Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.

iOS 11.1 Brings Bug Fixes and New Emoji

Just ahead of the delivery of iPhone X shipments to its first lucky purchasers, Apple last week released iOS 11.1. In the associated release notes, Apple highlights the addition of over 70 new emoji, along with fixes to photo handling, accessibility, and an assortment of other issues.

In addition, the update includes some twenty-odd security fixes. Among those is one for the much-publicized KRACK Wi-Fi exploit (see “Wi-Fi Security Flaw Not As Bad As It’s KRACKed Up To Be,” 17 October 2017). Interestingly, Apple’s note implies that it’s necessary only for iPhone 7 models and later and for iPad Pro 9.7-inch and later iPad Pro models.

The new emoji include food types (pie and broccoli!), animals (giraffes and hedgehogs!), and mythical creatures (mermaids and vampires!), as well as what Apple describes as “more expressive smiley faces” (which means one with cartoon swearing). iOS 11.1’s emoji also include new gender-neutral characters and more clothing options.

The improvements to iOS photo handling include fixes for bugs that made some photos appear blurry, slowed down Live Photo effect playback, and prevented some images from appearing in the People album after restoring from an iCloud backup. This last fix might be particularly relevant to purchasers of the new iPhone X, who will doubtless spend some time restoring their iPhone backups to their shiny new devices.

iOS 11.1 also brings with it a slew of accessibility improvements, including braille support for Grade 2 input, VoiceOver access to multi-page PDFs, better VoiceOver rotor actions for announcing incoming notifications, and an improved VoiceOver rotor actions menu when removing an app from the app switcher. The update also fixes accessibility bugs that prevented alternative keys from displaying when using VoiceOver with touch typing, caused the VoiceOver rotor to always return to the default action in Mail, and kept the VoiceOver rotor from deleting messages.

Miscellaneous fixes and enhancements round out iOS 11.1’s offerings: cleared Mail notifications should no longer appear on the Lock screen, using 3D Touch on the display edge should again invoke the app switcher, and some third-party GPS accessories should now provide better accuracy.

Although Apple also released watchOS 4.1, iOS 11.1 includes a couple of Apple Watch-related fixes (see “watchOS 4.1 Delivers on Promised Features,” 31 October 2017). One resolves an issue that caused settings for Heart Rate notifications to appear in the Apple Watch app for first-generation Apple Watches, and another fixes a problem that prevents app icons from appearing in notifications on the Apple Watch. Notably missing from iOS 11.1 are the promised person-to-person Apple Pay and AirPlay 2, both of which Apple initially promised for iOS 11 but still haven’t shipped.

You can get the iOS 11.1 update either in Settings > General > Software Update or via iTunes. Its size varies significantly by device, ranging from 171 MB for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 207 MB for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to 250 MB for the iPhone 6 Plus and 305 MB for the iPhone 7.

As always with interim updates like this, we encourage some level of caution when updating. Wait a couple of days before taking the leap, just in case there’s an unanticipated problem that early adopters encounter. Of course, if you’re concerned about the KRACK exploits or regularly need to communicate about broccoli in emoji, there’s no inherent need to wait.


READERS LIKE YOU! Support TidBITS by becoming a member today!
Check out the perks at <>
Special thanks to Raul E. Barragan, Douglas Miller, Norman Turrill,
and James Sanborn for their generous support!

Comments about iOS 11.1 Brings Bug Fixes and New Emoji
(Comments are closed.)

Stian Oksavik  2017-10-31 16:15
It seems very odd that the KRACK fix would not apply to iPhone 6S and older. From everything I've been able to find, older devices are just as vulnerable as new ones.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-11-01 09:10
All I can think is that the specifics of the vulnerability don't apply to the particular older devices that are still compatible with iOS 11. iOS wasn't nearly as vulnerable as other operating systems to begin with.
Steve Nicholson  2017-11-02 01:25
Is there a consensus on whether or not to install iOS 11 on an iPhone 6? I'm trying to get one more year out of mine and my wife's.

If I do hold off on updating the iPhone 6, will it be a problem running iOS 10 on it and iOS 11 on my iPad Pro? (I've postponed updating until I figure out what to do for the iPhone.)
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-11-02 02:01
I don't know about any consensus. I can tell you that I am running iOS 11.1 on my iPhone 6 Plus with no problems (and on an original iPad Air as well, also with no problems).

If you have older 32-bit apps you rely on, I don't suggest you update, though, as they don't work in iOS 11.
Jim Clarke  2017-11-03 11:36
Here’s a “problem”: if you frequently switch between apps on your iPad, your fingers will get used to swiping from the bottom and will forget how to double-click on your iPhone.

I’m still on an iPhone 5, so am stuck on iOS 10, but my wallet says to put up with the interface confusion for a while.
Steve Nicholson  2017-11-03 11:47
If iOS 11 is working on a 6 Plus and iPad Air for you, that's reason enough for me to upgrade. I can finally use iOS 11 on my new 10" iPad Pro!

I've already deleted all my 32-bit apps and iBird is the only one my wife still uses. There are newer 64-bit versions of iBird which are paid upgrades. Since my wife has been using the original since we both got a 3GS, I have no problem paying for a new version.
robmorrison  2017-11-06 22:00
Has anyone else noticed that Emoji are the most prominent features in Apple's list. Not fixes for severe security problems. As if Emojies were of any importance.

It's disappointing to realize that although you used to be the most loyal customer and part of the core audience, Apple clearly no longer shows any interest or enthusiasm for your demographic.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-11-07 09:48
I’m no fan of emoji (hence the comment I added about broccoli), but in Apple’s defense in this particular update, none of the other changes are at all interesting — security fixes are boring as sin. And, again, not that I’d ever use any of these emoji, but if Apple doesn’t announce them, there’s no way anyone would know to look for them.
Steve Nicholson  2017-11-07 13:35
I don’t know what kind of sinning you do, Adam, but mine’s not all that boring.
Dennis B. Swaney  2017-11-06 22:55
Except they either didn't fix (or introduced) two more security flaws that allowed iOS 11.1 to be hacked within 24 hrs of release!
Steve Nicholson  2017-11-06 23:21
Do you have any references? I'd think if iOS 11.1 got hacked that quickly we would have read about it on TidBITS.
Prasanth Vanamlo  2017-11-07 13:04
Updated recently and having pretty good experience with iOS 11.1 so far. Impressive that they returned back the 3D touch app switcher, a whole bunch of fun emojis, and of course new set of sleek wallpapers. I am loving it especially because battery life has drastically improved since the update.

Andrew James  2017-11-17 02:42
In regard to your comment about battery life, just wondering what model device you have?