iOS 17 is launching today, and it surprisingly brings a number of new features to your iPhone. The update is going to be available for a number of iPhones, going all the way back to the iPhone Xs. So plenty of people are going to be getting this update today, and in the coming days. So here are some of the best new features coming in iOS 17.
AirDrop is getting some new changes this year, including NameDrop. This is actually a really cool feature that Apple is adding in iOS 17, where you are able to hold your phone near someone else’s, and you can swap contact info. You will be able to choose the specific number(s) or email address you want to share. And you can also share them along with your Contact Poster (also new in iOS 17).
This is going to be very useful for meeting people at a bar, or maybe at a trade show. Where you can hand out your contact info without needing to write it down, swap phones or even give out business cards.
This is sort of like Apple’s answer to Google’s call screening on the Pixel. Basically, Live Voicemail will allow you to send a cal to voicemail and it’ll automatically transcribe the message on your iPhone’s screen. You can then slide to answer if you wish. Making it easier to ditch those spam callers, or those that just want to call and talk, while you’re busy.
StandBy is quietly, iOS 17’s best feature this year. Basically, when your iPhone is charging, you can rotate it 90-degrees and get a smart display-like interface here. It uses the same widgets as your home screen, only larger. This looks really great on a MagSafe charging dock too. But you can use widgets like the clock and calendar, or weather, photos and so much more. It really does replace that bedside clock.
Apple has really been embracing some customization on its phones in the past few years. Having added the App Library, lock screen customization, widgets, and now Contact Posters. This might seem like a silly feature, but now you can customize what people see when you call them. This includes using a picture, or a Memoji. You can also customize your name and the text style.
This was a pretty highly-requested feature, after Apple launched widgets in iOS 14. And now it’s finally here. With iOS 17 (and iPad OS 17) you can now use interactive widgets. A few examples of these include the Apple Music Widget where you can start playing music from the widget instead of opening the app and then pressing play. Or checking off reminders from the widget, and even turning on/off your lights from the Home widget.
Apple has also improved autocorrect this year. A much needed feature update for the iPhone. Apple says that it is actually using an LLM to improve autocorrect, which is rather interesting. It’s not 100% accurate, but it is better than the old system. You can also tap the backspace key and undo the autocorrected word pretty easily.
Apple Maps Offline
Apple Maps is actually getting a pretty big update this time around. And that’s allowing you to download areas on the map to use offline. If you’re heading somewhere that the internet is slow or non-existent, then downloading an area on Apple Maps can make a lot of sense.
Another feature for Apple Maps includes seeing real-time charging station availability. This really only affects EV drivers, but a really nice feature to have added in.
Now, in iOS 17, you no longer need to say “Hey Siri” to talk to Siri. Just say her name and then give her the command. Something like “Siri, what’s the weather?” and you will get your response. It’s not a huge change, but it is one less word to use, and that could help with false positives too.
This feature is really useful. In iOS 17, Apple has added a new feature where you can automatically notify people when you get home, or to your destination. With apps like Life360 being so popular, this feature is a no-brainer. Now instead of having to call people or text them when you get home, just “check in” and they’ll know you got home safely.
New iMessage App redesign
iMessage apps have gotten pretty popular over the last few years, and now there’s more than ever before. So, in iOS 17, Apple decided to simplify it a bit. Now there’s one button in the text field that you can tap on to bring up the app drawer. You’ll find all of your iMessage apps here, including #images, Memoji, Music, and much more.
Create your own Live Stickers
Stickers are pretty popular these days, and now you can create your own live stickers. Just press and hold on an image, and it is able to pull out the subject from the background, which you can then add to your own sticker collection. Now you can send these to others, in messages and other apps.
Finally, rounding out our list this time around, we have Facetime leave a message, or as we call it – Facetime Voicemail. Now, if you call someone on Facetime and they don’t pick up, you can record a video message, just like regular voicemail. But instead, it’s technically videomail. You can opt to record a video or audio message when someone misses your Facetime call now.