iOS 17 is filled with new user-facing features
The WWDC keynote was jam-packed with news and didn’t even include everything coming to iOS 17. Here are all of the features we’ve found so far.
Apple flew through the software portion of its WWDC keynote to ensure there was space for the Apple Vision Pro and visionOS. So, although iOS 17 wasn’t the focus, it still held plenty of new features for users and developers.
Since iOS 14, Apple has focused heavily on device customization and social features, and that stays true for iOS 17. Many of the features shown deal with Messages, Contacts, FaceTime, and content sharing.
AppleInsider has begun scouring the edges of the iOS 17 beta to find every new feature, no matter how small. Here’s what we could discover from the keynote and the beta.
Many features centered around users and social interactions. Phone, Contacts, and FaceTime are tied closely together on iPhone, and new features affect them all.
- Create contact posters that take over the display when getting a call
- Share name and photo now includes contact poster sharing
- Contact cards now show posters at the top
- Users can designate preferred pronouns in Contact card
- Live Voicemail transcribes voicemails in real time so the user can decide to pick up
- Leave video messages when a call is missed
- Messages gains search filters
- Catch up for group messages lets users jump to the most recent unread message
- Swipe to reply to a message rather than long press
- Audio messages will now show a transcription
- Shared locations show up with a live map preview in messages
- Check In for iMessage gives loved ones the ability to know when someone has arrived home safe, as needed
- iMessage apps have been moved behind a “+” button
- Live Photo Stickers and animated stickers can be created and used across the system
- Manage iMessage apps via a dedicated section in Settings
New NFC features and AirDrop updates
Apple continues to open up uses for its NFC sensor on the iPhone. It was initially used for Apple Pay but now has many more functions, including HomeKey, introduced in iOS 15.
- NameDrop exchanges contact information by bringing devices close together
- AirDrop via NFC tap
- Background AirDrop over the internet if the local connection is lost
- Start SharePlay with NFC tap
- AirPlay learns user preferences for different devices
- AirPlay coming to hotel TVs
Sharing is caring
Collaboration and sharing content are getting an ever greater focus during WWDC. Long-requested features like AirTag sharing have finally been announced.
- Share passwords and passkeys with different groups
- Share AirTags with multiple users
- Create Apple Music Collaborative Playlists (expected in iOS 17.1)
- Passengers in driver’s contacts can join CarPlay SharePlay experience
Many smaller features were revealed across iOS 17. User privacy, health, and customization continue to be a focus for Apple.
- Autocorrect gets transformer language model
- Temporary codes sent via Mail app show up as a suggestion (similar to Messages)
- Settings app toggle enables automatic deletion of messages with temporary codes in Mail and Messages after the code is used
- New Ping My Watch button in Control Center
- Apple Journal app and suggestions API (expected in iOS 17.1)
- New mental health features in Health with mood logging
- StandBy brings nightstand mode to iPhone
- “Hey” has been removed from Siri wake command
- Safari gains Profiles, lock for Private Browsing, and advanced tracking and fingerprinting protections
- Offline Apple Maps
- Apple Home app gets activity log for previous 30 days
- Reminders gains a grocery sorting feature, new sorting methods
- Photos is better at recognizing people, now lets users tag their pets
- Apple Music now supports crossfade
- Adults can toggle Sensitive Content Warning to help prevent seeing unwanted nude images and videos
- Daily crosswords for News+ subscribers
Features come and go during the beta testing period of any operating system. Expect Apple to announce that at least some features will be delayed until a later release to improve stability.
Apple is expected to release iOS 17 to the public in September, about a week before the iPhone 15 release date. Any iPhone model newer than the iPhone 8 or iPhone X is compatible.