Apple recently unveiled the iOS 17 Public Beta, providing users with a glimpse of the upcoming iPhone software. This update, announced during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, brings significant changes to calling, texting, and information viewing through updates to FaceTime, Messages, and the phone app. One of the standout features is the StandBy mode, which transforms the lock screen into a mini hub similar to the Amazon Echo Show. Although you can download the iOS 17 public beta, it is advisable not to install it on your primary iPhone due to its beta status.
Like its predecessor, iOS 16, which introduced various features throughout smaller software updates, iOS 17 is expected to follow a similar pattern, possibly launching just before the rumored iPhone 15 release.
Contact Posters: Eye-catching Contact Cards
iOS 17 introduces customizable Contact Posters for your iPhone’s contact cards, making them more visually appealing. These posters combine beautiful contact photos and emojis with sleek fonts, enhancing the visual experience when receiving calls or communicating through other services on your phone. Personalizing your Contact Poster is similar to customizing your lock screen – simply choose a photo, font, and color to create your unique design.
Easier AirDrop and NameDrop
iOS 17 brings significant improvements to AirDrop, making it more user-friendly. Sharing Contact Posters, photos, videos, and starting shared activities using Share Play has never been simpler – just bring your iPhone close to another device. Moreover, Apple introduces “NameDrop,” which allows you to share your Contact Poster’s contact information with someone new. The feature works between iPhones and with an Apple Watch, making contact sharing effortless and reminiscent of the early days of “bumping” contacts on iPhones.
Standby: Transforming Your iPhone Charging Experience
One of the standout additions in iOS 17 is the Standby mode, enhancing the iPhone charging experience. When your iPhone is charging via MagSafe and placed on its side, you’ll enjoy a full-screen display featuring glanceable information, including time, photos, widgets, and Live Activities. This feature resembles smart home devices like the Amazon Echo Show, providing useful information while your phone is charging. Swiping to the side reveals your favorite photos or moments, with iOS 17 automatically shuffling images to find the best fit for the screen. Standby also supports glanceable widgets, such as weather updates, Apple Home controls, and third-party widgets, further enhancing the charging experience.
Introducing the Journal App: Personalized Writing Inspiration
iOS 17 introduces the Journal app, a unique Apple application that offers personalized writing suggestions. Based on information from your iPhone, such as photos, location, music, and workouts, the app curates prompts to inspire your writing. You can select moments, like “morning visit to Ocean Beach,” and start writing. The app also allows you to schedule notifications as reminders to write and flag important moments for later reflection.
Live Voicemail and FaceTime Video Messages
With iOS 17, voicemail becomes more interactive with Live Voicemail, which provides real-time transcriptions of incoming messages as the sender speaks. This feature allows you to decide whether to answer the call or not, similar to the Google Pixel’s Call Screen.
Additionally, iOS 17 introduces the ability to record video messages in FaceTime, enabling users to document and share essential moments with others, even if they miss the call.
Messages Check-In: Enhanced Location Sharing
Apple expands and simplifies location sharing through Messages with the new Check-In feature. Check-In allows you to notify a loved one when you safely arrive at your destination. Whether you’re walking home after dark or going for a morning run, you can start a Check-In with a family member or friend, and once you reach your destination, it automatically informs them. If an unexpected event occurs and you’re not near your destination, Check-In can recognize this and provide automatic updates, including your current location, route taken, iPhone’s battery level, and cell service status – all securely end-to-end encrypted.
Enhanced Messages Features
iOS 17 brings several updates to the Messages app, including a visual overhaul of iMessage apps, improved search functionality with filters, and transcriptions for audio messages. Users can read transcriptions of audio messages directly in the Messages app. Additionally, a “catch up arrow” allows users to jump to the first unread message in a conversation, and inline replies are now faster, with the ability to swipe to reply to any message bubble.
Other Notable iOS 17 Features
In addition to the features highlighted during the keynote, iOS 17 includes several other notable additions and improvements, such as triggering Siri by simply saying “Siri” instead of “Hey, Siri,” downloading offline maps in the Maps app, new Safari and password profiles, auto retrieval of one-time verification codes from the Mail app, and interactive widgets.
iOS 17 is set to release in the fall and will be compatible with iPhone XS, XR, and newer models, including the 2020 iPhone SE.
Overall, iOS 17 offers an exciting array of new features and improvements, enhancing the user experience and setting new standards for iPhone software. As Apple continues to refine and innovate, iOS 17 promises to deliver an exceptional mobile operating system for Apple enthusiasts worldwide.