Improved and always better – What’s new in iOS 17?
At WWDC 2023, Apple introduced iOS 17, the next iteration of its iPhone operating system, alongside iPad 17 for iPads. While not a revolutionary update, the presentation showcased a host of appealing customization features. In this article, we’ll delve into the key features of iOS 17.
Over the past year, iOS 16 has made significant strides in enhancing iPhone customization. It introduced features such as the AlwaysOn display mode, an improved Lock Screen, and various app enhancements. The upcoming iOS 17 update aims to continue this trend.
What’s New in iOS 17?
In addition to the recently unveiled accessibility enhancements designed to improve usability for individuals with disabilities, iOS 17 brings a collection of refreshing features. Noteworthy improvements have been made to essential apps like Phone, Messages, and the keyboard. However, there’s been no mention of changes to the App Store or the possibility of acquiring apps outside the official platform. This may become necessary to comply with the Digital Market Act, a new European legislation governing the digital services market. It remains uncertain whether this significant shift will be implemented in iOS 17 or a subsequent version.
The Phone app, a cornerstone of the iPhone experience, introduces personalized Contact Posters. Users can now customize the appearance of incoming call notifications. These Contact Posters take up the entire screen when one of your contacts calls you.
Another new feature in the Phone app is Live Voice Mail. If you choose not to answer and the caller leaves a message, the Phone app displays a transcript of the message left on your voicemail. This feature is useful for quickly determining whether it’s necessary to call back based on the message’s content. Its availability across all operators is yet to be confirmed.
FaceTime receives a minor update with the addition of video messages, similar to video voicemails. FaceTime calls become more expressive with the inclusion of Reactions, featuring effects like hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain, and more. Activating these effects is as simple as making a gesture, adding an extra layer of fun to your conversations.
The Messages app for SMS still does not utilize the RCS protocol, despite Google’s urging. However, it does receive improvements, such as the ability to track a contact’s movements and receive notifications when they reach their destination. This feature is practical for ensuring the safety of loved ones, such as children returning home after a night out.
Stickers play a more significant role, allowing users to create them directly from photos in their library and resize them as needed. You can even create small animations in the form of stickers from Live Photos taken on an iPhone.
AirDrop, the Quick Sharing system available across iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, becomes even easier to use. NameDrop enables users to share contact details by bringing two iPhones closer together or between an iPhone and an Apple Watch. This gesture also facilitates sharing various types of content and initiating SharePlay, where you can listen to music, watch movies, or play games with nearby iPhone users.
Journal is a new app coming to iOS, allowing you to create a diary that combines notes, photos, videos, music, and locations, all stored locally on your device.
Standby mode transforms your iPhone into an advanced alarm clock when combined with a stand or charger and positioned horizontally. It resembles a voice assistant with a screen, displaying your daily schedule, news, weather, and more.
In addition to these changes, iOS 17 includes several minor improvements. The SMS autocorrection system is enhanced with machine learning to better understand your habits and only correct “useful” mistakes. You no longer need to say “Hey Siri” to wake up the voice assistant; a simple “Siri” will suffice. Conversations with Siri can continue without repeating the name. The Maps app allows you to download maps for offline use, and the Photos app not only recognizes human faces but also identifies animals.
Which iPhones Will Be Compatible with iOS 17? – Apple has reduced the list of compatible iPhones for iOS 17. Models released since 2018 will be able to run it, including the iPhone XR, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone XS, and all iPhone 11, 12, 13, and 14 models. However, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus are excluded from the list and will remain on iOS 16.5. Apple’s impressive software support longevity, extending to 5 years, stands in contrast to the Android world, where major updates are often limited to four years at best.
When Will iOS 17 Be Available?
As of now, iOS 17 is in beta and available to developers this month. The public beta, offering a sneak peek at the new features, will be available in July. The final version of the operating system is expected to be fully released in September, coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup.