Lock Screen Updates
Apple made further updates to the Lock Screen in iOS 17 with StandBy, a feature that turns an iPhone into a home hub when it’s charging and positioned in a horizontal orientation. The update also brings interactive widgets and other features.
The Messages app got a redesign that makes it less cluttered and simpler to use, plus it has a revamp to the stickers function. Emoji are now stickers and can be placed anywhere on an iMessage, and you can even create your own stickers from photos. A new Check In feature keeps you safe by allowing friends and family to track your trips when you’re alone.
Privacy and Security
There are multiple privacy and security improvements in iOS 17, including restricted access to the private browsing tab, the removal of tracking URLs, secure ways to share passwords, and more.
New safety-related features in iOS 17 range from sensitive content warnings that block unwanted nude photos to offline maps and critical reminders for medications.
Apple didn’t preview the promised next-generation CarPlay experience, but CarPlay did get SharePlay for allowing everyone in the car to contribute to the music, plus it includes improvements for locating EV charging stations.
In iOS 17, you no longer need to say “Hey Siri” to activate Siri, and you can instead just say “Siri.” Siri can also read web articles and recognise back to back requests.
Safari supports profiles for separating work browsing and home browsing (or any kind of browsing you want to segregate), plus there’s now a locked private browsing window that you can’t open without FaceTime or Touch ID authentication.
Phone and FaceTime
The Phone app and the FaceTime apps have some of the most notable changes in iOS 17. You can set up a Contact Poster that people see when you call them, and you can see the voicemails people are leaving in real time so you can pick up if it’s important. FaceTime supports audio and video messages so you can leave FaceTime voicemails too.
Autocorrect and the Keyboard
Apple is using a new machine learning algorithm for autocorrect so it’s smarter than before, plus it’s easier to correct the mistakes that it makes. Autofill is quicker, and stickers are now found in the same place as emoji so you can use them everywhere in the operating system.
AirDrop has a new NameDrop option for quickly sharing contact information with someone by touching two phones together, plus there are new proximity sharing options.
There are a couple of new features in AirPlay, including automatic AirPlay functionality with TVs and a smarter AirPlay function that puts the device you AirPlay to most often at the top of the AirPlay interface.
In the Weather app, Apple has added a new widget for viewing moon phases, plus an option to see yesterday’s weather in the 10-day forecast. There are several other small but useful changes, all of which are outlined in our iOS 17 Weather guide.
In the Health app, the major new feature is mood tracking, which is designed to help you catalog your emotions throughout the day and over a long period of time, determining what influences how you feel and how activities like exercise impact mood. The Health app has also expanded to iPad, and there are a few other new features.
In the Maps app, Apple has added offline maps for the first time, so you can download maps for the area that you’re in or visiting and have access even without a cellular or WiFi connection.
Photos and Camera
The iOS 17 Photos app is able to recognise pets in addition to people, correctly identifying different cats and dogs. Visual Look Up works with recipes, laundry symbols, and more, plus it can be used with videos. The Camera app has an improved interface for QR codes and new leveling tools.
In iOS 17, Apple has added long-requested features like collaborative playlists and crossfade for a non-stop music experience. There are also new CarPlay sharing tools, song credits, and more.
Notes and Reminders
The Notes and Reminders app in iOS 17 have a number of useful new features. You can link one note to another for the first time, so you can create wiki-style documents, and in Reminders, there’s new grocery sorting, custom sections, and a column view option.