It’s time to update your iOS devices, because iOS 11.1 is here. On Tuesday, Apple pushed iOS 11.1 out of beta and made it available to the masses, ushering in a slew of improvements as well as some new features. This is the first major iOS 11 update.
The most notable addition is a large crop of new emoji—more than 70 new characters—including new food (pie! Chinese takeout boxes!), creatures (mermaids! Fairies! Vampires!), expressions (sillier faces!), animals (giraffes! Hedgehogs! Dinosaurs!), and more. You’ll need iOS 11.1 to both send and receive these new emoji—otherwise, you’ll just see a generic empty box.
Another noteworthy change is the return of the 3D Touch app-switcher multitasking gesture. With this gesture, you apply pressure to the left-hand side of the iPhone’s display to trigger 3D Touch, and then swipe from left to right to swap between two apps. It briefly went away when iOS 11 was first released, presumably so that Apple could tweak it before the iPhone X comes out. (This gesture will be slightly different on the iPhone X.) You can use it on any iPhone with 3D Touch capabilities, which is the iPhone 6s and newer.
iOS 11.1 also has a ton of new accessibility features, a more useful Reachability mode, and smoother scrolling. Here are all of Apple’s release notes about iOS 11.1:
- Over 70 new emoji characters including new food types, animals, mythical creatures, clothing options, more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, and more
- Resolves an issue that could cause some photos to appear blurry
- Addresses an issue that could cause Live Photo effects to playback slowly
- Fixes an issue that could cause some photos to not display in the People album when restoring from an iCloud backup
- Fixes an issue that could impact performance when swiping between screenshots
- Improves braille support for Grade 2 input
- Improves VoiceOver access to multi-page PDFs
- Improves VoiceOver rotor actions for announcing incoming notifications
- Improves VoiceOver rotor actions menu when removing an app from the App Switcher
- Fixes an issue for some users where alternative keys would not display when using VoiceOver with Touch Typing
- Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would always return to default action in Mail
- Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would not delete messages
Other improvements and fixes
- Adds back support for accessing the app switcher by pressing on edge of display with 3D Touch.
- Fixes an issue that caused cleared Mail notifications to reappear on Lock screen
- Fixes an issue in enterprise environments that prevented data from being moved between managed apps.
- Fixes an issue with some third-party GPS accessories that caused inaccuracies in location data
- Resolves an issue where settings for Heart Rate notifications were appearing in Apple Watch app (first generation)
- Fixes an issue where app icons were not appearing in notifications on Apple Watch
To get the update, head on over to Settings > General > Software Update to install the update over the air (we highly suggest doing so over Wi-Fi and while your iOS device is connected to a power source). Or, connect your device to your computer and install it manually via iTunes. However you slice it, it’s a good idea to backup your device first, just in case.