USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham gives his take on the latest Apple mobile operating system update.
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — You don’t have to buy a new iPhone or iPad to get new features. On Tuesday, Apple updates its iOS mobile operating software, bringing a new sheen and look to older devices, most notably, the advent of augmented reality,.
Before we tell you more, some quick housekeeping. To qualify for the update, you’ll need a recent iPhone: the SE, 5S, 6, 6S and 6S Plus, 7 or 7 Plus. The new iPhones that go on sale next Friday, the 8 and 8 Plus, will have iOS11 pre-loaded.
The software will work on most current iPads and the iPod Touch. Check Apple’s website to see if your model is compatible.
How to download iOS 11
Downloads will be available Tuesday, usually by mid-morning. To add the software to a pre-existing unit, go to Settings > General > Software Update. The iOS 11 update should appear in there. Plan to plug your phone into power for the update, and for the download to take quite some time — as much as 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your connection.
As always, back up your phone before you add the software, because things could go wrong. Users have complained in the past in the initial days after downloading a new OS. For best results, and to give Apple time to fix issues, you might want to wait a few days before downloading.
New iOS 11 features of note:
— Augmented reality. Millions of people turned Pokémon Go into a hit last year, tapping the app that morphed animation into the physical world. Now, get ready for what analysts say could be as many as 10,000 new AR apps, with the launch of iOS 11, from the likes of IKEA, the Food Network and myriad game developers.
The idea is you’ll be able to mix your reality — throwing animation into real life — such as Snapchat’s dancing hot dog.
— Control Center update. It’s been redesigned, allowing you to change settings for the tools you care about most. The familiar feature that is available by swiping up from the bottom of the screen currently has Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, flashlight, camera and other popular features. In the new iOS, you can add things like Voice Memos or home automation tools.
— Apple Pay for friends. Riffing off the popular Venmo app, where…