Introduction: Apple released its highly anticipated iOS 17 on Monday, marking its most significant software update of the year. This update is available to all iPhone users with devices from 2018 or later. Apple’s annual tradition of delivering a substantial operating system update alongside new iPhone releases ensures that users don’t need to purchase a new device to access the latest software innovations.
Key Highlights of iOS 17:
- Contact Posters: One standout feature is the introduction of “contact posters.” With iOS 17, iPhone users can select a picture and font to customize how their caller ID appears when they contact others. This feature allows for creative and personalized caller identification, similar to customizing a lock screen.
- Improved Autocorrect: Apple has enhanced its autocorrect function using a transformer-based language model, providing more accurate text suggestions. Users can now effortlessly complete sentences by tapping the space bar when a suggestion appears.
- Roadside Assistance: iOS 17 introduces a valuable roadside assistance feature that enables users with recent iPhones to call AAA in the U.S. through satellites, even in areas with no cellular service. This functionality relies on Apple’s satellite service called SOS and is compatible with last year’s iPhone 14 and this year’s iPhone 15.
- New iMessage Interface: The Messages app receives a makeover with a revamped interface. Hidden apps such as stickers and the camera are relocated to a menu on the left side of the screen, optimizing the user experience. Additionally, the Messages app can now automatically transcribe short audio messages, and text search within old messages is significantly improved.
- Stickers Evolution: While stickers have been a part of iPhones for a while, iOS 17 consolidates all sticker features into a new software component accessible through the redesigned iMessage interface. This new “experience” utilizes machine learning to create stickers, making it easier to create custom stickers from photos.
- Automatic “Got Home Safe” Notifications: A feature called “Check In” offers automatic notifications to friends and family, indicating whether you’ve safely reached your destination or if you’ve pressed a designated button after a set period.
- Standby Dock Mode: iPhones placed horizontally on a magnetic MagSafe dock transform into an informative dashboard. This mode displays the time, photos, upcoming appointments, Widgets, and even live activity tracking, such as monitoring an Uber Eats delivery.
- Offline Maps: Users can now save portions of Apple Maps for offline use, ensuring navigation remains reliable even without an internet connection.
- Simplified “Siri”: The voice assistant no longer requires users to say “hey” before addressing “Siri,” streamlining the interaction.
- Live Voicemails: Incoming calls can be sent directly to voicemail via a lock screen button. Voicemails left by callers are transcribed in real time, enabling users to decide whether to retrieve them.
- Enhanced Two-Factor Authentication: Users of Apple’s Mail app and Safari browser benefit from a feature that conveniently displays login codes sent via email above the keyboard. Codes received via text messages are automatically deleted after use, eliminating unnecessary notifications.
- Password-Protected Private Browsing: The on-phone private browsing mode, which doesn’t save web history, can now be password-protected and unlocked using Apple’s Face ID.
- Digital Business Card: Sharing contact information with other iPhone users becomes effortless through Apple’s AirDrop feature. Bumping two iPhones together allows the exchange of specific phone numbers, contact posters, or email addresses with user consent.
How to Install iOS 17:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap “General.”
- Select “Software Update.” You may see a drop-down menu for choosing iOS 17 or a beta version if you’ve explored pre-release software. Your iPhone will automatically restart once the update is ready.
iOS 17 promises to enhance the iPhone experience with numerous improvements and new features, ensuring that Apple’s commitment to innovation continues to benefit its users.