The iOS 11 update brings a variety of enhancements, including a new voice and functionality for the Siri virtual assistant and a new photo format to reduce file sizes.
Consider waiting a few days in case unexpected problems emerge. The update will work with iPhones and iPads going back a few years, but older models won’t get all the new features.
Once you get iOS 11, here are four things to look for.
LOOK AND FEEL
The Control Center offers easy access to the flashlight and other tools with a swipe up from the bottom. It got separated into multiple pages last year to increase the options available, but the extra swipes got annoying. With iOS 11, it’s back to a single page. The extra options remain available, and Apple now lets you customize further, such as by adding an Apple TV remote or one-touch access to the voice recorder.
After taking a screenshot, you’ll now see a thumbnail in a corner. Tap on it for the ability to quickly annotate and share it. Need to remember where you parked your car? Just screenshot a map and draw an arrow.
The update brings additional camera filters to tweak your photos. To find them, you can now swipe up as you’re taking the shot; swipe down when you’re done. With camera improvements, the iPhone 8 models automatically use an exposure-balancing technology called HDR and no longer save unadjusted versions. You can restore that in the settings, though it’ll use more storage.
Apple Maps now offers speed limits and lane guidance on highways and indoor maps for some airports and shopping malls.
And a new feature detects when you’re driving and keeps notifications from appearing on your lock screen, so you’re not tempted to check. You can override that if you’re in the passenger’s seat - or traveling by plane or train, both of which can make the phone think you’re driving.
NEW TYPES OF APPS