iOS 17 was officially announced at WWDC, marking Apple’s biggest annual software update for iPhone users. This year, iOS 17 includes new features for Messages, FaceTime, and widgets. Below you’ll find an overview of our coverage, new features, details about betas and release dates, and more.
iOS 17 betas
iOS 17 will be available from June developer beta testers only, but there’s a big change in the beta testing process for developers this year. For previous users, iOS developer betas were only available to registered developers who paid $99 per year.
For iOS 17, Apple is making betas available this year to anyone who signs up for a free developer account. No $99 annual subscription required.
That being said, we recommend proceeding with caution. Apple says these are “developer betas” for a reason. The iOS 17 beta contains a number of bugs and performance issues and will have a major impact on your battery life. Just because the iOS 17 developer beta is available for free doesn’t mean you should install it.
Apple released a release in July a public beta for iOS 17, which still contains bugs and quirks, but to a lesser extent than the developer beta versions.
When will iOS 17 be released to everyone?
After beta testing is complete, Apple will release iOS 17 to the general public. Based on precedent, this will happen sometime in September. Here’s a look at the release dates of previous iOS updates in September:
- iOS 16: September 12, 2022
- iOS 15: September 20, 2021
- iOS 14: September 16, 2020
- iOS 13: September 19, 2019
- iOS 12: September 17, 2018
As you can see, Apple is quite consistent with its iOS release schedules.
It should come as no surprise that iOS 17 will be relevant
iOS 17 supported devices
It is notable that iOS 17 requires the A12 Bionic chip or newer. This means that the iPhone Here’s the full rundown of iOS 17 supported devices:
- iPhone XS and XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro and ProMax
- iPhone 12 and 12mini
- iPhone 12 Pro and ProMax
- iPhone 13 and 13mini
- iPhone 13 Pro and ProMax
- iPhone 14 Pro and ProMax
- iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generation)
What’s new in iOS 17?
Now that we’ve gotten all that boring stuff out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the new features in iOS 17. Apple says the goal of iOS 17 is to make your iPhone “more personal and intuitive,” and that iOS 17 is a includes a wide range of new features. to achieve this.
iOS 17 includes a new feature called ‘Contact Posters’, which This allows you to customize how your profile appears when you communicate with other iPhone users. You can set up your contact poster to include profile photos, special typography and font colors, and more.
For FaceTime audio and video calls, Apple has added support for voicemails For the first time. So when you call someone, you can leave a message explaining why you called. And if they call you, they can leave their own voicemail.
Apple has also added a variant for FaceTime of new reactions. This includes things like hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, and rain. These effects can be activated by certain gestures and are also compatible with third-party apps.
iOS 17 is also available improvements to AirDrop. For example, NameDrop is a new AirDrop feature that lets you share your contact information with another iPhone or Apple Watch user by simply holding your devices close together. Additionally, by placing two iPhones together, you can use SharePlay for things like video, music, and games.
AirDrop now also supports tapping two phones together to transfer other content from one device to the other, including photos, videos and files. Additionally, later this year, AirDrop will introduce the ability to transfer large files between two nearby phones, with the transfer taking place via iCloud.
The Music app has been updated with support for collaborative playlists and cross-fade (finally). In CarPlay, the Music app now includes SharePlay support, so everyone in your car can have a say in what’s currently playing (if you’re brave enough to allow such a thing).
Another major change in iOS 17 is a major innovation in autocorrect, which Apple says will finally let you say what you want to say. Powered by machine learning, the new autocorrect system learns from the way you type, makes it easier to correct mistakes, and even autofills your words and sentences as you type. Dictation has also been upgraded with a new speech recognition model “to make it even more accurate,” Apple says.
StandBy is one of the most notable changes for iPhone users this year. When you place your iPhone horizontally on a charger, a new custom Smart View style interface appears with clean widgets for things like the time, calendar, alarms, and more.
For fans of Home Screen widgets, iOS 17 includes a major update with support for interactive widgets. This means you can now interact directly with the widgets themselves, rather than having to be taken straight to the app itself. For example, you can interact directly on your iPhone’s home screen with the play and pause buttons for the Music app widget. In conjunction with this, Apple has also added Home app widgets also for the first time.
iOS 17 includes some Accessibility upgrades, such as assistive access. This is a new, customizable interface that makes it easier for users with cognitive disabilities to use their iPhone. Personal Voice gives users at risk of speech loss, such as people with ALS, the ability to create a voice that sounds like their own. Live Speech is a new feature that gives non-speaking users the ability to type and speak their words in person, during phone calls or FaceTime calls.
The To inform app in iOS 17 also gets a big boost with new features for stickers, reactions and more.
- The interface for iMessage apps has been revamped, offering easy access to things like the camera, Photos app, location sharing, GIFs, and more.
- Audio messages are now automatically transcribed so you don’t have to listen to your friend for two minutes.
- Stickers have been revamped, with Apple turning all emoji into stickers and allowing you to create your own stickers with your own photos. Stickers can be used in Messages, as Tapbacks and much more.
- The Messages app includes upgraded search functionality with support for search filters.
- It’s easier to respond to a specific message by swiping right on it, rather than long pressing it.
Apple’s robust set of management features two-factor authentication codes is also getting an upgrade with iOS 17. This year, two-factor codes sent to Mail now also support autocomplete. The Messages app now also automatically deletes 2FA text messages.
Combining the features of Messages and Find My is a new feature called Check in, which Apple says is an “important feature for when a user wants to let a family member or friend know that he or she has arrived safely at their destination.” When check-in is initiated, your friend or family member will be automatically notified when you arrive at your destination. If you don’t make progress to that destination, iOS 17 will share information like your location, battery level, and cellular service status with the other person.
Live voicemail in iOS 17 you can see the real-time transcription when someone leaves a voicemail, including the ability to answer the call while the person leaves their message. Calls identified as spam by carriers will not appear as live voicemail and will instead be immediately rejected.
iOS 17 will also include a brand new one Magazine app later this year. With the help of the Journal app, Apple says iPhone users will have a new way to “appreciate life and make memories.” The Journal app in iOS 17 uses machine learning to create suggestions for moments you might want to remember. The app will ask you to keep a diary based on things like photos, music, workouts and more.
Here’s an overview of it even more changes in iOS 17 for iPhone users this year:
- New features for Private Browsing, including the ability to lock tabs behind Face ID or Touch ID.
- Passwords and passcodes saved in iCloud Keychain can now be shared with friends and family.
- Apple Maps adds support for offline maps and real-time availability information for electric car charging stations.
- The Health app now offers robust mental health features, including the ability to record your daily mood and temporary emotions.
- Screen distance is a new feature in iOS 17 that Apple says will help reduce the risk of myopia in children by ensuring kids don’t hold their devices too close to their faces.
- AirTags can now be shared with up to five other people. This also works with all other Find My network accessories.
- AirPlay is smarter and now uses on-device intelligence to learn more about how you interact with AirPlay devices. Apple is also working to expand AirPlay availability in hotels, starting with a partnership with LG.
- The Notes app now provides links between internal notes, so you can link from one Apple Note to another.
- Siri can now be activated by simply saying “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri.”
- AirPods now offer adaptive audio, personalized volume, call awareness, and improvements to auto switching and call control.
- Visual Look Up now works in videos, along with the ability to recognize new things like food, storefronts, signs, symbols and more.
- The Reminders app can now automatically group items you add to your shopping list by categories, such as fruits, vegetables, drinks, meats and more.
- The Photos app can now recognize cats and dogs as their own. For example, if you have two dogs named Blake and Ruby, the Photos app will automatically separate the photos of each of them into their own albums.
More coverage of iOS 17
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