Updated April 29th, 2019.
UPDATE September 17th, 2018: iOS 12 is out, and it’s great. Forget about 11. If you are on 11, go to 12 right now. If you’re on 10, go to 12. Simple as that.
UPDATE December 2nd 2017: Apple released iOS version 11.2 today. It fixes yet another auto-correct issue (this one turns “it” into “I.T.”), and it also fixes a problem that caused iOS devices to reboot continually if the date was December 2nd, 2017 or later. Yes, it would have been nice to get this update out before December 2nd 2017 arrived. If you have ANY version of iOS 11 on your iPhone, hurry up and update to iOS 11.2.
UPDATE November 9th, 2017: Apple released version 11.1.1 to address the weird “type the letter I and get an A and a box” bug. This update does not fix the calculator bug and it does not add Person to Person Apple Pay. However, the bug that it fixes is a real annoyance, so If your iPhone or iPad is on 11.0, 11.0.1, 11.0.2, 11.0.3, or 11.1, go get the 11.1.1 update. Settings/General/Software Update. Otherwise, wait for 11.2.
Executive Summary: Some day, iOS 11 is going to be really cool but today, even after three updates, is not that day! Avoid installing iOS 11 for the time being. Critical bugs, and missing features, make iOS 11 something to stay away from for now. You’re doing fine with iOS 10– stay there until Apple releases iOS 11.1. (If you already installed iOS 11, keep applying updates as they’re released, and hope that things improve.)
The iPhone 8 runs on iOS 11, so Apple had to finish iOS 11 a little before the iPhone 8 went on sale (because they had to install it on all those iPhones before putting them into their boxes). Actually, “finish” is the wrong word– Apple didn’t “finish” iOS 11 before putting it onto the new iPhones– some features (like Person to Person Apple Pay) weren’t ready to go in time, so they were simply “walled off” and iOS 11 was shipped without them. Apple will eventually provide the missing features in incremental updates. My advice: wait to install iOS 11 until all of the features are present.
In addition to missing features (which Apple obviously knew about), iOS 11 shipped with bugs (some of which Apple obviously didn’t know about). For example:
- Email hosted on a Microsoft Exchange server or Outlook.com could be received, but not sent. (Fixed in iOS 11.0.1)
- The calculator doesn’t work properly unless you go very slowly. Still broken as of 11.0.3.
- Text messages don’t scroll properly. The keyboard often covers the last message, so you can’t see what you’re replying to. Still broken as of 11.0.3.
Additionally, many apps will not even launch once iOS 11 is installed. Some of them might get updated but some of them won’t. You should be sure that any app you rely upon will work with iOS 11. Look at this partial list of apps on my iPhone 7 that won’t work in iOS 11:
(You can check for incompatibilities in your iPhone’s apps while still on iOS 10 by going to Settings, then General, then About, then Applications.)
Bugs! Missing features! Incompatibilities! That’s a lot of issues. More than I remember with other iOS versions (and I’ve used them all). To me, iOS 11 feels rushed, a little bit rough, and even though it has a whole lot of new features I don’t think those features are worth the trouble just yet. If I were you I’d wait for iOS 11.1.
How to avoid installing iOS 11
Lots of people find they’ve installed iOS 11 quite by accident (hi, Mom!). This happens because of a sneaky thing that Apple does when they pop up a message about the update. Here’s what the pop-up looks like:
Obviously, tapping “Install Now” installs it now. You probably think tapping “Later” will get you off the hook for a while… but that’s not how it works. Tapping “Later” leads to a dialog box that says “Install Tonight” and if you accidentally touch that, Apple will install iOS 11 automatically between 2 and 4 am that night, assuming your iPhone is plugged in and connected to the internet at that time. The better move is to tap “Details.” That’s safe. Avoid tapping “Later” so you don’t accidentally agree to install it by mistake.