Tech Guide

Your iPhone and iPad will soon get these five useful new features

Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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Key Points
  • Apple will launch iOS 11 in early September, and it'll be available for recent iPhones, not just new ones.
  • It will let you run apps side by side, exchange money with other users with Apple Pay and have augmented reality.
  • Siri will also be more accurate, and it'll have a "do not disturb" mode while you're driving.

will release brand-new software for iPhones and iPads in the coming weeks.

It's called and it's the latest software from Apple that will also be available on Apple's new iPhones.

CNBC has been playing around with the new software for several weeks and, in anticipation of the release, decided to share a few of the best changes.

1. Run multiple apps side by side

Todd Haselton | CNBC

The major changes in iOS 11 will depend on what device you're using the software on. With iOS 11 on iPads, you'll have useful new multitasking features that allow you to drag and drop photos from one app to another (the web browser into an email, for example), or launch a new "slide over" window pane that lets you control apps such as messages while interacting with two other applications in split screen. That's just a taste.

2.  Apple Pay is making a run at Venmo


You might have used Apple Pay on your current iPhone. You can tap your iPhone at thousands of retailers to buy products even if you left your wallet home.

In iOS 11, Apple will roll out new functions for Apple Pay. You'll be able to request, send and receive money using your linked credit card account. Money will then be stored on a card in your Apple Wallet for spending anywhere Apple Pay is accepted, or for transferring to your bank. Yeah, watch out Venmo.

3. Siri works better and sounds more human


There are a lot of changes coming to Siri, too. I've found that she (or he, depending on the voice you use) has been much more accurate in understanding what I'm asking. Also, Apple has tweaked the voice of Siri so that it sounds more human and less robotic. Siri will also help you translate from a variety of languages in iOS 11.

4. 'Do not disturb' mode for driving

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There's a new mode in iOS 11 that should keep us all safer, so long as you activate it. It's called "Do not disturb while driving" and you can turn it on to prevent yourself from seeing any notifications as they come in. Sure, it can be frustrating if someone needs to reach you while you're on the road, but it's much safer than trying to text or answer a phone call while you're cruising in the highway's fast lane.

5. Augmented reality will let you mix real-world scenes into apps

We teased this a bit in a preview video recently, but augmented reality is going to play a huge role in iOS 11. It'll let you overlay digital objects on top of the real world.

Imagine watching a rocket land in your backyard with your kids, for example, viewing the whole event through your iPhone screen as if it was real. Ikea has demoed another app that'll let you place and see furniture exactly how it will look inside your home before you buy it, too.

Apple hasn't said when iOS 11 will launch for all iPhones and iPads just yet, but we will learn more during the company's iPhone 8 event Sept. 12.

Apple is erasing the line between reality and your phone — here's how
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