The full release date of iOS 17 has not been officially released yet, but it is expected to come later this year alongside the new iPhone 15 models. Those who are excited to try out the new features can already access the first public beta of iOS 17, which was made available on July 12. To join the beta program and download the software, users can follow Apple’s instructions. The upcoming iOS update will be compatible with the following iPhones:
iOS 17: Supported devices
iOS 17: AirDrop adds NameDrop
Apple has introduced a fresh AirDrop feature named “NameDrop,” enabling iPhone and Apple Watch users to effortlessly exchange contact information. By simply holding your iPhone close to someone else’s device, you can quickly share your contact details. NameDrop offers the flexibility to select specific phone numbers and email addresses you want to share with the recipient. Additionally, you have the option to send them your Contact Poster, providing a comprehensive overview of your contact information. This convenient feature streamlines contact sharing and enhances connectivity between Apple users.
- Proximity Sharing – When you hold your iPhone close to another iPhone, you can trigger an AirDrop file transfer, facilitating the sharing of photos and other documents with someone who is nearby. This convenient feature makes it easy and efficient to exchange files with individuals in close proximity.
- Internet Transfers – Coming later this year, Internet Transfers will allow you to initiate an AirDrop transfer using the proximity feature and seamlessly complete it via iCloud, even if you move away from the other person. This functionality proves especially useful for transferring larger shared files. It’s important to note that both participants must be signed into iCloud for this feature to work effectively. With this improvement, sharing files between devices will become more flexible and convenient, enhancing the overall user experience.
- SharePlay Initiation – By holding two iPhones together, you can effortlessly activate SharePlay, enabling you to enjoy music, watch movies, or play games with someone who is right next to you, all while using your individual devices. This exciting feature brings a whole new level of interactive and immersive experiences, fostering seamless entertainment and social connections between users in close proximity.
iOS 17: StandBy mode
Introducing StandBy, a new iPhone Lock Screen mode designed to activate when your iPhone is charging with a MagSafe, Qi, or Lightning charger in a landscape (horizontal) orientation. Similar to the Apple Watch’s Nightstand mode, StandBy transforms your iPhone into a practical information hub when it’s not in use.
With StandBy, your iPhone can display a range of useful features, including the time, a calendar, favorite photos curated with the Memories feature, incoming notifications, music playback controls, Siri responses with rich visuals, Live Activities, the weather, and more, all supported by widgets. You have the flexibility to swipe left or right to access different options and long-press for customisation.
Personalisation is key with StandBy—you can choose the appearance of the time display, select which photos you want to see, and decide which widgets to showcase on the StandBy screen. All your Lock Screen widgets are available, ensuring that your StandBy hub caters precisely to your preferences and needs. While StandBy is optimised for devices with an always-on display, it is also accessible with a simple tap on iPhones that do not support always-on technology. This innovative feature enhances your iPhone’s functionality, providing valuable information at a glance while your device is not actively in use and charging in a horizontal position.
iOS 17: Accessibility features
The latest text-to-speech tool boasts significant enhancements, including the option to train your iPhone to have a digitised copy of your voice. Moreover, a point-and-speak feature has been integrated into the Magnifier app for effortless usability. To make navigation more user-friendly, a new simplified user interface (UI) has been introduced, ensuring a smoother and more intuitive experience for all users. These updates reflect Apple’s commitment to continuously improving accessibility and user satisfaction on their devices.
iOS 17: Siri
AI has been a significant topic in the news recently, and there has been speculation about what Siri upgrades Apple may have in store. While not a lot of changes, some are indeed on the way. To start with, Siri can now comprehend back-to-back commands without the need for a repetition of the wake-up command. Moreover, the wake-up command has changed from “Hey Siri” to simply “Siri.”
A more recent discovery is that messaging via Siri has been made easier to edit. You can now modify the text of your message, the contact you’re sending it to, and the app you’re using, all within the preview window.
In iOS 17, Siri also introduces bilingual language support for the first time. Alongside English, Siri will now be able to understand a few Indic languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Telegu, Kannada, and Marathi. This development showcases Apple’s commitment to improving Siri’s capabilities and making it more accessible and versatile for a wider audience.
iOS 17: Share AirTags with others
iOS 17 introduces a highly-requested AirTag feature – the option to share an AirTag with another person. Until now, AirTags could only be owned and used by a single individual, but that’s changing in the iOS 17 update. In the Find My app, you can select an AirTag and choose the “Share This AirTag” option to invite one of your contacts. The person you invite will have the ability to see the AirTag’s location, just like you can. This feature proves useful when lending an item with an AirTag to a friend or family member, as it eliminates the annoying tracking alerts that may occur. For example, if you share a car with an AirTag attached, it won’t send alerts about an unknown AirTag when the other person is using the car. You can invite anyone to view an AirTag and can also remove the person’s access at any time, making temporary sharing possible. This sharing capability also extends to Find My-enabled items, allowing those with access to an item or an AirTag to track its location and play a sound when needed. This update enhances the Find My app’s functionality, providing added convenience and control over shared items.
In conclusion, iOS 17 brings a host of exciting updates and features to enhance the Apple user experience. From the ability to share AirTags with others for seamless tracking and connectivity, to innovative Proximity Sharing through AirDrop for effortless file transfers with nearby devices, the new iOS version truly aims to improve convenience and user interaction.
The addition of StandBy mode transforms the iPhone Lock Screen into an information hub, displaying essential details and widgets for quick access. The improved text-to-speech tool, simplified user interface, and bilingual language support for Siri further demonstrate Apple’s commitment to accessibility and user satisfaction.
As we eagerly await the official release date of iOS 17 later this year, the first public beta already offers a taste of what’s to come. With compatibility across a range of iPhones, including the much-anticipated iPhone 15 models, users can look forward to a smoother, more personalised, and connected iOS experience.
In a world where technology is ever-evolving, iOS 17 showcases Apple’s dedication to pushing boundaries and staying ahead in innovation. So, get ready to explore and embrace the enhancements in iOS 17, and witness how these updates seamlessly integrate into your daily life, making your iPhone experience even more enjoyable and productive.