Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Apple plans to release software updates for its iPhone, iPad and smartwatch on Monday, with new features and designs for compatible devices.

Announced at the company’s developer conference in June, iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10 add a much-improved keyboard with autocorrect that lets you swear, new standby modes, contact posters, more customization and Apple’s biggest interface rework. Watch since launch.

Here’s what you need to know about the updates.

When can I get it?

Downloads for iOS, iPadOS and watchOS updates usually start around 6pm UK time (1pm in New York; 3am in Sydney). Unlike other manufacturers, all eligible Apple devices can download and install the update at the time it is released, rather than on a staggered basis.

Which devices can get this?

All Apple smartphones from the iPhone XS 2018 or newer can install iOS 17. All tablets from the iPad Pro 10.5 inches from 2017 or the iPad from 2018 (6th generation) and newer can install iPadOS 17. All 2018 or newer Series 4 Apple Watches can install watchOS 10.

How do I get it?

Open the Settings app on an iPhone or iPad, then navigate to General > Software Update. Tap install if available to download, verify, and then reboot to install. You can also install the update on a Windows computer via a Mac or iTunes.

WatchOS 10 requires an iPhone XS or later to run iOS 17 first. Then open the Watch app on the phone and navigate to General > Software Update to start the installation. To complete the update, you must place the smartwatch on the charger.

How much is it?

The updates are free from Apple. If you’re asked to pay for an update, it’s probably a scam.

iPhone – iOS 17

Improved keyboard autocorrect

Apple’s keyboard finally lets you curse by learning from your manual corrections, which should banish ‘evasive’ typos to the scrap heap. You can reverse the corrected text by tapping the underlined words if the text is wrong. The keyboard can now also predict and complete entire sentences as you type, similar to the feature in Gmail from Google and others.

Contact posters, video messages and live voicemail

Three iPhones
You can now create stickers from your own photos. Photo: Apple

Contact posters include your photo, text, and customizable colors that appear on recipients’ phones and in their contacts app when you call, so you can choose how you look when you contact people.

NameDrop lets you share your contact information with another iPhone or Apple Watch by simply bringing them near you and choosing what to send. The same proximity process works for other AirDrop file sharing interactions as well.

Initially only available to people in the US and Canada, the phone app can now automatically transcribe voicemail messages in real time, so you can see who’s calling and what it’s about before answering the call, useful for dodging spam calls.

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FaceTime callers can now leave video voicemails if the recipient is unavailable. Video calls can also be made on a TV using an Apple TV box and an iPhone or iPad’s camera, while animated responses, including balloons rising and other things, can be triggered with hand gestures like thumbs up.

StandBy mode, only ‘Siri’ and offline Apple Maps

An iPhone
Turn iPhone into a smart display by turning it horizontally while charging with the new StandBy mode. Photo: Apple

The new Standby Mode can turn the iPhone into a small smart display when rotated to landscape orientation while charging, showing the time, widgets, photos and other information at a glance, including Siri interactions. A new option removes the “hey” from “hey Siri” when invoking Apple’s voice assistant, which can now handle consecutive requests without also having to say Siri each time.

You can save parts of a map in the Apple Maps app for offline access, including directions, opening hours and other information, matching Google Maps’ long-popular feature. Apple’s Safari browser now has profiles, overtaking competitors like Chrome and Firefox. This allows you to have a different set of bookmarks, settings, sites and cookies, for example one for work and one for home.

Check in

Check In is a new security feature that lets you share your location with friends or family. The system automatically detects when you come home and lets you know. If it notices you’re slowing down, it can send information to your contact, such as your location, battery life, and other details, so they can help you.

iPad – iPadOS 17

Apple’s tablets include most of the new features of iOS 17, with a few additions specifically for larger-screen devices.

An iPhone lock screen
The lock screen is fully customizable with widgets and animated wallpapers. Photo: Apple

Apple added extensive tweaks to iPhone lock screens last year with iOS 16, which have now come to the iPad. Users can add widgets, use animated wallpapers, change the font and other options, while live activities, such as flight tracking and other real-time events, now appear on the lock screen.

Health app now on iPad

The Apple Health app
The Health app is finally coming to the iPad after years of being exclusive to the iPhone. Photo: Apple

Apple’s long-standing Health app is now on the iPad, where you can see data like sleep tracking, activity, and other bits from first- and third-party apps. It has a new tablet-sized interface and can be used to view trends in your data, as well as record things like your eyesight or mental health.

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Multitasking improvements in Stage Manager

iPad screen
Apps can now be resized and placed anywhere in the space, just like on a desktop computer. Photo: Apple

When multitasking, app windows can be resized and placed anywhere on the desktop instead of being limited to certain slots as with iPadOS 16. If you have a keyboard connected to the tablet, you can hold down the Shift key and tap or click an app icon to open it in your current desktop space. These minor updates make the iPad more like a Mac or desktop computer.

Apple Watch – viewOS 10

WatchOS 10 includes many of the new features from iOS 17, including NameDrop, contact posters, and other features. But Apple has also reworked the way some parts of the operating system function.

Renewed apps

Apple watches
Most apps have been given a lick of paint, making them feel more modern and interactive. Photo: Apple

Most of the built-in apps on the watch have been redesigned with more color and animation, and also apply more information to the screen per page, so there’s less scrolling to do. For example, tap the Weather app’s screen to toggle between current conditions, temperature, chance of rain and other stats, while the Activity, Heart Rate and Sleep apps have bigger and better graphs of your daily progress.

Glances are widgets for a variety of real-time information, now available directly through the watch face. Photo: Apple

Widgets can now be accessed directly from the watch face by scrolling or swiping up from the bottom to reveal a stack of them. The widgets dynamically update based on the time of day, your location and how you use your watch, so current information appears first, but you can also customize the widgets and pin the most important ones.

To enable the widgets, two important features had to be reworked. To get to the Control Center for adjusting settings, you now press the side button instead of swiping up from the bottom. Double-clicking the Digital Crown will now show the dock of recently used apps from previous watchOS. You can no longer just swipe left or right to change your watch face, but you must first press and hold the watch face.

Snoopy, Woodstock, Palette and more new watch faces

I watch
Snoopy and Woodstock are the best animated and interactive characters on an Apple Watch yet. Photo: Apple

There are several new watch faces to choose from. The Palette face changes color throughout the day using three overlapping layers behind analog hands. Snoopy and Woodstock’s faces allow the titular characters to respond in funny ways to your movements, the weather, and the time of day. The solar watch face now has an analogue version and there is a new animated Nike Globe watch face.

The Watch Ultra also gets a new, more information-dense Modular Ultra watch face, which adds information to the edge of the screen and for the first time can have up to seven on-screen complications.

Cycling Power and Bluetooth Accessories

iPhone and iwatch
New cycling features turn an iPhone into a surrogate for a cycling computer when connected to an Apple Watch. Photo: Apple

The Workouts app can now connect to Bluetooth cycling accessories such as pedal power meters, allowing it to display and record metrics including cadence, speed, strength and power zones. The watch can also be paired with your iPhone to display live cycling data on the phone’s screen, making it a surrogate cycling computer when mounted on your handlebars.

By Admin