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Flick Down on Keyboard for Numbers and Symbols
Let’s face it, iOS 10 gave users an obnoxious stock keyboard. Typing near the right side of the screen would randomly invoke the multitasking panel. Like all previous stock iOS keyboards, users had to switch layouts to type numbers or symbols. Apple finally improved their stock keyboard by making each key swipeable. Swiping down on a key will insert a number or special character. It’s much easier to type with the new, stock keyboard.
This idea isn’t that original. I have been using Textastic for a few years, and it has offered a similar feature. Their keyboard actually allows the user to swipe a key in 4 directions, producing 4 different characters. That said, I think Apple’s implementation is better. It has a better layout and is a bit smoother and easier to use. That’s why they make the big bucks!
Select Multiple Icons in Home Screen Edit Mode
The ability to select multiple objects pervades iOS 11. Home screen edit mode is no exception. When you hold down an icon until they start to jiggle, you can now tap on other icons to add them to a stack. You can then move the stack onto a new Home screen or folder. This comes in handy when it’s time to organize your iPad.
I like to keep my first Home screen free of any app icons and put them all in one folder on the second Home screen. I use Spotlight to launch apps. Unfortunately, Spotlight has regressed in some respects. With iOS 11 Spotlight is no longer intelligent about launching apps. I now have to type in the full name of an app for Spotlight to find it, and it never gets smart about it. I have to do this every time, and Spotlight just doesn’t seem to learn. It just goes to show that Apple has a long way to go when it comes to software intelligence. I don’t even think weighting search results toward frequently used apps is all that intelligent. I hope it’s a bug that they are aware of and will fix in an upcoming release. For now, the bigger Dock makes it easier to launch apps, which almost makes up for this defect.
iOS 11 Isn’t Perfect
This shouldn’t be surprising or controversial, but iOS 11 isn’t perfect. That said, it is one of the best iOS releases from Apple in years. The main problems I have encountered are that Spotlight isn’t very smart when it comes to launching apps and the Screen Recorder produces out-of-sync audio. Given the enormous changes they have made for the iPad, the quality is surprisingly good and exceeds anything else you will find in the tech industry.
Beyond the defects, there are problems arising from the fact that new features haven’t yet been embraced by third parties. For example, app developers need to put forth some effort to make apps compatible with multitasking, the Files app and the TV app. This all takes time. Apple is ahead of the curve in these areas, and third-party developers are playing catch-up. The good thing is, since their iOS apps are so lucrative, they tend to remedy these deficiencies quickly.