iOS 17, the most recent version of Apple’s iPhone operating system, is now available for download, introducing a range of innovative features. These include StandBy Mode, customizable stickers, the ability to set multiple timers (at last!), and much more. We’ve thoroughly tested the iOS 17 public beta prior to its official release, and here are the standout features to explore after updating.
How to Upgrade to iOS 17
To upgrade to iOS 17, follow these simple steps: Open the Settings app, scroll down, tap General, and select Software Update. If your iPhone is eligible for an update, you’ll find an option to upgrade to iOS 17. It’s important to note that while iOS 17 is launching today, it may not be immediately available for all users. If you have an iPhone older than the XR or XS, you won’t be able to install iOS 17, and the first-generation iPhone SE is also excluded. If you can’t upgrade right away, it’s advisable to wait a few days in case Apple discovers any bugs that need fixing.
iOS 17 Features to Explore First
- Autocorrect That Learns Your Intent How often has autocorrect changed your words to something unintended? In iOS 17, autocorrect learns your preferences, reducing those frustrating corrections. If autocorrect still insists on “ducking” when you meant something else, you can easily revert the corrected text to your original input.
- Check-In for Safety iOS 17 introduces a new Check-In feature in Messages, which automatically notifies selected contacts when you arrive safely at a destination. If your iPhone detects you’ve stopped progressing toward your destination, it shares your route, cellular status, and battery level with your trusted contacts.
- Multiple Timers For the first time, you can set and manage multiple timers simultaneously on your iPhone. Label each timer to avoid confusion, just as you do with alarms.
- StandBy Mode for Enhanced Utility When you place your phone horizontally on a charger, StandBy Mode transforms it into a clock, calendar, digital photo frame, or widget smart stack information center. It even shifts to a less intrusive red display at night. Note that StandBy Mode works best with iPhones featuring an always-on display, such as the iPhone 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, 15 Pro, or 15 Pro Max.
- Express Yourself with Stickers iOS 17 offers quick access to all your stickers, including those from third-party apps. You can create custom stickers from photos, adding interactive effects for extra flair.
- Video Effects with Gestures Enjoy eight video effects, like rain and confetti, during video calls. These effects can be triggered through menus or hand gestures in front of your front-facing camera. This feature is available in FaceTime and supported third-party apps on iPhone 12 or newer models.
- Visual Voicemails Incoming voicemails are transcribed in real-time, displayed as text on your lock screen, allowing you to decide whether to answer a call. Video voicemails also support video reaction gestures.
- Enhanced Group Chats in Messages Inline replies for Messages help manage large group chats, while improved search offers multiple filters for easier navigation. Audio messages now come with transcriptions for increased accessibility.
- NameDrop for Contact Sharing Share your contact details by bringing your iPhone close to another iPhone. You can also create personalized contact posters for a more visual exchange.
- Safari Privacy Enhancements Safari now supports multiple profiles to keep your browsing separate, and private browsing tabs require reauthorization after 15 minutes for added security.
Coming Soon: Large-File Sharing, Journal App, and More
We’re eagerly anticipating additional iOS 17 features, including the Journal app for reflecting on your day and secure large-file sharing through AirDrop, even when out of range. Stay tuned as we explore these features in detail once they become available.
Beyond these exciting additions, keeping your devices up-to-date with the latest software is always a smart move. While new operating systems may have minor bugs initially, the compelling reasons to upgrade, such as enhanced privacy and security features, make it a worthwhile choice.