iOS 11Tips & TricksTVWatch

How to make the most out of your iOS 11 powered device

A collection of features and settings that will boost your iOS 11 device.

iOS 11 is the latest mobile operating system from Apple. When it comes to functionality iOS 11 is packed with loads of features and settings that make your life easier and increase productivity – especially on iPad. I’ve put together a few tips and tricks that you may not know about.


The one-handed keyboard and how to use it

Although it’s faster to use two hands when typing, we all experience times when we need to type with one hand. Apple’s new one-handed keyboard feature built-in iOS 11 adds a convenient left and right one-handed option to the stock keyboard.

How to use the one-handed keyboard in iOS 11

  1. Press and hold on the globe or emoji next to the 123 button.
  2. Select the left or right-handed keyboard icon.
  3.  Tap the chevron on the side of the keyboard to return to a standard centered keyboard.
one-handed keyboard iOS 11
one-handed keyboard iOS 11

For those who might want to make a left or right one-handed keyboard the default, you can either tap the Keyboard Settings button after pressing and holding the globe/emoji button or access it through Settings – General – Keyboard.


AirPods controls and how to customize them

In iOS 11 it’s possible to assign individual control options to the left and right AirPod. Double-tapping will now allow you to either invoke Siri, play/pause, skip to the next track, or back to the previous track. Note that you won’t be able to see the AirPods’ settings when they aren’t connected.

How to customize AirPods controls in iOS 11

  1. Go to Settings and tap on Bluetooth.
  2. Make sure your AirPods are connected.
  3. Tap the ⓘ to the right of your AirPods.
  4. Under DOUBLE-TAP ON AIRPOD set your preferences for Left and Right.
AirPods controls iOS 11
AirPods controls iOS 11


Control Center and how to customize it

iOS 11 brings a brand new Control Center and also some nice customization options. Follow along for how to quickly get Control Center tuned to your preferences.

Control Center customizations include options for Apple TV, Screen Recording, Notes, Voice Memos, Do Not Disturb While Driving, and more. While the design may not be for everyone, the improved functionality is great.

How to customize the Control Center in iOS 11

  1. Tap on Settings
  2. Tap on Control Center and then Customize Controls.
  3. Tap the  next to any item you’d like to add under MORE CONTROLS.
  4. Under INCLUDE at the top, tap, hold, and slide the  symbol to reorganize controls.
Control Center settings iOS 11
Control Center settings iOS 11

Once you are happy with the configuration you can check it out by swiping up.


Smart Invert Colors and how to assign it to a Home button shortcut

iOS 11’s new Smart Invert Colors feature is the closest thing we’ve seen to a so-called ‘dark mode’ in iOS so far. It’s not perfect, but its ability to avoid inverting images and other types of content in certain apps is a step in the right direction.

How to assign Smart Invert Colors to a Home button shortcut

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open Accessibility preferences.
  3. Tap Accessibility Shortcut.
  4. Select Smart Invert Colors.
  5. Triple-press the Home button and acknowledge the dialogue box.

From now on you should be able to triple-press the Home button to quickly toggle between the pseudo dark mode and regular mode no matter where you are on iOS 11.

Smart Invert Colors iOS 11
Smart Invert Colors iOS 11


The new Files App and how to use it

Apple has introduced its new Files app with iOS 11 and along with it come improvements for managing, editing, and sharing your data.

How to use the new Files App in iOS 11

When browsing your files and folders, you can tap Select in the top right corner to get some editing options, or alternatively do a long press for even more choices.

The Files App in iOS 11
The Files App in iOS 11

When you open files like PDFs or images, you’ll find easy access to marking up and sharing. You’ll also see the option to Create Watch Face with compatible images and support for third-party share sheet buttons too.

When you open files like Pages, Numbers, or Keynote documents, iOS will automatically open the doc in the corresponding app. Just make sure you have the iWork apps loaded onto your iPhone or iPad (without having the apps on your phone they’ll open as read-only in the Files app).

One other curious detail, iWork documents only seem to editable when they live in the Pages, Numbers, or Keynote folders in iCloud Drive/Files app. Hopefully, this will be sorted out soon enough. You can also open Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files (if they are in the Pages, Numbers, or Keynote folder) and iOS will offer to Open or Open a Copy (preserving the original) of the file.


Storage management and how to free up space on your iOS 11 device

iOS 11 has new recommendations for managing storage that is quick and easy to use. Follow along after the jump to check out this new feature. Recommendations are an easy way to not only know what’s eating the larger chunks of your storage, but they also provide super simple ways to free up space (really nice for friends and family who aren’t tech savvy).

How to free up storage space in iOS 11

Just like with iOS 10 you can tap on individual apps to see more information, some will let you edit/delete data right there (like Safari) while some will just give you the option to either offload the app (and save the data) or delete the app (delete the data and the app).

If you choose to use the Offload Unused Apps feature or offload apps manually, you’ll free up storage as the app will be removed, but the data from the app will be saved. If you download the app in the future, the data will be there for you.

One more new feature is found at the very bottom of iPhone Settings. You’ll now see System show up with how much storage space is being allocated to that aspect of iOS.

iOS 11 Storage management
iOS 11 Storage management


See also our Privacy and Security tips in iOS 11 and iOS 11 battery saving tips to supercharge your iOS 11 device.


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