Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has always been a platform where they reveal their latest innovations. This year, we had an exciting glimpse into the future, with a preview of what we can expect from the highly anticipated iOS 17 upgrade. Despite early rumors suggesting a feature-light release in comparison to the packed iOS 16, the previews showcased a myriad of new and improved functionalities set to roll out later this year.
Image Credits: Apple
Unveiling Top New Features and Upgrades
From the much-talked-about FaceTime’s video voicemail to the revolutionary Standby mode, iOS 17 is set to bring about a host of noteworthy changes:
FaceTime: With the new upgrade, FaceTime users will be able to leave video voicemails. Additionally, the Live voicemail feature transcribes messages in real-time, giving you an instant overview of who’s calling.
Check-in feature: This ensures family and friends are aware when you’ve made it home safely. In case you hit a hurdle, it can also provide information such as your battery level and the route you’ve taken.
AirDrop & NameDrop: The existing AirDrop feature is getting a supercharge with NameDrop, which allows you to share information, files, and kickstart SharePlay experiences by merely bumping two iPhones together.
Journal app: Set to launch this year, the Journal app provides personalized suggestions and writing prompts to help you document your activities and experiences.
Standby mode: This turns your iPhone into a smart display, providing important information at a glance.
Siri: The “Hey Siri” command will be replaced by “Siri”, and the AI assistant will now understand back-to-back commands without needing the wake word each time.
Apple Maps: The new update will allow for offline downloads, ensuring navigation without a live internet connection.
iOS 17: Beta Access, Supported Devices and Possible Release Date
While we cannot pinpoint the exact release date, past trends suggest that we can expect the full version of iOS 17 to be released in mid-September 2023, a few days before the arrival of the new iPhone 15 lineup. Meanwhile, Apple offers developer and public betas for those eager to test out the new software.
As for device compatibility, the iPhone 8 and X, both over five years old, will not support iOS 17. However, the devices confirmed to get iOS 17 include iPhone 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, Xs, XR, and SE versions from 2020 and 2022.
iOS 17: Improvements to Phone, Messages and FaceTime
There are several upgrades lined up for these core iPhone apps. The Phone app introduces personalized contact posters, similar to designing an iOS lock screen, providing control over how you’re represented on others’ devices.
One major upgrade to look forward to is Live Voicemail, where your phone listens and transcribes voicemail messages in real-time. This allows you to understand why someone is calling without having to pick up the phone.
There are also several accessibility and safety features being added to Messages. With new search filters and automatic transcription for voice messages, the iOS 17 upgrade is set to make the experience much easier for users.
iOS 17: Enhancements to Autocorrect and AirDrop
Finally, iOS 17 brings much-awaited improvements to Autocorrect. The spell-checking feature will use a transformer model for better language prediction, leading to enhanced autocorrection. For dictation fans, there’s good news too! The new speech recognition model is set to significantly improve dictation’s overall accuracy, leading to less editing.
In addition, AirDrop is getting an upgrade with a new feature called NameDrop. This feature allows you to share files, information, and initiate SharePlay experiences by merely bringing two iPhones close to each other.
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iOS 17: Siri and Accessibility Features
While AI has been a major topic in recent times, Apple has been rather quiet about Siri at the WWDC. However, we do know that Siri will now understand back-to-back commands without repeating the wake-up command.
As for accessibility features, Apple has announced ahead of WWDC 2023 several additions. These include an improved text-to-speech tool, the ability to train your iPhone to have a digitized copy of your voice, a point-and-speak feature for the Magnifier app, and a new simplified UI for easier navigation.
iOS 17: Sharing AirTags
Responding to user requests, iOS 17 is allowing users to share AirTags with each other. You can now select an AirTag in the Find My App and choose “Share This AirTag” to allow another person to see the location of the tag without getting tracking alerts.
iOS 17: CarPlay Features
While the much-anticipated overhaul for CarPlay isn’t part of the iOS 17 update, Apple is introducing two key features. SharePlay will allow car passengers to control the infotainment system, even if their iPhone isn’t connected to it. In addition, Apple Maps will display real-time electric charger information, including network and car type, to help you find the most suitable charger.
iOS 17: Other Updates
Other updates for iOS 17 include offline downloads for Apple Maps and the ability for Apple Photos to recognize and tag your pets. Photos will also feature a “One-tap crop button” for quicker editing. Developer tools for a potential pet-tracking camera mode have been introduced, paving the way for future possibilities.
Moreover, iOS 17 also contains references to new MagSafe accessories. While there’s no specific information yet, it seems likely that we will see these new peripherals alongside the iPhone 15 later in 2023.
Overall, the iOS 17 upgrade promises a host of enhancements that aim to streamline user experience and increase functionality. As we anticipate the full release, these insights should provide a snapshot of what’s to come. Stay tuned for more updates as we approach the launch date.