At WWDC 2017, Apple announced the release of a new mobile operating system for phones and tablets, and its finally here. Apple's newest OS is called iOS 11, and it's available for download now. If you're an Apple user running iOS 10, you should recieve a prompt on your device alerting you to the available update. It's good to keep in mind that many people will be updating to iOS 11 today, so you may want to connect to a power source when you start the download, because it may take an hour or more to complete the process.
While you're waiting for your download to finish, check out our favorite new iOS 11 features for business users:
1. Apple Pay
There are other apps out there that allow you to send money directly to an individual via your mobile phone, like Venmo, but now you can do it with Apple Pay. In fact, the newest version of Apple Pay allows you to complete transactions within the context of a message. So, if an employee texts you asking for a reimbursement for $15 worth of office supplies, the Apple Pay button will immediately spring up and give you the opportunity to send them that exact amount with a single tap. Apple Pay is also being increasingly used in brick-and-mortar stores, and Apple says it will be in 50 percent of retailers by the end of 2017.
2. Siri gets a makeover
If you're an entrepreneur who relies on Siri to stay organized, iOS 11 has some interesting things in store for you. Not only does Siri have two new voices (male and female) that have much more human intonation, it's also built with translation capabilities (from English to Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish, with more languages to come). The rebooted Siri can reportedly suggest articles to read, based on your interests (which you can read on your phone or save for later), suggest tasks, and give you updates on traffic and reminders you've set.
3. Maps will make getting around easier
While this is not a huge change, it is an important one, especially for business travelers. The upgraded version of Maps on your iPad or iPhone will now show you interior layouts of malls and airports, so you can scope out your gate location before you travel.
Maps also will predict the places you're most likely to go and give you suggestions on the fastest way to get there based on live traffic information, and in the redesigned OS, you'll be able to open third-party apps within Maps. So, you'll be able to do things like make a dinner reservation through OpenTable and schedule a Lyft while you're in Maps.
These aren't the only new features of iOS 11, just our favorites for business users. Apple's latest mobile OS also includes additions such as Do Not Disturb mode (which you can use to halt calls and notifications while driving), a redesigned App Store, better compression for photos and videos, automatic setup for new devices, augmented reality, the ability to loop photos (and use long exposure settings), and a fully customizable and redesigned control center.
From what we can tell so far, the updates to Apple's mobile OS will be a boon to business users in all industries. iOS 11 was in developer beta testing for several months before this official release, so hopefully the transition will be smooth sailing.