Apple Releases iOS 11 Beta 1 to Public Beta Testers

Apple today released the first public beta of iOS 11 to its public beta testing group, allowing non-developers to download and test the update ahead of its fall release. iOS 11 has been available for developers since June 5, and the first public beta corresponds with the second developer beta.

iOS 11 is an evolutionary update to iOS, with a major focus on improving iPad productivity. iOS 11 unifies Lock screen and Notification Center, finally introduces a new Control Center, and brings major and minor redesigns for various stock apps. There’s an overarching design change in iOS 11 as well. While iOS 7 was all about minimalism and thinness, iOS 11 is all about being big and bold. This new design, with reduced information density, is starkest in the fully redesigned App Store.

On the iPhone, iOS 11 refines the features introduced in iOS 10. Here are the main features:

  • The Lock screen and Notification Center are merged so you can now swipe up on the Lock screen to view all your notifications, right there.
  • Control Center is back to being just one screen. There are now tiles that you can 3D Touch to expand to view more information.
  • Apple has redesigned the iMessage app drawer to make it easier to use.
  • You can now use Apple Pay to pay other Apple Pay users, right from the Messages app.
  • A potential end-all for syncing frustrations – iMessage, Siri, and Photos data will now sync between all your devices using iCloud.
  • Siri now has a more natural voice, supports translation and gets a small visual update. Siri also supports list and QR code apps.
  • App Store gets a big new redesign to make it look more like Apple Music. There are new tabs for Today, Apps and Games view.
  • Do not Disturb While Driving feature automatically disables all notifications when you’re driving.
  • When you take a screenshot, you’ll now get a little preview of it in the bottom-left corner. Tap on it and you’ll be able to mark up the screenshot before saving it or sharing with anyone.
  • Files app replaces iCloud Drive app.

Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple’s beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Before installing a beta, make sure to create a full encrypted iTunes backup and be sure to install it on a secondary device because beta software is not stable and can include many bugs.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program will receive the iOS 11 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device.

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