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Apple is gearing up to unveil the next-generation of its mobile operating system, iOS 11, during the keynote address of its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017. And while we’ve heard plenty of rumors about what the platform might bring to the table for iPhone and iPad users, a fresh iOS 11 concept that was showcased this morning is one of the most realistic and exciting embodiments of what the OS will look like — particularly for iPad users.
Designed by Sam Beckett and uploaded Friday to the official MacStories YouTube channel, the iOS 11 concept primarily focuses on productivity features that Apple could bring to iPad in order to make the tablet a more competent PC competitor. The concept boasts a number of design tweaks, including better support for extensions in the Safari browser, improvements to Notes, Control Center, and much more.
Potential iOS 11 Features
The first major feature shown off in the video is an enhanced, system-wide implementation of drag and drop functionality, allowing users to seamlessly drag files, photos and other content from one app and place it directly into another. To be fair, a drag and drop function already exists in certain capacities on iOS — however Beckett’s iOS 11 concept envisions a much more robust version of drag and drop, which would certainly stand to make the iPad a more powerful computing tool.
Complementing drag and drop is an all-new “Shelf” feature, which would be accessible, as shown, by merely dragging content such as files, photos, songs and more to the top of the display. Once there, the content would effectively be stored on “the shelf,” allowing users to save it for easy access at a later time by merely swiping down from the top of the screen.
A completely redesigned app picker further takes advantage of the iPad’s Split-View functionality. Instead of presenting a vertical, scrollable list of options like the current app picker option on iOS 10, the re-envisioned concept would for example allow users to select apps from an “application grid” — complete with Apple’s Spotlight search feature to help easily locate open apps without having to scroll through an exhaustive list of them.
Last but not least, Beckett’s iOS 11 concept imagines that Apple will bring a macOS-style Finder app to the iPad, which would enable users to more easily browse their files, photos, folders and more — similar to how Finder operates on OS X and macOS computers. Apple has been hesitant about bringing a filesystem to the iPad, however, arguing that the tablet is a device exclusively marketed towards consumers in the “Post-PC era.” With the introduction of features like iCloud Drive for iOS, though, it’s become increasingly apparent that a Finder app for iOS could ultimately provide users with a more fluid and easy-to-navigate interface for managing their files, photos, music and more.
While not historically an event to showcase new hardware, it’s been looking increasingly likely that Apple could use WWDC 2017 to unveil its all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which would of course be a beautiful canvas upon which to showcase all the new features destined for iPad owners when iOS 11 touches down later on this year.