Apple today announced iOS 17 for iPhone at WWDC 2023. The software update features a brand new Journal app, a StandBy view, a redesigned Messages app and a new NameDrop feature with AirDrop, as well as improvements to Siri, Keyboard, Stickers and more.
Features of iOS 17
“With iOS 17, we’ve made iPhone more personal and intuitive by deeply addressing the features we all rely on every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “Phone, FaceTime and messaging are central to how we communicate, and this release is packed with updates that we think our users will enjoy. We’ve also reimagined AirDrop with new ways to share, autocorrect gets even better, and we’re introducing all-new experiences with Journal and Standby, and more. We can’t wait for everyone to try it.”
Here’s a quick look at all of the new iOS 17 announcements from WWDC 2023.
Contact poster and live voicemail
iOS 17 introduces personalized contact posters, allowing users to set custom information for others to see when they receive a call. Available in both the Phone and Contacts apps, this feature adds a personal touch to interactions and is reminiscent of lock screen customization.
The update also introduces Live Voicemail, a new feature that gives users the ability to see the real transcript when a caller leaves a voicemail. This provides users with an opportunity to pick up the call if they consider voicemail important. Note that spam calls will not show up as live voicemail, but will be automatically rejected by the iPhone. Live voicemail is processed on the device and is completely secure.
FaceTime gets audio and video responses
With iOS 17, users can send voice and video messages via FaceTime to share special moments or messages with contacts who are currently unavailable. These messages can be retrieved at a later time and add a new dimension to FaceTime interactions.
In addition, the introduction of reactions makes FaceTime calls more lively and animated. Users can express their emotions using a variety of interactive effects such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain and more. These effects can be easily activated with simple gestures, enhancing the visual experience of video calls. In addition, third-party video calling apps can use these effects to offer their users a more immersive calling experience.
In an exciting update to Apple TV 4K, FaceTime now extends its reach to the largest screen in the home. Thanks to the power of Continuity Camera, users can start video calls directly from their Apple TV or seamlessly transfer an ongoing call from their iPhone to the TV. This means users can now enjoy conversations with friends and family on the big screen, making it a shared experience for everyone in the room. With the inclusion of Center Stage, the video call framing is automatically adjusted, ensuring users remain perfectly positioned even as they move around the room.
The Messages app receives several notable improvements. Users can now enjoy a more precise search experience with narrower terms for accurate results.
Swipe to reply makes it even easier to reply to specific message bubbles. Audio messages are transcribed so that voice content can be read effortlessly. Location sharing is now consistent with conversations for seamless coordination. The new check-in feature allows users to notify their friends and family when they arrive safely.
iOS 17 introduces NameDrop, a handy way to share phone numbers and email addresses between nearby iPhones. Media sharing has also been redesigned so that long broadcasts can continue over the Internet. Additionally, the SharePlay API now integrates with AirDrop, enabling a seamless sharing experience during collaborative media sessions.
The keyboard in iOS 17 uses a “Transformer language model” to improve predictions and provide more accurate autocorrect suggestions. The keyboard also learns from user input to understand context and personalize predictions accordingly. A dictation upgrade further enhances the typing experience.
The new Journal app in iOS 17 aims to encourage reflection and gratitude among iPhone users through the power of journaling. Leveraging on-device machine learning, Journal provides personalized suggestions based on recent activity like photos, workouts, and more, so you can start a journal effortlessly.
Scheduled notifications help establish a consistent journaling habit. Strict data protection measures such as app lock, on-device processing and end-to-end encryption keep user input safe. Additionally, developers can leverage the Journaling Suggestions API to extend their own apps with journaling prompts.
iOS 17 introduces a new full-screen experience called StandBy, designed to display information in landscape orientation. Users can personalize sleep mode to show data like clocks, photos, widgets, weather, home controls, and even third-party widgets. Standby also supports live activities and provides dynamic and interactive content. Siri integrates seamlessly with Standby and has a dedicated landscape UI.
With iOS 17, Siri no longer requires “Hey Siri” for voice activation. It can also run consecutive commands one after another without the user having to activate it again.
iOS 17 will be available in the fall along with the announcement of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. The first iOS 17 developer beta has been released for developers and a public beta will be available in July.