The latest Apple operating system, iOS 17, has arrived and unlocks a series of new features promising to make the iPhone experience more personal.
From the new Smart Screen feature to health functions, interactive graphics in a new Messages experience, and the Live Voice Mail feature in Apple Maps offline, these are some of the new features in iOS 17 unveiled during the iPhone 15 presentation.
The new operating system is compatible with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, as well as all iPhone models from 8 and onwards.
Of course, many users have gotten used to creating backups of important photos or files before downloading the latest software update, or they wait for the second version (likely in the coming weeks) if they fear potential errors with the first release of a next-generation mobile operating system.
And if you’re still hesitant to update your iPhone with the new software, let’s take a look at some of the highly anticipated new features that iPhone users can expect from iOS 17.
Video FaceTime Messages
One of the most impressive new features, called Live Voicemail, will transcribe a caller’s message in real-time, giving iPhone users the choice to ignore or accept a call while the other person is still on the line and leaving their message.
Unknown numbers will go directly to this Live Voicemail when you have the “Silence Unknown Callers” setting enabled.
Additionally, FaceTime will allow users to leave video messages if someone doesn’t pick up a video call.
With iOS 17, FaceTime calls will also become more expressive, with reactions like hearts, balloons, fireworks, and more effects that can be activated with simple gestures.
“Hey Siri”… without the “Hey”
If you were used to saying “Hey Siri” to greet Siri, just forget it! With the new update, you’ll only need to say “Siri” to activate Apple’s voice assistant, instead of “Hey Siri.”
Removing “Hey” from the Siri wake phrase aims to create a more natural way of activating the assistant. Additionally, Siri will be able to better handle back-to-back requests as soon as it’s activated.
For example, instead of asking, “Hey Siri, how tall is Shaquille O’Neal?” and “Hey Siri, how old is Shaquille O’Neal?” you should be able to simply say, “Siri, how tall is Shaquille O’Neal?” followed by “How old is he?”
NameDrop for Sharing Contact Info
The new NameDrop feature in iOS 17 makes it easier than ever to exchange contact information with a new friend. iPhone users can simply bring their iPhones close to each other, much like with AirDrop, to share contact names and photos.
Contact card updates are another new feature iPhone users have already been informed about. This allows iPhone users to design a custom image that will appear during calls. The update allows users to choose their own call recognition photo.
iPhone users will also be able to personalize their contact card’s “poster” with a photo or Memoji of their choice.
Autocorrect also gets a comprehensive update, with Apple saying it’s using a language transformer model—or “a state-of-the-art, on-device language model for word prediction,” according to the company.
This refreshed design better supports typing and offers auto-corrections at the sentence level that can correct more types of grammar mistakes. iPhone users will also receive in-line text prediction suggestions as they type, making adding whole words or completing sentences as easy as hitting the spacebar.
The new iOS keyboard will also learn your habits over time, like correcting words you often get wrong and leaving words you intentionally wrote alone.
New Lock Screen
iOS 17 also introduces StandBy, a new full-screen experience with information that can be displayed from a distance when the iPhone is on its side and charging.
For example, when you’re charging your iPhone on your nightstand or desk, you can customize the screen to include a clock, favorite photos, or the graphic elements you use the most.
Apple Maps Offline
Want to save battery or won’t have a connection where you’re going? With iOS 17, you can download Apple Maps for offline use.
These are just some of the exciting new features that iPhone users can look forward to with iOS 17.