Here's everything you need to know about iOS 17
New features in iOS 17
Siri no longer requires the Hey Siri command, you can now activate the digital assistant by saying Siri. And Siri supports back-to-back commands without having to trigger it each time.
The Phone app (aka the dialer) in iOS 17 supports personalized contact posters. The feature supports photos and memoji, and is also visible in contact cards. Contact posters are customizable, you can define the font type, and color. Apple says that contact posters are also supported in 3rd party VOIP apps.
When someone calls you and leaves a voice message, your iPhone will display a live transcription of the voicemail on the screen. The Live VoiceMail, as the name suggests, works in realtime as the caller is speaking, so you can decide whether to pick up the call immediately or not. The feature processes the transcription on your device for your privacy.
The FaceTime app now lets you record and send an audio or video message to your contact if they are not available. The app now has reactions such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain, and more. They can be triggered with simple gestures, and are also supported in third-party video calling apps. Apple says that it has added a most-requested feature to Facetime, the video calling app now supports video messages. So if someone isn't available at the moment, you can record a video message for them to see.
Improvements to Messages
The new search filters in the Messages app lets you add additional terms to an existing query to narrow down the results. The Messages app has a new button in the top right corner, called the catch-up arrow, which you can tap to jump to the first message that you have not read in a chat (or a group conversation). Messages finally lets you reply inline with swipe to reply. The app displays transcriptions for audio messages. Location sharing now displays your friend/family's location directly in the app, i.e. inline location.
The new Check In feature automatically lets loved ones or friends know that you reached home (or your destination) safely. It automatically detects delays during your trip, and prompts you to add an ETA. If you don't respond to the prompt, Messages will automatically send your location, the route you took, your iPhone's battery level, and cell service status to alert your contact. Apple says that all data used to update your contact is end-to-end encrypted.
The iMessage apps are no longer visible above your keyboard, they are now hidden and can be accessed by tapping on the Plus button. The + menu has a new Stickers experience, iOS 17 has made all emojis into stickers. The feature supports peel and stick, (drag and drop) and lets you resize the stickers. You can select subjects from your own photos or other pictures and turn them into stickers. It also supports animated stickers (live stickers), and lets you add effects to them. Stickers can be used to react to messages. Stickers are available system-wide, and are also available in 3rd party apps.
Apple's new safety feature, Check In, will allow iPhone to notify your family or friend that you have reached a location safely. It will detect delays if you haven't reached your destination on time, and if you don't respond to the prompts, Check In alerts your contact with your location, route, battery level and network status to help them reach you.
Apple's wireless file sharing protocol, AirDrop now supports NameDrop. The feature lets iPhone users exchange their contact information by bringing their phones. It also supports exchange between Apple Watch and iPhone. The same gesture also supports sharing files, photos, etc. Apple says that you may leave AirDrop range and the devices will share the content over the internet, this feature is coming later this year. The gesture can be used to start a shared activity using SharePlay, it also works with apps that support SharePlay API.
AirPlay will work with supported televisions in hotels to let users watch their media on a TV. The feature will roll out to select hotels, starting with brands from IHG Hotels & Resorts.
Keyboard and Dictation
Autocorrect has new transformer language model to improve the accuracy of autocorrect. It can now correct typos in sentence-level, i.e. it fixes multiple errors at once. You may tap on an underlined word that was detected by autocorrect, to see the original word that you typed, and revert to it.
The keyboard in iOS 17 now displays inline word predictions (based on your usage) to help you finish typing your sentence quickly, and you can just tap the space bar to add the words. Dictation (voice input) has a new speech recognition model for the Neural Engine, to improve the accuracy of the input.
Journal app debuts
Apple unveiled its Journal app that we reported about previously. The Cupertino company says that the new app uses on-device machine learning to create personalized suggestions of moments to inspire your writing, to practice gratitude and improve your well-being. These suggestions are created based on your photos, location, activity (such as workouts), and music. The app will also offer reflection prompts to help you write in your journal.
The data in the Journal app is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by others. Journal is coming to iPhone later this year.
iOS 17 can turn your iPhone into a smart display with a new feature called Standby. All you need to do is tilt the phone to the side while charging on a nightstand, kitchen counter, or desk. It displays a full screen always-on experience that displays the time and clock, and supports different clock styles, photos, widgets for weather home controls, 3rd party widgets, calendars, live activities (food delivery, scores).
You can even use it to set a timer with Siri. Standby detects low light environments and switches to a red tone that is easy on the eyes.
The Maps app supports offline download of an area including turn-by-turn navigation, ETA, and also lets you find places nearby. Users in the U.S. can find thousands of trails in parks, and charging stations for electric vehicles with real-time charging availability information.
An AirTag can now be shared with up to five other people who are on iOS 17. This is not limited to your family, so you can share it with friends too, to keep track of an item in Find My. All users in a group will be able to see the item's location, use Precision Finding or to play a sound. The feature is supported in other Find My network accessories.
Apple has introduced Assistive Access, which can aid users with cognitive disabilities to use their iPhone with ease. It has a customizable interface, which we discussed in our previous coverage. Live Speech will help nonspeaking users an option to type and have their words spoken in person, or during phone and FaceTime calls. Personal Voice can help users at risk of speech loss to create a voice that sounds like their own. Point and Speak has been designed to assist blind or low vision users to read text on physical objects by pointing the phone at the labels.
Collaborative Playlists are the latest feature that have made their way to the Apple Music app, you can create playlists with your friends, and use it with SharePlay. Listeners in the group can control the music on their own device, even if they do not have an active Apple Music subscription.
Other notable changes in iOS 17
iOS 17 introduces Interactive Widgets to control devices, perform actions without opening other apps. AirPods have a new feature called Adaptive Audio that adjusts the volume and noise isolation based on background noise. The audio wearables also support Personalized Volume, and Conversation Awareness, as well as improvements to Automatic Switching and call controls.
The Home app in iOS 17 lets users view up to 30 days of activity history across door locks, garage doors, alarm systems, and contact sensors Tap to unlock and PIN codes are now supported on Matter-compatible locks. Visual Look Up now works with paused video frames, and can be used to lift individual subjects from photos and videos. It also lets you identify food, storefronts, signs, and symbols.
Photos app supports on-device machine learning to recognize a user's favorite people, and pets such as cats and dogs. Communication Safety is expanding to AirDrop, Contact Posters, FaceTime Messages and Photos picker. Sensitive Content Warning will help prevent adult users to avoid seeing unwanted nude images and videos.
List of iPhones that are eligible for the iOS 17 update
- iPhone 14
- iPhone 14 Plus
- iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14 Pro Max
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 mini
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)
Please refer to our macOS 14 article, to find out what's new in Apple Safari.Advertisement