iOS 17 has been released, here are the top 10 features in it
Apple has released the iOS 17 for eligible iPhones. Here are the top 10 features in the new operating system.
iOS 17 brings a variety of improvements across the system, from the improved autocorrect in keyboard, swipe to reply in messages, and more. Apple likes to call them as "new features", while they are just quality-of-life additions. On the other hand, there are several new features that add some actual functionality which can be useful in your day-to-day life.
Here are the top 10 features in iOS 17
The Phone app in iOS 17 is getting new personalization options with Contact Posters. Instead of just displaying your name on the caller's screen, it can now provide a richer visual experience. You can now use your photo, or a Memoji to create your personal Contact Poster. You may add a font of your choice and a color to it to spruce things up a bit. It also supports vertical text in Chinese and Japanese languages. The settings are also saved to your contact card.
The customized Contact Poster will appear on other iPhone users' screens when you call them via FaceTime (audio call). The result looks like this, and since we use the device for calls every day, it can be a refreshing change. The best part is that Contact Posters isn't limited to the Phone app, it will also be available in third-party VOIP apps.
Apple has expanded its safety features to the Messages app, which now has a feature called Check In. This option, when started, will notify your friend or family member when you reach your destination. For example, let's say you enable Check In after leaving your office, once you reach home, the Check In will end automatically.
However, if there were any delays during transit, your phone will prompt you about it, and give you an option to "add time" to the Check In. This will ensure your loved ones don't panic about whether something happened to you. If you do not respond to the prompt within 15 minutes, your contact will be alerted about the delay. iOS 17's Messages app will send them information your last known location, your iPhone's battery level, and cell service status. This will help them call you, or find you in person. Apple says that the data shared during Check In is end-to-end encrypted between the devices.
Do you want to exchange phone numbers with another iPhone user, without handing your phone to them, or dictating your number? The NameDrop feature in iOS 17 offers a privacy-friendly way to accomplish this, all you need to do is bring your phones close together, and you should see your Contact Poster displayed on each other's screens.
It offers some options such as "Receive only", and Share, which you can use to share your phone number and email address with each other. NameDrop also works with an iPhone and an Apple Watch.
When you are travelling to a new place, you may use the Apple Maps app to look up directions, and places to visit. However, this can be a problem, if you find yourself in an area with poor cell service. iOS 17 supports Offline Maps, a feature that has been present in Google Maps for nearly a decade. Open the Apple Maps app, access your profile and select the Offline Maps button, and you will be able to download the map for the area that you select.
Once it has been downloaded, you can use it to navigate around, even when you are offline. The feature supports routes for driving, cycling, walking, and public transport. It can use historical traffic data to display an estimated time of arrival. Apple Maps will update the Offline Map that you downloaded with new data whenever you connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Note: The feature is not available in all regions.
Find My lets you share AirTags
Find My in iOS 17 now allows you to share your AirTag with up to five other users. This isn't limited to family members, you can share the tags with your friends too. This allows everyone in the group to use Precision Finding, and play a sound to pinpoint the location of a shared AirTag that is nearby. The feature also supports other Find My network accessories.
Grocery Lists in Reminders
The Reminders app in iOS 17 is capable of sorting grocery lists automatically into various categories such as diary, produce, etc., to help you with your shopping. You may change how the items are grouped by the app, and it will remember your preferences.
Notes app supports PDFs
iOS 17 adds yet another improvement to the Notes app, you can now use it to view (read) PDFs natively. It works with inline PDFs and document scans. And, it also lets you annotate the documents, so you can mark up PDFs. The Notes app is gaining support for linked notes, i.e. you can create links for a note and use it with another, or even create a wiki-like page with several linked notes.
StandBy is a new full-screen mode which is triggered when your iPhone is on its side (on a stand) while charging. It transforms your phone's screen into a smart display with glanceable information such as a clock, photo stand (or album slideshow), displays data from widgets such as timers, sports scores, music controls, etc.
You can customize the clock styles, select the accent color, choose a specific photo album, and more.
The widgets in iOS 17 are interactable, both on your Home Screen and Lock Screen. This will allow you to perform a variety of actions quickly without opening the corresponding app. So you could turn off the lights in your home, play or pause music, complete to-dos, and more quickly by tapping on the widgets. These options are also supported in StandBy.
Roadside Assistance via Satellite
Last year, Apple introduced support for Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via Satellite in iOS 16. The features have proven to be lifesavers on numerous occasions in various countries around the world, helping lost hikers and campers, victims in car crashes and other incidents. iOS 17 adds another emergency service option called Roadside Assistance via Satellite. It works similar to the Emergency SOS option, in that it also uses satellite connectivity in areas with no cell coverage (or Wi-Fi). When you find yourself stranded on the side of a road, you can use Roadside Assistance via Satellite to contact emergency services or a roadside assistance provider, via the Messages app. The app will display a questionnaire with options such as flat tire, locked out, no fuel or charge, etc.
This will allow the roadside assistance provider to send a mechanic to your location with the right tools to assist you. The service is covered for AAA members in their plan, and is also available for non-members.
Roadside Assistance via satellite is available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico), for four-wheeled, motor-driven cars and trucks. The feature is exclusive to iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15, or iPhone 15 Pro, and is free for the first 2 years. On a side note, Emergency SOS via Satellite will be introduced in Spain and Switzerland later this month.
Note: iPhones purchased in the following regions do not support Satellite connectivity: Armenia, Belarus, China mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
Apple announced its Journal app during the WWDC 2023 event in June, but the feature is not available in iOS 17 yet. It will be coming later this year along with AirDrop Transfers, Collaboration on Playlists in Music, AirPlay in hotel rooms, Enhanced Autofill for PDFs.