How the world reacted to the launch of the new iPhone models
The release of the new iPhone models have incited mixed reactions from around the world. With iOS 11 now available for existing iPhone users and the iPhone 8 selling in huge volumes, the wait is now on for the iPhone X that will make best use of the operating system’s new features. As is typical with Apple products, there is a mixed response to most new features. From those point out that Android or Microsoft did it first, to caution over the security implications the new tricks.
FaceID causing scowls among users
The biggest change for the iPhone X is the loss of the Home button and its fingerprint sensor, a key security feature for recent generations of iPhone. Now, Apple’s Face ID scanning technology will be responsible for recognising and logging in the user, authorising payments and so on.
Many have queried this, with ladies wondering how their makeup will affect results? Others are genuinely concerned if a cut, scar or burn damage could lock people out of their phones in an emergency and so on.
Apple says it has worked very hard to ensure that the system can’t be fooled by photos or other methods. But, there is sure to be someone clever enough to beat the system with sufficient resources (using a twin, 3D printed face masks, holograms and so on). However, for the casual user, that’s hardly an issue, celebrities and secret agents on the other hand, beware! While it may work fine in Apple’s lab, a few million real world users will be the only way to really prove it works.
The future will be augmented
The most obvious new feature in iOS 11 and at its best on the new iPhone models is augmented reality, powered by ARKit. The mixed reality feature is being pushed heavily by Tim Cook and plenty of developers are keen on the technology. Creative Mobile is one of the first to bolt it into an existing app, racing car and customising game Nitro Nation.
While the augmented photo mode is the easy option for many developers, Warhammer 40,000 is another app updated to exploit it,, others are working hard at full games that truly show how AR can enhance a game.
Will the likes of The Machines launch a new era of gaming? Or, will people dismiss it as another novelty and leave the gaming aspects of technology to rot.
Certainly, social media and retailer apps are going to get behind AR, with location apps show where friends, events, stores, specific items within a store, or other places are with AR-style mapping apps. AR-enhanced apps can put video adverts in stores windows while you’re shopping or lead you to bargains.
The iPad officially a PC?
Apple has long insisted that the iPad was never a PC replacement, but with the advent of Surface devices and many other thin-and-lite systems, it has pretty much decided to go all in on iPad-as-computer.
The iOS 11 update for iPad provides a major overhaul, Apple calls it a “A monumental leap for iPad”. The new Files app is a key feature for iPad and iPhone, making file, photo and document management a cinch.
iPad also gets a new updated dock, with powerful customisation features to help improve productivity or to keep popular apps always within reach. Multi-tasking is also improved, and the arrival of drag-and-drop means that more PC-like tasks can be done on the iPad.
Will iOS 11 work on my old phone?
For those not due for a phone upgrade or who can’t afford the insane prices of an iPhone X, the most common worry is how the new OS works on older hardware. Tested on an iPhone 6, the results are actually very encouraging. There is a couple of GB extra space post install for starters, and no noticeable slowdown on the interface, apart from shrinking apps, which can judder.
Any updated phone is supposed to be a little slower at first as the new OS reindexes all its files, so it may be slower at first, but pick up pace after a day or so.
32-bit apps no longer work
Another worry for users of the new phones and iOS 11 is that some legacy apps will no longer work. If you have any old unsupported 32-bit apps on your phone, then they will no longer work. Most developers with active products have updated their apps, but any abandoned titles, well, you’ll need to find an alternative product or encourage the developer to update them.
Some classic iPhone games like Chair’s Infinity Blade have been updated, but where the developer simply gave up and moved on, nothing can be done.