iOS 11 beta 2

Apple confirms 3D Touch app switching was intentionally removed from iOS 11

The convenient 3D Touch power-user gesture for quickly opening iOS's app switcher has disappeared from iOS 11 beta. According to Apple Engineering's response to a Radar that developer Bryan Irace recently filed regarding its removal, the gesture was pulled intentionally from iOS 11 beta and might not be coming back in subsequent betas.

On iOS 10 and older, you can view your recently used apps by pressing the left side of the screen with 3D Touch. You can also use 3D Touch to quickly switch to a previous app by pressing the left edge of the screen hard, then swipe right.

Neither gesture works in iOS 11 beta.

When asked about the removal, Irace received the following reply from Apple Engineering:

Please know that this feature was intentionally removed.

The wording confirms it's not a bug—Apple did remove this power-user gesture on purpose.

Here's the screenshot of Apple's response to Irace's Radar.

I have a problem with the wording of the statement.

For starers, it doesn't make it 100 percent clear whether or not they intentionally removed the gesture from iOS 11 beta only for it to return in subsequent betas. We were, of course, hoping it was merely a bug. But the fact that it isn't listed as a known issue in the release notes accompanying the iOS 11 installer is rather telling.

This could be related to iPhone 8.

With major design changes coming to the next iPhone in the form of a nearly full-screen face with a seamless OLED display, the feature's removal might quite possibly indicate a brand new way of accessing iOS's app switcher on iPhone 8.

I wish Apple made it an optional setting rather than remove it completely. That way, people who still wanted it could keep it. On the other hand, Apple has stats on iOS features people use and perhaps numbers for the app switching 3D Touch thing were dismal, who knows?

The fact is, it doesn't make much sense if you use your Plus iPhone model right-handed. Besides, I know many people who accidentally activate it all the time and get annoyed.

Could it have been deprecated by iPhone 8, because it was too easy to trigger accidentally without a bezel around the display? Will iPhone 8's rumored function area at the bottom doubles as an app switcher of sorts? Last but not least, has Apple decided to remove the gesture because very few people were using it or were unaware it existed in the first place?

Tell us what you think in the comments section!

iOS 11 Maps has crazy cool VR mode that lets you move around by walking

Apple Maps on iOS 11 beta 2 features a great new virtual reality (VR) mode that takes advantage of Apple's new ARKit framework to let you move around in 3D by walking.

This unapologetically cool feature seems to be tied to Flyover, which replaces satellite imagery with three-dimensional buildings, landmarks and other points of interest.

The new VR mode on iOS 11 Maps was highlighted yesterday by Twitter user @StijnDV, but it appears to have been originally discovered by Tweetbot developer Paul Haddad on Wednesday.

To try it out yourself, open Maps on iOS 11 beta 2, switch to 3D mode by tapping “3D”, then use the search field at the bottom to find a place that has Flyover.

On the place card, tap the Flyover button and move the device around to rotate the view. Better still, why don't you actually move forward, backward or side to side to explore the map in VR?

Mind blown.

So, how do we know this nifty feature actually uses ARKit? Because it displays a message when you cover the camera, just like any ARKit-powered app does, saying you should aim the device at a different surface because “more contrast is required”.

As a quick backgrounder, ARKit analyzes live camera feed in real-time, using computer vision to find horizontal planes in your real world, such as tables and floors. I was able to successfully test the feature on my iPhone 6s running a second beta of iOS 11. Because I don't currently own an iPad, I couldn't test VR mode in Maps on the Apple tablet.

WOW There is an VR mode in Apple maps on iOS 11! It seems to use ARKit for positioning!

— Stijn (@StijnDV) June 24, 2017

At any rate, this appears to be the default mode for Flyover now, not a special setting. But don't you worry, there's the option to switch back to the old Flyover mode where you rotate and zoom your Flyover view using touch interactions.

This is honestly one of the coolest features in iOS 11!

— Stijn (@StijnDV) June 24, 2017

This is a wicked cool feature and I cannot help but wonder how it might look like when experienced through Apple's rumored digital glasses that, as per Robert Scoble, should use optics by German lens specialist and optical instruments maker Carl Zeiss.

You can actually move around by walking! This is crazy cool!

— Stijn (@StijnDV) June 24, 2017

Some people couldn't get Maps' new VR mode to work, but I suspect it may have something to do with their hardware. Maps' VR mode uses ARKit, which tracks your actual position in the real world with the camera but requires newer hardware.

Holy Flyover Magic Window batman.

— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) June 22, 2017

According to Apple, ARKit runs on the Apple A9 and A10 processors. “These processors deliver breakthrough performance that enables fast scene understanding and lets you build detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes,” says the company.

In other words, anything older than iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, the 9.7-inch iPad (early-2017 model) or iPad Pro won't be able to run iOS 11 Maps' VR mode.

So, is this cool or what?

We'd obviously love to hear your thoughts and predictions regarding iOS 11 Maps' new VR mode and what it might signify in terms of possible new VR hardware from Apple.

Do us a favor and chime in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Hands-on with iOS 11 beta 2: DND While Driving and other new features, changes & fixes

Apple (somewhat surprisingly) dropped the second beta of iOS 11 to developers on Wednesday with a myriad of changes and bug fixes. While there doesn't seem to be a huge number of user-facing enhancements, there are still quite a few notable changes and new features in this beta.

A large number of prominent bugs have been fixed that have been plaguing users, like crashing when deleting a voicemail, manual screen brightness not staying set, 3D Touch on phone numbers and addresses not working.

Unfortunately, with all of those bug fixes are several new bugs and known issues.

For instance, an SOS alert may still be sent even though the user cancelled it. This is a good reminder this is an early developer beta that should only be run on secondary devices.

As for the new features, we have the initial implementation of the much touted Do Not Disturb While Driving mode that will lock your phone as well as send a custom auto-reply (customizable in Settings → Do Not Disturb) should someone text you.

Control Center can now be disabled inside of applications, like on prior iOS editions. And far from last, the Files app now has started to show external locations like Google Drive and Box.

New features and changes

This is what you probably wanted to know about iOS 11 beta 2.

CarPlay now has lane guidance in Maps Smaller speed in Maps To edit/add filters in Photos you now tap the edit button in the top right corner instead of the sliders icon Now Playing widget has been tweaked New phone placeholder icon when no album artwork present in Now Playing widget Audio source switcher is now available on Lock screen New orange color for the new Echo effect in Messages Do Not Disturb While Driving is enabled with extra options in Settings Control Center can be turned on or off while in apps New search options within Apple Music You can now select multiple items in Photos Bluetooth widget now works the same as Wi-Fi: instead of turning off, it will just disconnect from whatever is connected to it Notification Center pull down has a gradual blur New Share sheet extension: Save to Files app Safari has new experimental features in Settings Dictation is now available in Hindi New options in Settings to make notification banners permanent or permanent Built-in screen recorder boosts video capture resolution to 1080p

Take a look at our hands-on video to see all of these new features and more in action.

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And here's a quick overview of the most important fixes.

Bug fixes 3D Touch data detectors are now working for phone numbers, addresses, etc. Screen brightness stays at set level YouTube search bar has returned More stable Bluetooth connections (Dexcom) Android Migration now works as intended Crashing when deleting voicemails is fixed Lock screen no longer rotates Long exposure photos are now higher quality than in first beta Wrapping it all up

As we conclude our tour of all the changes, fixes, improvements and new features in iOS 11 beta 2, feel free to tell us about your own discoveries and observations in comments or via

What's your favorite change in iOS 11 beta 2 thus far, and why?

Second beta of iOS 11 seeded to developers

Apple today seeded a second beta of iOS 11 to its registered developers and members of the Apple Developer Program. To download and install the update, use the Software Update mechanism on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, which must be running the previous beta and have an appropriate configuration profile installed (you can download it through Dev Center).

This second beta doesn't seem to come with new features, but rather looks like it is focusing on the usual bug fixes and performance improvements.

The first developer-only beta of iOS 11 brought out a bunch of new features and platform technologies, including a major revamp for App Store, advanced multitasking features on iPad, drag and drop, a new Files app, AirPlay 2 with multi-room audio, new Siri capabilities and more.

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iOS 11 also packs in many visual refinements across the system designed to make Apple's mobile operating system look prettier than ever. Some of the visual tweaks include bolder headlines across stock apps, a redesigned app drawer in Messages and much, much more.

If you spot new user-facing features, changes or important refinements in iOS 11 beta 2, be sure to ping us on Twitter or shoot us an email via (attach any screenshots, if necessary) and we'll update the article with any relevant new information.