What's new in iOS 17? A closer look at the latest Apple update
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What’s new in iOS 17? A closer look at the latest Apple update

What’s new in iOS 17? A closer look at the latest Apple update

The update makes iPhone even more personal and intuitive, says Apple

iOS 17

Apple has unveiled the iOS 17, which enhances the personalisation and intuitiveness of the iPhone through significant enhancements to communication applications.

It introduces StandBy, a new approach to enhancing the iPhone experience during charging, streamlining sharing via AirDrop, and implementing more intelligent input methods to enhance typing speed and accuracy.

Incoming calls get a major upgrade

The Phone app on iPhone has a significant update, making important calls even more prominent. Personalised Contact Posters offer a new way for users to customise their appearance when calling known contacts, even in third-party calling apps, with options for beautiful photo treatments, Memoji and eye-catching typography.

Meanwhile, Live Voicemail provides real-time transcription for voicemails, allowing users to pick up during the message. Powered by the Neural Engine, Live Voicemail transcription is kept private and on-device. Enabling Silence Unknown Callers directs unknown numbers to Live Voicemail, while spam calls are instantly declined if identified by carriers.

New ways to enjoy FaceTime

Users are now able to leave a video or audio message on FaceTime to capture exactly what they want to say when someone they call is not available. FaceTime calls get more expressive with Reactions such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, and laser beams that can be activated by simple gestures and are also available with supported third-party video conferencing apps, such as Zoom and Webex by Cisco.

FaceTime now features a connected experience with Apple TV 4K. To see friends and family on the big screen, users can use Continuity Camera to start a FaceTime call on iPhone and hand it off to Apple TV or initiate the FaceTime call directly from their Apple TV.

More ways to stay connected with Messages

Messages has been added with new features that make it easier to use and even more fun when connecting with the people who matter the most.

Search gets more powerful and precise with search filters; audio messages get automatically transcribed so users can read them in the moment or listen later; replying inline becomes as simple as swiping on a text bubble; and the new expandable menu provides easy access to all iMessage apps, giving Messages a sleeker look.

Users now have another way to customise their messages with an all-new stickers experience that adds the ability to create Live Stickers by lifting subjects from photos. Fun effects can be added to stickers, bringing them to life and giving users a way to be creative.

Check In, an important feature built into Messages, lets users notify a family member or friend when they have made it to their destination safely. After a user starts a Check In, their contact will automatically be notified as soon as they arrive. If they are not making progress toward their destination, useful information, such as the device’s location, battery level, and cell service status, is temporarily shared with the selected contact in a secure and private way.

StandBy useful while it’s charging

StandBy is a new full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to be viewed from a distance while iPhone is on its side and charging. StandBy is perfect on a desk, nightstand, or kitchen counter, and can be personalised to display a range of clock styles, favourite photos, or widgets, including Smart Stacks, which surface the right widgets at the right time.

StandBy also displays full-screen Live Activities, Siri results, incoming calls, and larger notifications. With the Always-On display, StandBy stays on to show useful information, and with Night Mode, it adapts to low light, so clocks, photos and widgets take on a beautiful red tone. When using a MagSafe charger, StandBy will remember a user’s preferred view for that MagSafe charging dock.

Easier sharing with NameDrop

NameDrop, a new AirDrop feature, lets users exchange contact information, including their Contact Poster, simply by bringing their iPhone devices together.

Comprehensive updates to autocorrect and dictation

Autocorrect has received a comprehensive update with a new transformer language model, a state-of-the-art on-device machine learning language model for word prediction — improving the experience and accuracy for users every time they type.

Sentence-level autocorrections can fix more types of grammatical mistakes, and the refreshed design better supports typing by temporarily underlining corrected words and allowing users to revert back with just a tap. Inline predictive text helps quickly finish sentences, while Dictation’s new speech recognition model brings improved accuracy.

Reflecting on life’s moments with Journal

Journal is a new iPhone app that helps users reflect on everyday moments and special events in their lives. To help inspire a user’s journal entry, personalised suggestions can be intelligently curated from a user’s recent activity, such as photos, people, places, workouts, and more, and scheduled notifications can help build a journaling habit.

With the ability to lock the app, the use of on-device processing, and end-to-end encryption, Journal is built to protect a user’s privacy and ensure no one — including Apple — can access a user’s entries.

Additional features in iOS 17

Safari’s latest update brings Profile support, keeping browsing elements like history, cookies, extensions, Tab Groups, and Favorites separate for distinct purposes such as work and personal use. Additionally, Private Browsing now enhances security by automatically locking when not in use, safeguarding against trackers and unauthorised device access.

In terms of password and passkey sharing, users can securely share passwords with trusted contacts via iCloud Keychain, benefitting from end-to-end encryption.

Meanwhile, the Health app introduces new mental health features, allowing users to track daily moods and momentary emotions, identify contributing factors, access depression and anxiety assessments, and discover local mental health resources.

To reduce eye strain, especially in children, the Screen Distance feature in Screen Time prompts users to move their devices farther away after extended close-up usage, thus helping mitigate myopia and digital eyestrain.

Apple Music now supports SharePlay in cars, allowing all passengers to control music from their own devices, even without an Apple Music subscription. Crossfade ensures smooth transitions between songs, and soon, users will collaborate on playlists.

AirPlay improves by learning user preferences and adding hotel TV support later this year. AirPods gain Adaptive Audio, Personalised Volume, Conversation Awareness, and more, enhancing the personal audio experience.

The Home app expands activity history viewing for various devices and introduces Matter-compatible lock features like tap to unlock and PIN codes. Grid Forecast helps users optimise energy usage.

Maps now supports offline maps and aids electric vehicle drivers with real-time charging information. It also helps users discover trails in US parks.

AirTags can now be shared with up to five people for location tracking. Grocery lists in Reminders are smarter, categorising items for convenience. Visual Look Up identifies objects in paused video frames.

Siri responds continuously after activation. Photos recognises individual cats and dogs in the People album.

Privacy updates include Communication Safety expanding beyond Messages, a Sensitive Content Warning feature, and on-device processing for enhanced security.

The App Store’s Today tab provides personalised app recommendations and curated content, enhancing app discovery.

Accessibility updates include Assistive Access, Live Speech, Personal Voice, and Point and Speak to aid users with various needs. These features make iPhone more inclusive and user-friendly for individuals with cognitive disabilities, speech impairments, or visual impairments.

Also read: Here’s a list of iPhones eligible for iOS 17 update

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