Unless Apple’s cooking up a surprise iOS 11 update for next month we’ll probably see the iOS 11.1 release date land sometime in late October.
Apple’s working quickly to upgrade its new iOS 11 operating system. Earlier this week, the company released its first bug fix update (iOS 11.0.1) and yesterday it confirmed a new iOS 11.1 update with a launch in beta for developers and those in the free Beta Software Program.
The iOS 11.1 update will be the company’s first milestone upgrade which means it should come with more than bug fixes and security patches. The first iOS 11.1 beta features some notable tweaks, but the first version is lacking the star power we usually get from the first x.x beta release.
That said, while the first iOS 11.1 beta failed to bring some of iOS 11’s missing features, it looks like iOS 11.1 will probably come with at least one of those features.
The company’s Apple Watch 1 page says Apple Pay Cash will be coming to the wearable in “late October.” The footnote doesn’t explicitly say “iOS 11.1,” but there’s a very good chance the company will use its first milestone iOS 11 update to deliver a feature that was originally supposed to be on board the first version of iOS 11. (Note: The reference has since been scrubbed and now it simply says “fall.”)
Milestone releases and maintenance updates typically go through a month of testing before they’re released to the public so the timing of the iOS 11.1 beta release makes sense. The timing also lines up with the company’s iPhone X launch. iPhone X pre-orders kick off on October 27th ahead of a release on November 3rd.
Apple will likely release multiple iOS 11.1 betas before the official release, but there’s no guarantee the company will put Apple Pay Cash into beta ahead of launch. The company could simply choose to release it inside the final version of iOS 11.1 or even another version of its mobile operating system.
Apple Pay Cash looks like it will launch in late October and it will be joined by 50+ new emoji characters for the iOS 11 keyboard.
Apple’s promised to deliver new emoji characters to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users in the upcoming iOS 11.1 beta 2. If everything goes well in testing these emojis will make it into the final iOS 11.1 release.
The company’s also delayed Messages in iCloud storage and says it plans to bring back the popular 3D Touch app switcher gesture in a future iOS 11 update.
Install iOS 11.3.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.3.1 update comes with four known security patches for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.
If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.1.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3.1 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.3.1 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with even more security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3.1. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3.1 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.