Forget the iPhone 8 and iPad Pro 2, that Apple-branded smartphone or tablet you currently own is the only device you need, especially with the iOS 11 release date on the horizon.
Yes, new hardware might look cool and be a little quicker, a little shiner and host slightly better cameras, but it’s the software within that brings the biggest changes.
Unlike Android and its heavily fragmented ways that mean you never know when you’ll be getting the update, Apple’s ecosystem treats everyone equally. That means when the iOS 11 drops for the flashy iPhone 7 Plus owners, those with the more affordable iPhone SE will get the patch too.
But what exactly will this sizeable iPhone and iPad upgrade bring? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here’s everything you need to know about the iOS 11 release date and what features you can expect your smartphone or super slate to add.
IOS 11 RELEASE DATE: WHEN WILL THE NEW IPHONE SOFTWARE LAUNCH?
The big question we all want to know is when the iOS 11 release date will be and when we’ll be able to fill our phones with lovely new features.
Well, despite it still being months away, Apple has already confirmed the date you’re going to want to keep free in your diary.
That magical date? June 5. That’s the opening day of the company’s 2017 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) and will see Apple CEO Tim Cook take centre stage at the company’s keynote event to unveil not just iOS 11, but updates to the firm’s macOS, watchOS and tvOS platforms too.
COMING SOON: Apple iOS 10
That’s the good news, now for the bad. Just because Apple will showcase its new smartphone OS on June 5 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to add the final release to your phone or tablet straight away.
Sadly the wait will continue for months rather than weeks after that – assuming Apple, a notorious creature of habit, sticks to its traditional launch cycles that is.
Historically, following a June unveiling, Apple’s major iOS releases have then been put on hold until September, eventually rolling out to existing iDevice owners in the days leading up to that year’s iPhone release – a platform that will this year see the long awaited iPhone 8 unveiled.
While we’ll know a lot more about iOS 11 in just a couple of months then, we’re still more than half a year away from the software’s full release, sob.
IOS 11 FEATURES: EXPECT BIG CHANGES
Although Apple’s famed for its cloak of secrecy, there’s been been a bit of chatter about certain new iOS 11 features.
No, a full iOS 11 features list hasn’t yet been revealed, but that hasn’t stopped the odd feature from making a premature appearance online.
Most notable among these is a new floating keyboard that would make it easier to type on larger handsets such as the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, or the upcoming iPhone 8 that’s expected to adopt a near 5.2-inch display.
This has already been spotted in a develop build of the existing iOS platforms, despite not actually being available. Instead it was stumbled upon by a dev who went routing through the system’s code.
Given its there but not really there standing, it’s believed this feature is being saved up for a future release, most likely iOS 11.
This isn’t the only new feature tipped to make an iOS 11-based appearance either. Siri is expected to be a big focus during Apple’s WWDC gathering, with the voice-controlled digital assistant expected to graduate into full on AI standing.
Looking to bring the fight to the likes of Amazon Echo and Google’s own voice AI, Siri is expected to not just gain more control of your iPhone and connected devices, she’s also been tipped to start getting a better grasp of human language, with a more natural, conversational, chat ability to be introduced.
With dozens of further updates to be announced at a latter date, one of the other upcoming additions to leak surrounds improved Apple Pay skill.
It’s claimed that through iOS 11, users will be able to send cash directly through iMessage using Apple’s secure payment platform.
Although major feature updates are expected, don’t expect the upcoming software refresh to introduce any major design updates. Instead, look at for aesthetic similarities to be partnered with a number of performance enhancing updates.
IOS 11 BETA: HOW TO GET THE IPHONE UPDATE EARLY
DAILY STAR ONLINE
Just because the full iOS 11 update won’t be available until September doesn’t mean you can’t make use of software at all.
If you simply can’t wait that long, Apple is expected to follow recent traditions and launch an iOS 11 beta programme shortly after the update makes its WWDC debut.
This free to use preview will let users try certain iOS-bound features early and, although not all inbound additions will be available, further updates will be drip fed through until the platform’s full release.
To sign up, all you’ll need to do is visit Apple’s official Beta Software website and enter your details.
Be warned though, as this is pre-release software, it can be quite buggy and cause potential problems for the devices it’s installed on.
IOS 11 COMPATIBILITY: WILL YOU PHONE GET THE UPDATE?
Apple has yet to confirmed the full list of compatible devices, but if you’ve bought an iPhone or iPad in the past couple of years, don’t worry, you won’t be missing out when it comes to iOS 11 update time.
The likes of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are guaranteed to benefit from a full roster of iOS 11 skills, as are the equivalent iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 handsets, as well as both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.
The further back you go the tricker things get, however.
Although the current iOS 10 software plays nice with everything from the iPhone 5 and iPad mini 2 upwards, somethings got to give as system demands continue to increase.
On the smartphone front we’d expect the 2012 released iPhone 5 and colourful iPhone 5C bumped from the compatibility list, while the iPad mini 2’s days of annual updates might be about to be brought to a close too.
This is currently unconfirmed, however. For the full list of iOS 11-friendly devices, you’ll have to wait until the software’s full launch on June 5.