Apple offered the latest version of its operating system "iOS 17" in June, which is still under beta testing, and is scheduled to become ready for use later in September, coinciding with the launch of new "iPhone" devices.
iOS 17 is a major version of Apple's operating system, which upgrades the experience of phone communications, FaceTime and messaging, makes sharing easier with AirDrop and provides smarter input that improves typing speed and accuracy.
iOS 17 is also introducing new experiences with Journal, an all-new app to be launched later this year that makes it easier for people to practice the habit of journaling, and StandPay, a new way to display information that can be seen when your iPhone is set and charged.
Major phone experience upgrades
The mobile app will get big updates with custom contact stickers, providing a new way for users to express themselves.
Users can customize how they appear, give incoming calls a whole new look, choose how images or Memoji are displayed, as well as select the font and color.
Custom contact stickers are also available for third-party communication apps.
Live voicemail gives users the ability to see transcripts in real time when someone leaves voicemail, and also gives the opportunity to respond while the caller leaves their message based on what is said.
Annoying calls identified by carriers as direct voicemail will not be notified to the user and will instead be rejected immediately.
New features for "FaceTime"
The FaceTime application in the new version of the operating system supports voice and video messages, so that the person on the other end can leave you a video recording or voice message if you do not answer the call.
FaceTime calls also support reactions, such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, lasers and rain.
The Apple TV 4K update allows FaceTime to work on big screens at home.
Using the continuity camera, the Apple TV 4K acts as a FaceTime call camera, where users can now start a video call directly from an iOS device, or start the call via iPhone and then transfer it to an iOS device.
Center Stage gives users the perfect frame even when moving around the room, along with all other FaceTime features, including call forwarding between an iOS device and TV.
New look and message updates
In terms of messages, iOS 17 provides some important additions, as all emoji are available as stickers in the Messages application, in addition to allowing the use of emojis over photos and messages such as the sticker.
Live stickers can also be created from photos using the "Remove Subject from Background" feature introduced in iOS 16.
Users can also add effects to live stickers to make them more vibrant, so if you use live photos, you'll be able to get an animated sticker that can be shared in the Messages app.
Search has become more accurate with search filters, allowing users to start searching and add additional filters to narrow down results and find exactly what they're looking for, and one-time verification codes delivered by the Messages app can be deleted automatically.
If you're having trouble keeping up with group chats or with someone sending a lot of messages, there's a new arrow that lets you know where you left off so you can see what's not read in the conversation.
When you send a voice message, it's automatically transcribed so users can read it in real time or listen to it later.
In terms of site sharing in messages, it's simpler: when a user shares a site, it's updated in real time in the conversation.
Messages also offer "check-in," an important security feature that allows a user to tell a family member or friend that they have arrived at their destination safely.
When the feature is turned on, the person you're communicating with is alerted when you get to where you're going, and if you don't do it in time or stop your progress, that contact can see your phone's location, battery level, and cellular status to determine if you need help, while encrypting any information shared end-to-end.
Easier sharing with Airdrop and Nim Drop
AirDrop has added new ways to share, as the NameDrop feature allows users to share contact information by bringing iPhones closer or by bringing the iPhone and Apple Watch closer together.
Bringing iPhones closer also allows users to share and transfer content or start SharePlay to listen to music, watch a movie, or play a game.
Later this year, Airdrop will allow large file transfers to begin with two phones very close to each other, as the iCloud transfer ends.
Improvements to AutoCorrect and Dictation
The autocorrect feature has been comprehensively updated to improve the experience and accuracy of users every time they type.
The feature also has an updated design to better support writing, and it is now possible to correct errors at the sentence level to avoid grammatical errors.
iOS 17 users will receive built-in predictive text recommendations as you type, to better predict what the user wants to say, so that Autofill provides complete sentences with built-in predictions as you type, so adding full words or completing sentences will be easy.
View information while charging your phone
iOS 17 offers a Stand-By feature, which gives users a full-screen experience with information that can be seen from a distance when the phone is on its side while charging.
Ideal when placing your phone on the table or desk, this feature can be customized to display a range of watch styles, favorite photos, or thumbnails.
With support for live activities, Siri, incoming calls, and larger notifications, StandBy makes the iPhone useful even when it's out of reach.
When charging with MagSafe, the feature remembers the user's preferred view, and it's easy to show Stand-By mode at any time by tapping the screen, and it's available on the iPhone 14 Pro with always-on screen.
A new way to appreciate life's moments
Although not yet available, Apple's new operating system offers the Journal app designed to record your thoughts and activities daily, something that has been shown to improve well-being.
iPhone uses machine learning across the device to suggest topics for you to write about based on your recent activities during the day, including taking pictures, visiting people and places, training, and more, as scheduled notifications help build a journaling habit.
With the ability to lock the app, use cross-device processing and end-to-end encryption, the company is designed to protect user privacy and ensure that no one can access their data.
Third-party apps can make suggestions about journaling, but all content is protected and secured with a passcode.
Privacy and accessibility updates
Privacy updates include expanding the security of communication outside of messages to help keep children safe when sending and receiving content via Airdrop, call stickers, FaceTime message, and when using the image picker to choose content to send.
Privacy has also been extended to video content as well as still images. A new sensitive content warning feature helps adult users avoid viewing unwanted photos and videos.
As with communication integrity, all image and video processing of the warning about sensitive content occurs across the device, so Apple cannot access the content.
Accessibility updates include Assisted Access, a customizable interface that helps users with cognitive impairments use the iPhone more easily and autonomously, and Personal Voice gives users at risk of speech loss the option to create a voice that resembles theirs.
The Point and Talk feature helps blind or visually impaired users read text through physical objects by pointing.
Additional features in iOS 17
- The Safari web browser provides greater protection for private browsing using Face ID, and prevents trackers from identifying your device and tracking web traffic.
The browser's "Accounts" option separates browsing your work from your personal browsing with different dates, extensions, tab groups, favorites, and cookies.
Private browsing is now locked when not in use, allowing the user to keep tabs open even when away from the device.
- Users can share passwords with a group of trusted contacts through the Family Sharing feature available in the Passwords app.
Anyone in the group can also add and edit passwords that are securely shared through iCloud Keychain, as this feature is useful for passwords that need to be accessed by more than one person, such as streaming services.
- The Health app has a mood tracking feature that allows you to record your daily feelings and momentary emotions to track your status. The company also offers depression and anxiety assessments used in clinics to help you determine if you're at risk.
- Using the True Depth camera, the Health app helps you determine if you're too close to your screen with a screen distance measurement tool, while encouraging you to move the device away after staying more than 12 inches from your face for an extended period of time.
- In Maps, you can now download offline maps for specific areas, so you can access turn-by-turn navigation, estimated time of arrival, and nearby locations even offline.
- It is now possible to share the Airtag tracker with up to 5 other people, so friends and family members living together can track an item using the tracker in the Find My app. Everyone in the group can also see the location of the item, play audio, and use careful search to help locate the shared tracker when they are nearby.
- Apple Music supports collaborative playlists to listen to music with friends, and thanks to the car's Share Play feature, passengers can add songs to what is played through Carry Play even without an Apple Music subscription.
- AirPods have new features that redefine the personalized audio experience, including adaptive audio, which combines active noise cancellation and transparency so you can be more aware of your surroundings while reducing unwanted noise, conversation awareness turns off music when someone talks to you so you can hear them, and the custom volume adjusts the sound to your preferences. Plus, auto-switch improvements and call controls make switching between devices faster and more reliable, and you can mute and unmute by pressing the speaker stem.
- The Home app allows users to view up to 30 days of activity history via door locks, garage doors, alarm systems and connection sensors.
- Spotlight Search is also more interactive, so you can perform things like changing settings without opening an app.
- In the Reminders app, there's a built-in grocery list that groups the items you add into categories, users can change how items are grouped and the list remembers their preferences.
- In the Notes app, you can create links between notes so that relevant notes can be linked to each other, and the app also has better support for PDFs.
- Visual search is now available in paused video frames, where users can select food, storefronts, banners, icons, and upload individual subjects from photos and videos.
- Siri voice assistant can be activated by simply saying "Siri", without having to say "Hello Siri". Once activated, you can issue multiple commands in a row without having to reactivate the assistant.
- In the Photos app, the People album uses cross-device machine learning to learn more photos of a user's favorite people, as well as cats and dogs.
- Email supports autofill verification codes just like messages.
- At Apple News, subscribers can access daily crosswords and listen to Apple News Plus podcasts' audio stories.
- Through the Fitness app, it's now possible to see your buddy's top workout activities and create personalized workout and meditation schedules using Apple Fitness Plus plans.
Devices supporting "iOS 17"
iOS 17 is compatible with iPhone XR, iPhone XS and later, meaning it won't support iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, as these devices were able to run iOS 16, but can't be updated to iOS 17.
Here is the full list of supported phones:
- "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" (second generation or later).