Apple’s next major software update, iOS 17, is slated to launch this fall, and it promises a range of new features. A significant highlight of this update is the redesign of the phone app:
- The iconic red “End” button, previously situated in the center bottom of the screen, is shifting to the right.
- The “Mute” and “Speaker” buttons have swapped places, as have the “FaceTime” and “Keyboard” options.
- The feature to search for contacts seems to have merged with the add call option.
The Associated Press reached out to Apple regarding whether these call function designs are finalized, but a response is yet pending. As iOS 17 beta versions circulate, many users are getting a feel for these changes, some already pointing to the need for a little muscle memory adjustment.
Apple’s beta program permits select users to trial software before its public release. This preview phase lets Apple gather user feedback to refine its products before the official launch. Recently, Apple unveiled its second public beta for iOS 17, available for adventurous users to experience the early version of the software. However, experts often advise against installing beta versions on primary devices due to potential bugs.
Notable New Features
In addition to the redesigned call functions, iOS 17 boasts several new features:
A new proprietary app named “Journal” will offer personalized writing prompts. These suggestions are generated using user data, such as photos, location, music, and workouts.
Users can now view live transcriptions of voicemails as they are recorded, reminiscent of old-school answering machines. This feature operates via the iPhone’s neural engine to ensure user privacy.
A new addition to FaceTime allows users to record and send video messages, catering to situations where live calls might be missed.
The “Check In” feature in Messages lets users notify loved ones upon safely reaching their destinations. It possesses the ability to detect when users are off-course and can initiate a response check. Lack of user response triggers sharing of location details and phone status.
A considerable feature is the StandBy mode. When the iPhone is set on its side during MagSafe charging, the lock screen transforms into an information hub, similar to the Amazon Echo Show.
AirDrop & NameDrop
AirDrop is becoming more intuitive. Bringing two iPhones close allows instant sharing of Contact Posters, photos, and videos, or even beginning a shared activity with Share Play. This sharing feature, named “NameDrop,” ensures users have control over which contact details are shared.
iOS 17 introduces visually appealing Contact Posters, enhancing call screens with stylish fonts and images.
Additional iOS 17 Features
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference hinted at more additions to the iOS 17, which include:
- A voice trigger for Siri by merely saying “Siri”.
- The ability to download offline maps in the Maps app.
- New profiles for both Safari and passwords.
- The Mail app now auto-fetches one-time verification codes.
- The debut of interactive widgets was initially showcased during the iPadOS segment.
Release and Compatibility
The general release of iOS 17 is expected in September. Once released, the software update will be compatible with the iPhone XS, XR, and later versions, including the 2020 iPhone SE. In summary, iOS 17 is gearing up to offer iPhone users a fresh and enhanced experience. From the redesign of the phone app to the introduction of a myriad of innovative features, Apple continues to push the boundaries of smartphone capabilities. As the fall release date approaches, iPhone enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to.