iPhone Basics: iOS 11: Frequently Asked Questions

Lesson 30: iOS 11: Frequently Asked Questions


iOS 11: Frequently asked questions

On September 19, 2017, Apple released iOS 11. We'd like to give you a brief overview of iOS 11 and try to answer some questions you may have at this time.

What is iOS 11?

iOS 11 is the latest version of the mobile operating system for Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Image of iOS 11

How much does it cost?

Nothing. iOS 11 is free to download, like all previous versions of iOS.

When is it available?

iOS 11 is available now.

What's new in iOS 11?

iOS 11 includes numerous tweaks, improvements, and new features. Here are just a few examples:

  • Siri improvements: Siri, Apple's personal digital assistant, has new voices (male and female) that sound more natural. It can also instantly translate English phrases into other languages.
  • Peer-to-peer money transfers: Apple Pay now allows you to transfer money to friends and family, much like Venmo.
  • Control Center redesign: The Control Center got a big makeover, consolidating all of the commands into one screen.
  • Safer driving: When you are driving, iOS 11 can detect it automatically and turn on Do Not Disturb mode, silencing notifications so you can drive without distractions.

Previous versions of iOS could run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps, but iOS 11 can only run 64-bit apps. This means some older apps will no longer open once you upgrade to iOS 11. However, most app developers have already updated (or will update) their apps to 64-bit versions, so this will only affect a small percentage of apps.

Who can get iOS 11?

Anyone with a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can upgrade to iOS 11. A full list of compatible devices is below.

Compatible iPhone models:

  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5S (Note: The iPhone 5 and 5C will not be able to upgrade.)

Compatible iPad models:

  • iPad Pro (all versions)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad Mini 4
  • iPad Mini 3
  • iPad Mini 2

Compatible iPod Touch models:

  • iPod Touch (6th generation)

How do I get iOS 11?

If you buy a new iOS device, it will come pre-installed. You won't need to do anything to install it.

If you already have a compatible iOS device, you can download and install iOS 11 by going to your Settings, selecting General, and tapping Software Update.

Screenshot of iOS settings

Am I required to upgrade?

While it's not required, we recommend upgrading your device to iOS 11 if possible. This will help keep your phone up to date and working with newer apps.

If I don't upgrade, will I still be able to download newer apps?

Yes, but some apps may not always work correctly. If you don't upgrade to iOS 11, you may want to research how well an app will work on your device before downloading or updating it.

Even if an app has always worked perfectly on your device, there is a chance that the newer versions may only run smoothly on iOS 11. You may want to avoid updating your favorite apps unless you are sure they will work with your device's operating system. Once you update an app, you won't be able to go back to an older version.

Will my apps still be there after I upgrade?

Yes. Any app you previously had installed on your phone will still be there once you upgrade to iOS 11. Some built-in Apple apps, like Messages and Calendar, will be updated automatically when you upgrade.

Will my apps still work after I upgrade?

Almost all apps installed on iOS 10 should still work in iOS 11. However, 32-bit apps will no longer work. Before upgrading, you should open any important apps to see whether they will be compatible. If they aren't compatible, you'll see a message like the one below:

Screenshot of error message

If an app isn't compatible, you may be able to find a similar app to replace it. You can also contact the app developer and ask if they are planning to release a 64-bit version.