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iOS 17, the latest version of Apple’s iPhone operating system, is now available for download. It comes with a ton of new features, including standby mode, custom stickers, and the ability to set multiple timers (yes, finally). We’ve been testing the public beta of iOS 17 ahead of its general availability. These features should be checked after upgrading.
How to upgrade to iOS 17
Open the Settings app, scroll down and tap general, and select Software updates. If you’re ready to update your iPhone, you’ll see an option to upgrade to iOS 17. iOS 17 is being released today, but please note that it won’t be available to everyone right away. If you have a phone older than an iPhone XR or XS, you can’t install iOS 17. The first generation iPhone SE is also excluded.
If you can’t upgrade right away, it’s okay to wait a few days before upgrading in case Apple finds a bug to work out.
iOS 17 features to try first
Learn that autocorrect doesn’t mean cheating
How many times have you typed a curse word, accidentally or not, only for your iPhone to “effectively” replace it with something less impactful? In iOS 17, AutoCorrect actually Learn what a swear word means and remember it for future use. We found this feature to work well in iOS beta. Also, if AutoCorrect still insists, “Don’t give me the shirt,” you can tap the on-screen undo button to change the corrected text back to what you actually typed.
Check in when you get home safely
Messages’ new check-in feature automatically notifies the people you choose that you’ve arrived safely at your chosen destination. When iPhone detects that you’re no longer moving toward your destination, your loved ones and friends receive your directions, your phone’s connection status, and your phone’s battery level. We weren’t able to test this personal safety feature in the iOS 17 beta, but we plan to test it and update this article with more information about how this feature works effectively.
Set multiple timers
Yes, for the first time, you can now set multiple timers to run simultaneously on your iPhone. Start the timer in the Clock app as before, then tap the + sign in the top right to add a new timer. As with all alarms, labeling each timer will prevent you from getting confused about how far it’s counting down.
Standby mode changes your iPhone
Flip your phone horizontally while charging to enter a new standby mode that turns your iPhone into a clock, calendar, digital photo frame, or information center with a smart stack of widgets. The standby mode includes several watch faces, and at night the display switches to red to keep it out of the way. Also, on the iPhone, the preferred standby mode setting is now tied to his particular MagSafe dock, so for example when you put his iPhone on his MagSafe charger in the bedroom, the clock will appear, and in the den, the digital photo frame will appear. It shows.
While we think Standby mode is a clever way to make your iPhone useful when it’s idle, it’s easier to use when your phone is attached to a MagSafe dock, and when it’s on an always-on display (i.e. iPhone 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, 15 Pro, or 15 Pro Max). I also noticed that notifications get quite loud in standby mode. So if you don’t want other people in the room to read your notifications, we recommend turning off notification previews.
Let’s make a fuss with stickers
One of several improvements to the Messages app, iOS 17 now gives you quick access to all your stickers, including those from third-party apps. Create a new sticker from your photo by tapping and holding on the person (or people, or pets) in the photo, then send it as is or with a little interactivity. . Stickers can be used for more than just messages, giving you even more opportunities to add personal flair. While using the iOS 17 beta, we noticed that stickers were not always sized appropriately and the interactive elements of custom sticker effects did not work in third-party apps, but with the release of the official version We plan to test this feature more thoroughly at some point. iOS 17 is rolling out.
Add video effects with gestures
iOS now includes eight effects for video call reactions, including rain, confetti, and hearts. You can trigger it from the menu or via a hand gesture in front of your iPhone’s front camera. For example, hold up a double peace sign and confetti will rain down on the back of your face (much to the delight of the person on the other end of the phone). These effects are available in third-party apps like FaceTime and Zoom, but gesture controls require an iPhone 12 or later.
The gestures work surprisingly well and the effects are fun. The iPhone had no trouble detecting the gestures, but I had to adjust the position of my hands so they were visible on the screen.
Incoming voicemails are transcribed in real time and displayed as text on your iPhone’s lock screen, giving you a chance to decide whether to answer the call. We weren’t able to test this feature in the iOS 17 beta, but it will be available soon.
If you want to FaceTime someone who doesn’t answer the phone, you can leave a video message. FaceTime gives you a quick countdown to start recording and allows you to start over if it fails. I was surprised to see that the video reaction gestures also work with video voicemail.
Group chats in Messages are now even more convenient
Threads are often lost in large, long-running group chats. Apple is tackling this issue with inline replies for messages that let you swipe to reply to a specific message. Improved search with multiple filters to help you find what you need among all the answers. Audio messages sent in Messages also have transcriptions, making this feature more accessible and useful if you can’t listen to audio messages.
NamePlease drop your contact information
Now you can bring your iPhone closer to another iPhone and instantly share contact details with new friends. You can also create and share personalized contact posters that are a little more visual than just a name and phone number. In our beta experience, sharing contact information, including the new Contact Poster, was smooth. When you put two iPhones together, you’ll immediately see the option to share your contact poster. (If you’ve used the Bump app in the past, you’ll find NameDrop to be a similar experience.)
Safari is even more private
Apple is increasingly focusing on privacy in its updates and marketing, so it’s no surprise that iOS 17 includes new features aimed at keeping you and your data safe. Safari now lets you create multiple profiles to separate your browsing habits. Private browsing tabs in Safari also require him to re-authenticate after 15 minutes, so if you give your phone to someone else, the private tabs will be hidden. The latter feature is particularly useful, but you have to enable it (in Settings), so don’t simply assume that your tabs are secure.
Coming soon: large file sharing, journal apps, and more
We’re excited to test out some features that aren’t included in the initial release of iOS 17. If you already use Apple’s Notes app to jot down big emotions, you might be tempted by the new Journal His app, which encourages you to reflect on the day and record your thoughts. The company says the data you enter is protected by end-to-end encryption to prevent prying eyes. Additionally, improvements to AirDrop are promised so that file transfers can continue even after moving out of range. We will consider both features as they become available.
Even outside of all the new features, it’s generally a good idea to keep all your devices up to date with the latest software. Although there is always a risk that a new OS may contain unexpected bugs, we believe that new features, especially improved privacy and security, are particularly attractive reasons to upgrade.
This article was edited by Caitlin McGarry and Jason Chen.