iOS 17: Delightful Features, Intuitive Improvements and More, Coming Soon

For me, almost every little thing in iOS 17 falls into certainly one of 4 classes that I made up: pleasant options, intuitive enhancements, private additions and useful instruments. These sound like Jeopardy classes, however all of them add as much as an iOS that is a serious high quality of life enchancment.

One such pleasant function greets me once I’m seated at my house desk. It is my iPhone 14 Professional, working iOS 17, on a MagSafe charger. The display screen exhibits a large clock that every now and then fades into an alert for a brand new message from my buddy. I can swipe up and down to vary the type of the clock between one that appears stylish to 1 that is extra inventive and one other that is straight out of the ’80s. Apple calls this display screen StandBy, and I like it. StandBy is totally different from utilizing your telephone’s always-on show. It transforms the iPhone right into a bedside clock or a wise show displaying images and widgets. Its versatility is compelling as a result of it feels up to date and appears extra like a miniature iPad than my iPhone.

The brand new function is certainly one of many additions coming in iOS 17 that Apple introduced final month and is now out there to the general public in beta. Although iOS 17 was largely overshadowed by Apple’s Imaginative and prescient Professional headset announcement, there are a lot of new options value your time and a focus on this upcoming iPhone replace. The software program is in beta, and also you should not set up it onto your major iPhone, since you may expertise the occasional bug or glitch.

Like the previous couple of years of Apple software program updates, iOS 17 does not alter your iPhone in main methods and as a substitute provides a bunch of customizations and options you possibly can select to make use of or simply plain ignore. There are nonetheless options I would prefer to see Apple add, like an onscreen quantity button for the iPhone’s digital Apple TV distant. The ultimate model of iOS 17 will probably be out this fall, seemingly when the rumored iPhone 15 is introduced. For a extra complete deep dive into every little thing that is new in iOS 17, take a look at my earlier story right here.


Watch this: We Tried iOS 17 for Ourselves and We’re Impressed So Far

iOS 17 pleasant options

The iPhone has plenty of options, apps and utilities which can be simply plain enjoyable to make use of. And iOS 17 provides much more to what’s already out there.

With iOS 17, your iPhone has a house display screen, a lock display screen, an at all times on show (when you have a 14 Professional) and that new StandBy display screen. Once I flip my iPhone on its facet whereas charging, the StandBy display screen robotically pops up in lieu of the always-on show. It is mainly a large clock that may additionally present images, a calendar, widgets and notifications. It is good for a nightstand, desk or kitchen counter.

I have been utilizing the Belkin Enhance Cost Professional 2-in-1 stand, however any bodily stand that fees through MagSafe ought to work.

The iPhone on a MagSafe charger in StandBy mode

When the iPhone is on a MagSafe charger and in a horizontal place, StandBy mode kicks in.

John Kim/CNET

I like how every little thing flows in StandBy mode. If I obtain a notification whereas the clock is on display screen, my telephone shows a easy animation that transitions between the 2. If I wish to change up the StandBy display screen, I can swipe as much as choose a unique type or format. It could actually show my images and reside actions, too. When it is darkish (like once you’re sleeping) the StandBy display screen turns crimson, harking back to a crimson mild in a darkroom for creating images.

One other pleasant function is Stickers in Messages. Although message stickers aren’t new, iOS 17 brings many extra of them, together with emoji stickers. These are helpful once you wish to be extra particular together with your expression fairly than simply responding to a message with a Tapback thumbs up, thumbs down, coronary heart, chortle, query mark or exclamation factors.

iMessage apps are now not situated above the keyboard. As a substitute, they now have their very own devoted menu, which is the place you may discover the Stickers part. Faucet the plus signal button on the underside left of the Messages app to drag it up, after which choose Stickers. A Stickers tray pops up with tabs for all of your present iMessage stickers, one other tab for emoji stickers and, my favourite, one for custom-made stickers. And it is the custom-made stickers which can be actually wonderful.

A hand making a custom sticker on an iPhone from a photo of a cat

Now you can flip your picture right into a sticker in Messages.

John Kim/CNET

To make a brand new one, I tapped the Stickers drawer’s plus signal, chosen a photograph and tapped the Add Sticker button. The topic of my picture was then lifted out of the image and reworked right into a sticker, whereas the unique picture remained unchanged. From there, I may add an impact instantly or edit the sticker later. And it is now saved in my Stickers’ drawer for future use.

You need to use a reside picture to make an animated sticker, which could now be the very best a part of Stickers. That is addictive, and I foresee a future the place there are lots of, hundreds, hundreds of thousands(?) of custom-made animated stickers being despatched between iPhones. I exaggerate, however you may see when you attempt it. I’ve undoubtedly bombarded most of my mates with a bunch of those already.

iOS 17 intuitive enhancements

A fingers swipes left on a message on the iPhone

Swipe to answer makes direct responses to a message bubble straightforward and quick.

John Kim/CNET

In iOS 17, Apple improved plenty of present options and added plenty of new instruments that make utilizing your iPhone extra intuitive and simpler. One in all these is the power to swipe to answer within the Messages app. Inline replies are nothing new, and so they undoubtedly assist preserve group threads from turning into a large number. However having the ability to swipe to answer a particular message in iOS 17 is one thing I am unable to consider we’ve not had earlier than. It appears fairly apparent.

Then there are house display screen widgets, which have been out there on the iPhone since 2020. To date, widgets have primarily been helpful for displaying glanceable data or serving as app shortcuts. With iOS 17, widgets turn into interactive. I can begin or pause a podcast straight from the widget, and the identical goes for music. Proper now within the beta, a lot of the interactive widgets are Apple’s personal apps, so I am excited to see how non-Apple apps benefit from the perform. Listed below are the apps which have an interactive widget aspect thus far:

  • Apple Music.
  • Apple Podcasts.
  • Safari.
  • House.
  • Contacts.
  • Books.
  • Apple Information.

iOS 17 private additions

A hand editing a contact poster on an iPhone

You possibly can customise a number of variations of your contact poster.

John Kim/CNET

Apple added plenty of new instruments and utilities on iOS 17 that make your iPhone extra of a mirrored image of your type. One in all these is contact posters, which mainly flip your mundane contact card right into a mini film poster. You possibly can choose from a number of totally different templates, like ones that present your initials, a Memoji or a photograph of your selecting. This jogs my memory a number of the lock display screen customizations we bought in iOS 16. Your contact card can have a contact poster and a contact picture. And you’ll share your contact poster utilizing Title Drop, which is a cross between AirDrop and Apple Pay (sans the bank cards). I can hover my iPhone over another person’s (much like the way you set off Apple Pay at a contactless cost terminal) and share my contact poster.

I can choose the particular telephone quantity or e mail deal with I wish to share when Title Drop is triggered, which could be useful if I am sharing my contact particulars with knowledgeable colleague and do not wish to hand over my private e mail deal with. And there is an possibility to simply obtain another person’s contact data, and never share your personal.

Title Drop helps you to share your contact poster with one other iPhone just by bringing them shut collectively.

Patrick Holland]CNET

There’s additionally one other private addition, aimed toward individuals with pets. The Pictures app can now establish and discover pet images higher. If I sort the phrase “cat” into the Pictures search discipline, it pulls up all of the images of cats on my telephone. Finding pet images is not precisely new, however apparently it really works higher in IOS 17. For the file, I had 562 cat images on my telephone, which appears like loads, however I might’ve thought there have been extra.

Additionally, once you pull up a photograph of a cat, there is a new Visible Lookup icon with a tiny cat silhouette on it. There is a comparable icon for canine images, too. The brand new icon does not add any performance however it’s only a good contact.


You possibly can lastly select which images present up on the homescreen with the Pictures widget for albums.

John Kim/CNET

There’s now a Pictures widget for albums. When you add the widget to your own home display screen, you possibly can edit it to point out images from a particular album. Just like the swipe to answer in Messages, why hasn’t this been on my iPhone prior to now?

iOS 17 useful instruments


Stay Voicemail is a nifty new call-screening software for the iPhone.

John Kim/CNET

Over 16 years, the iPhone has advanced from being three revolutionary gadgets in a single, as outlined by Steve Jobs, into an important a part of our every day lives that serves dozens of various roles, like displaying you the climate, letting you hail a journey or letting you pay for a meal. iOS 17 provides much more helpful instruments, and some of the conspicuous is reside voicemail transcription; mainly a modern-day equal of screening telephone calls utilizing an answering machine within the ’80s, ’90s and early-2000s.

As somebody who opinions each iPhones and Android, it jogs my memory of the Name Display screen function on Google Pixel telephones. Primarily, when somebody calls and begins to go away you a message, you may see a reside transcription of the voicemail because the particular person speaks. You possibly can decide up the decision to speak to them at any time. I do not get a ton of telephone calls from individuals I do not know, however this may go a great distance towards minimizing the anxiousness that rises once I get a name from an unfamiliar quantity.

And iPhone with a long Messages thread

Probably the greatest enhancements can be one of many smallest. If there is a lengthy thread of latest messages, a tiny arrow will seem on the precise facet, which when tapped brings you to the primary unread message in a collection.

John Kim/CNET

Messages will get a brand new arrow button that allows you to immediately soar to the primary unread messages in a dialog. It is nice for lengthy threads the place that you must catch up quick. Simply faucet the arrow to go to the primary unread message.

After which there’s Test In, which lets a buddy know robotically once you’ve arrived at a vacation spot safely. It is location sharing taken to a different stage, and I discovered it straightforward to make use of. In my exams, I discovered it easy, particularly because it’s proper there in that new Messages pop-up menu.

Check In on the iPhone

Test In is a streamlined option to share your location with a buddy to make sure you get to your vacation spot safely.

Patrick Holland/CNET

iOS 17 arrives in full this fall

iOS 17 nonetheless has a month or two of testing and tweaks earlier than it is absolutely prepared for prime time, however I am impressed with it thus far. Like earlier iOS releases, there are much more options, instruments and enhancements which can be nonetheless ready to be found. However when you have an previous iPhone mendacity round (iOS 17 works with the iPhone XR and newer), or do not thoughts coping with a number of glitches right here and there, it is value downloading the general public beta. iOS 17 pushes your iPhone expertise ahead not by being a radical reimagining of telephone software program, however fairly by refining and increasing on plenty of options we already get pleasure from.

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