iOS 17.2 update brings Journal app, Spatial Video Capture and more

Dec 12, 2023

The much-awaited iOS 17.2 update is here. The update introduces the Journal app, and a handful of other features.

Journal app arrives with iOS 17.2

One of the key features that Apple demoed when it unveiled iOS 17 at WWDC 2023, was the Journal app. It is meant to serve as a personal diary, where you can write about your day-to-day life including small moments, big events, etc. Apple says this would allow users to reflect on their life to help them practice gratitude, and to keep an eye on their mental wellbeing.

You can add photos and places to your Journal entries, and the app will let you filter through them. Journal entries can be bookmarked if you want to revisit them. The app displays Journaling suggestions, which are generated using on-device intelligence, to offer a curated experience. There are a few ways to customize the suggestions for a tailored experience.

Journal app in iOS 17.2 update

Journal will display scheduled notifications at a time and date that you can choose.Your Journal can only be accessed with your Touch ID or Face ID, so your data is private. Apple says that it encrypts the data before syncing it to iCloud.

Don't hold your hopes high about the Journal app. It is too simple in its current state, and lacks many basic features such as a search option and a calendar. I'm still testing it and will share a dedicated article about it tomorrow.

Translate using the Action Button

iPhone 15 Pro users can now use the Action Button to trigger a new shortcut, to translate text. This can be useful for translating phrases, or to engage in a conversation with someone.

Spatial Video Capture

If you have an iPhone 15 Pro or an iPhone 15 Pro Max, you can use the camera app for Spatial Video Capture. These three-dimensional videos are compatible with Apple's mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro.

The iOS 17.2 update also improves the performance of the Telephoto camera, which can now focus faster when capturing small, faraway objects.

Catch-up arrow, Contact Key Verification in Messages

The Messages app now displays a Catch-up arrow in the top right corner which you can tap to jump to the first unread message in a chat, for example in group chats that have a lot of messages since you were last online.

The context menu that appears when you long-press on a chat bubble, now has an add sticker button, that directly adds a sticker to the selected bubble. You can adjust the body shape of any Memoji, it's time to lose those virtual pounds. Sensitive Content Warning for stickers in Messages can now block stickers that contain offensive content such as nudity.

Apple says that the Messages app now provides automatic alerts for Contact Key Verification and Contact Verification Codes, in order to help verify people who may be facing extraordinary digital threats, to ensure that they are messaging only with the people they intend. In other words, they will be able to detect if an imposter has hijacked a chat.

Weather app improvements

The Weather app in iOS 17.2 displays precipitation amounts for rain and snow for the next 10 days. There are new widgets that you can add to check the Air Quality, Feels Like, and wind speed. You can also add widgets to keep an eye on the next-hour precipitation, daily forecast, sunrise and sunset times.

The new Wind map snapshot can also be used to assess wind patterns. It displays an animated wind map overlay that you can refer to check the forecasted wind conditions for the next day. The Weather app has gained an interactive moon calendar, which shows you the phase of the moon on any day for the next month.

Enhanced Autofill in PDFs

This is another quality of life improvement that Apple had highlighted during the iOS 17 demo, but it never made it to the final release until now. iOS 17.2 brings support for Enhanced AutoFill in PDFs and other forms, this allows your iPhone to detect fields in the forms and populates them with relevant information such as names and addresses from your contacts.

Other improvements in iOS 17.2

iOS 17.2 adds a new Digital Clock Widget that you can use on your Home Screen, and in Standby Mode.

Users can now use Siri with their voice to access and log data in the Health app. Tired of managing tickets and passes for your group? AirDrop now lets you share boarding passes, movie tickets, and other passes by bringing two iPhones close to each other.

The Apple Music app's Favorite Songs playlist can now be used to view songs that you marked as a favorite. Users can now disable the Listening History in a Focus, to prevent tracks from appearing in the Recently Played list. It also prevents the tracks from being used to generate recommendations. The new software update brings new keyboard layouts for 8 Sámi languages.

Qi2 wireless charging for iPhone 13 and 14

Qi2 wireless charging is now supported on all iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models. The feature is already compatible with the iPhone 15 lineup. The MagSafe alternative uses a similar technology, with rings of magnets to charge devices without cables. Unlike MagSafe-certified chargers, Qi2 compatible wireless chargers can charge your iPhone at speeds up to 15W.

The release notes from Apple mentions that the iOS 17.2 update fixes the wireless charging in some vehicles. Reports from users indicated that GM vehicles were not charging iPhones, but now that Apple has patched the bug, you should be able to use the vehicles to charge your mobile phone.

iPadOS 17.2 and macOS 14.2 Sonoma released

Apple has also released iPadOS 17.2 and macOS 14.2 Sonoma to eligible devices. The iPadOS 17.2 update is lackluster, but for the redesigned TV app that now displays channels on the sidebar, similar to that on tvOS.

macOS 14.2 Sonoma update

The macOS 14.2 Sonoma update is a bit more impressive, and shares many improvements with iOS 17.2. The desktop version now supports Shazam Music Recognition, which you may use to quickly identify songs that are playing online or around you. The feature works even when you are wearing AirPods.

iOS 17.2 has a ton of improvements, but it is rather strange that Apple has not released the Journal app for macOS and iPadOS.

iOS 17.2 update brings Journal app, Spatial Video Capture and more
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iOS 17.2 update brings Journal app, Spatial Video Capture and more
The Journal app for iPhone is here with the iOS 17.2 update.

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