If you’re an iPhone user, today marks an exciting day to upgrade to Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 17. With this release, you can look forward to a host of new features that promise to enhance your iPhone experience, making it more personalized and intuitive than ever before.
What’s New in iOS 17?
Here, we’ll dive into the key highlights of iOS 17, from changes to the Lock Screen to exciting upgrades in the Messages app and FaceTime. Let’s explore how these enhancements will transform your daily interactions with your iPhone.
- StandBy: Transform Your iPhone into a Home Hub
One of the standout features of iOS 17 is StandBy, which turns your iPhone into a home hub when it’s charging and positioned horizontally. This update brings interactive widgets and other exciting features, making your iPhone even more versatile.
- Revamped Messages App
The Messages app receives a significant redesign in iOS 17. It’s now less cluttered and simpler to use. Additionally, you’ll notice improvements to the stickers function, with emojis now being treated as stickers that can be placed anywhere in an iMessage.
- Incoming Calls Get a Major Upgrade
The Phone app, an essential part of the iPhone experience, receives a substantial update. Personalized Contact Posters allow you to customize how you appear when calling known contacts, including in third-party calling apps. Get creative with beautiful treatments for photos, Memojis, and typography.
- FaceTime Enhancements
FaceTime gets more expressive in iOS 17, with the ability to leave video or audio messages when your contact is unavailable. You can now use reactions like hearts, balloons, and fireworks during calls, adding a fun element to your conversations. Plus, Apple TV 4K integration takes your FaceTime calls to the big screen.
- The StandBy Experience
StandBy isn’t just about charging your iPhone; it’s a full-screen experience designed to be viewed from a distance. Customize it with various clock styles, photos, and widgets, including Smart Stacks. StandBy also features an Always-On display and adapts to low light conditions.
- Easier Sharing with AirDrop and NameDrop
iOS 17 makes sharing easier with AirDrop. NameDrop, a new feature, lets you exchange contact information simply by bringing your iPhone devices together. It also allows content sharing and even continues transfers over the internet.
- Smarter Autocorrect and Quick Autofill
Autocorrect in iOS 17 is smarter and easier to correct mistakes. Autofill is quicker, and stickers are now conveniently located with emojis, making them more accessible throughout the operating system.
- Introducing Journal
Journal is a new iPhone app designed to help you reflect on everyday moments and special events. It intelligently curates personalized suggestions from your recent activity to inspire your journal entries while prioritizing privacy.
- Enhanced Safari Profiles
With iOS 17, Safari offers improved profile management, allowing you to keep your work and personal browsing completely separate. This feature keeps your browsing history, cookies, extensions, Tab Groups, and Favorites organized and distinct, ensuring a more streamlined online experience.
- Secure Password Sharing
Sharing passwords securely is made easier in iOS 17. You can now share passwords with a group of trusted contacts through iCloud Keychain. This process ensures end-to-end encryption, safeguarding your sensitive information.
- Mental Health Features in the Health App
The Health app receives a significant update, focusing on mental health. Users can log their daily moods and momentary emotions, gaining insights into factors that might influence their state of mind. The app also offers easy access to depression and anxiety assessments commonly used in clinics, along with resources available in your region. Additionally, the Health app provides information on screen distance in Screen Time, encouraging users to maintain a healthy viewing distance from their device to reduce eye strain.
- Apple Music SharePlay Support
Apple Music introduces SharePlay support for in-car entertainment. This feature enables all passengers, even those without an Apple Music subscription, to control the music directly from their own devices. Crossfade ensures smooth transitions between songs, enhancing your music listening experience. Later this year, users will also have the ability to collaborate on playlists, making music-sharing with friends easier and more enjoyable.
- Improved AirPlay
AirPlay becomes even smarter in iOS 17 by utilizing on-device intelligence to learn your preferences. Furthermore, it will add support for televisions in hotels, allowing you to effortlessly enjoy your favorite content on the TV while traveling.
- Power-Packed AirPods
AirPods receive substantial upgrades in iOS 17, including features like Adaptive Audio, Personalized Volume, and Conversation Awareness. These enhancements redefine the personal audio experience, offering greater convenience and control. Additionally, improvements to Automatic Switching and call controls make using AirPods a breeze.
- Expanded Home App Features
The Home app gains more functionality with the ability to view up to 30 days of activity history across various devices such as door locks, garage doors, alarm systems, and contact sensors. Two popular HomeKit lock features—tap to unlock and PIN codes—become available for Matter-compatible locks, providing additional ways to connect and secure your home. The introduction of Grid Forecast within the Home app allows you to monitor when cleaner energy sources are available for your devices, helping you plan device charging and appliance usage efficiently.
- Maps with Offline Functionality
Maps in iOS 17 introduces offline maps, enabling users to download specific areas and access turn-by-turn navigation, estimated time of arrival, and location search even when offline. Furthermore, Maps simplifies discovering thousands of trails in U.S. parks and supports electric vehicle drivers with real-time charging availability information.
- Collaborative AirTag Sharing
AirTag can now be shared with up to five individuals, allowing friends and family to track the location of an item in Find My. Everyone within the group can see the item’s location, play a sound, and utilize Precision Finding to pinpoint its exact location when nearby. This functionality also extends to all other Find My network accessories.
- Smarter Reminders
The Reminders app offers improved organization by automatically grouping added items into relevant categories, making your shopping lists more organized. Users can customize how items are grouped, and the list remembers their preferences.
- Visual Look Up in Photos and Videos
Visual Look Up is now available in paused video frames. Users can select and identify individual or multiple subjects from the background of photos and videos, making it easier to recognize objects, food, storefronts, signs, and symbols.
- Simplified Siri Activation
Activating Siri has become more straightforward in iOS 17. You can now activate the voice assistant simply by saying “Siri.” Once activated, you can issue multiple commands in succession without needing to reactivate Siri each time.
- Intelligent Photo Recognition
iOS 17 harnesses on-device machine learning to recognize individual cats and dogs in the People album, treating them similarly to friends or family members. This makes managing and sharing pet photos even more enjoyable.
- Enhanced Privacy Features
Privacy remains a top priority in iOS 17. Communication Safety now extends beyond Messages to help protect kids when sending and receiving content via AirDrop, Contact Posters, FaceTime messages, and when using the Photos picker to select content for sharing. It also covers video content, offering a comprehensive safeguard against unwanted content. A new feature, Sensitive Content Warning, helps adult users avoid unwanted nude images and videos. Importantly, all image and video processing for Sensitive Content Warning occurs on-device, ensuring that Apple does not access your private content.
- App Store Today Tab
The App Store’s Today tab receives a significant update in iOS 17, offering a more dynamic and personalized app discovery experience. Users can now discover a wider range of great apps, games, and in-app events through tailored recommendations and original stories that align with their interests and preferences. The interface also features curated sections for easier browsing.
- Accessibility Updates
Accessibility receives a boost in iOS 17 with the introduction of Assistive Access, a customizable interface designed to assist users with cognitive disabilities in using their iPhone more effectively and independently. Live Speech offers nonspeaking users the ability to type and have their words spoken in person or during phone and FaceTime calls. Personal Voice enables users at risk of speech loss to create a custom voice that sounds like theirs. Finally, Point and Speak assists users who are blind or have low vision in reading text on physical objects by pointing.
These additional features in iOS 17 not only enhance your iPhone experience but also contribute to greater convenience, privacy, and accessibility across various aspects of your digital life. Enjoy exploring these new functionalities as they elevate the capabilities of your iOS device.