Our Top 5: What’s New In iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra?

Our Top 5: What’s New In iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra?

The new iPhones are out.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve gotten news about Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone X (pronounced ten) and mid-lifecycle upgrade to the iPhone 7, called the iPhone 8.

Where the iPhone 9 is is everyone’s guess, but the next question that pops into mind is the new software that comes along with it every year— iOS 11.


Wait, have I heard of this before?

Last June 5 (June 6 in the Philippines), Apple already announced the new iOS version that came along with its upcoming iPhones during its yearly WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference). Along with it were announcements about its new watchOS and macOS versions, new iMac Pro, and new iPad Pro.

Unless you’re able to splurge on all the new Apple products that Apple announces every year (in which case, if you do, pls giv me), you’re more likely to be interested in just iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, their latest software update for both the iPhone and Mac line of products.

So we got our hands dirty (and Macs and iPhones ready) and dove in the pre-release versions of both iOS and macOS to keep you updated on the latest versions.

(Take note that these are pre-release versions of software and may not reflect the final versions of both iOS and macOS. Changes between beta software and actual release software are a possibility. And DO NOT try to install beta versions of iOS or macOS on your main devices as you might risk breaking them.)


First off, iOS 11.

  1. New Design (here and there)

Not a total redesign, but you can see how iOS 11 feels snappier with new animations and a few design tweaks here and there. The pull-down notification shade looks like a mini-lock screen, and the control center looks a little more “bubblier”. My personal favorite is the new screenshot feature where you can draw on or send your newly taken screenshot immediately after taking it.


  1. Files (FINALLY!)

A feature that Android users have been enjoying for years now has finally come to the iPhone: an integrated file system. What this means is you won’t have to jump through thousands of hoops anymore just to do something as simple as downloading a document and uploading it somewhere. With iOS 11, you finally get an all-in-one file browser that’s synced anywhere from iCloud Drive to Dropbox, and even Google Drive!


iPhone XiPhone


  1. Screen Recording (if it wasn’t so obvious to you since the start of this list)

Pretty self-explanatory here. You can finally take a video of your screen. Woop.


  1. Document Scanner in Notes

This is a favorite for workaholics like me. Gone are the days where I had to jump into paid apps like Camscanner or Evernote just to take a scan of a document. Just jump into notes, take a photo of your document, and it immediately converts it into a flat 2D file like what you’d get with a physical scanner. You can also do annotations (or even sign!) straight from the notes app and Email it directly from the Share menu. 😮


  1. HEIF/HEVC file format for images and video (short for YOUR 32GB iPHONE GETS TO LIVE LONGER)

Okay, so obviously that’s not what HEIF and HEVC stands for. But what it means for everyone (especially with iPhones with small memory), is that Apple is introducing two new media formats called HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec) and HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format). Basically, what it does is it compresses images and videos much better (up to 50%) without sacrificing quality. This is great news for people with 32GB iPhones.

Take note that this feature only applies to the iPhone 7 and up. Sucks for iPhone SEs and below 😐

Now, macOS High Sierra.

  1. APFS or Apple File System (more space and more speed for Macs with SSDs)

This gives your Mac a significant boost in performance (up to 25% faster) and savings in storage space (up to 30%). This is great for people with older Macs. (Like me. Proud owner of a super smooth 2014 Macbook Air. 😭)


  1. A smarter Safari browser

Safari is getting smarter with content blockers and (thank you computer god) autoplay blockers. So that means no more autoplay when jumping from one site to another. (That means media and news sites, and even YouTube!)


  1. A more powerful Photos app

Doing simple edits with your photo? No need to jump into Photoshop anymore! Just import straight from your camera to the Photos app and edit right away!

I honestly don’t know what I’m doing here.

  1. A better Mail app

Again for the storage geeks, your emails now consume 35 percent less space. That’s a big help for workaholic Macbooks with just 128GBs of storage. Couple that with APFS and you’ll be able to push another year or two from your old Macbook Air.

Also, a split-screen Compose screen! Yay!

iPhone X

  1. A mini-Siri on Spotlight

Okay, quick did-you-know first (since I know a lot of people who don’t use this). Did you know that if you hold cmd and press the spacebar, you get a search bar called Spotlight? You can type in an app or a file you want to get to from there— it’s a power user’s best friend. Up to speed? Awesome.

Now, with High Sierra, Spotlight has been updated to become a mini-Siri of sorts. You can ask quick questions or even pull up flight details!

iPhone X

  1. BONUS: Metal 2.0 (external GPU support and VR)

This one is for the devs. Been holding out on getting a Mac because of the lack of external GPU support or VR? No need for that now as Apple is finally bringing in support for those two, starting with support for SteamVR, Epic Unreal 4 Editor, Unity Editor and even Final Cut Pro X, to create 360° video and 3D content.


Ready to get hold of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra?

iOS 11 is expected to be out in the Philippines this coming Wednesday for the iPhone 5S and up, iPad Mini 2 / iPad Air and up, and 6th Gen iPod Touch.

For macOS, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer as it's set to be released on the 26th.

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