Apple releases iOS 17 with upgrades across Messages, new AirDrop capabilities, Contact Posters, interactive widgets, more
Apple has today released iOS 17, bringing a wide range of improvements to the iPhone, including upgrades across the FaceTime, Messages and Phone apps, new AirDrop capabilities, StandBy, a new way to view glanceable information when iPhone is set down and charging, new interactive widgets, and more.
iOS 17 introduces new Contact Posters — a feature that allows users to customize how they appear on other iPhones, bringing a completely new look to incoming calls. Users can select photos or Memoji, as well as eye-catching typography and font colors, which will appear on the iPhone of whoever they call.
Live Voicemail, a new feature in the Phone app, gives users the ability to see real-time transcription as someone leaves a voicemail, and the opportunity to pick up while the caller is leaving their message.
FaceTime now supports audio and video messages so when users call someone who is not available, they can share a message that can be viewed later.
FaceTime is adding a new feature called Reactions, which adds graphics such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain, and more. The new effects can be activated through simple gestures, and third-party video calling apps can take advantage of them as well.
In an update to Apple TV 4K, FaceTime now extends to theTV in the home. Powered by Continuity Camera, users can initiate a video call directly from Apple TV, or start the call on iPhone and then hand it off to Apple TV, to see friends and family on their television.
With iOS 17, Apple has added a new expandable menu that can be accessed with a tap to display iMessage apps gives Messages a sleeker look. Search has been updated with search filters and a new catch-up arrow has been added to indicate where the user last left off in the conversation.
iOS 17 introduces Check In, an important feature for when a user wants to notify a family member or friend that they have made it to their destination safely. After a user initiates a Check In, their friend or family member will automatically be notified as soon as the user arrives. If they are not making progress toward their destination, useful information will be temporarily shared with the selected contact, such as the device’s location, battery level, and cell service status.
Apple has added new ways to share with AirDrop in iOS 17. NameDrop, a new feature in iOS 17, allows users to easily share contact information by bringing their iPhones together, or by bringing an iPhone and Apple Watch together. With the same gesture, users can also share content or start SharePlay to listen to music, watch a movie, or play a game while in close proximity between iPhone devices.
iOS 17 introduces StandBy, giving users a full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to be viewed from a distance when iPhone is on its side and charging.
StandBy is designed to be used on a nightstand, kitchen counter, or desk, and can be personalized to display a range of clock styles, favorite photos, or widgets, including Smart Stacks, which surface the right widgets at the right time. With support for Live Activities, Siri, incoming calls, and larger notifications, StandBy makes iPhone more useful when viewed at a distance.
When charging with MagSafe, StandBy remembers a user’s preferred view.
Other new features include Health app upgrades, offline maps, AirTag can be shared with up to five other people, allowing friends and family to keep track of an item in Find My, Apple Music introduces Collaborative Playlists, and more.
iOS 17 is compatible with the iPhone Xs and later, dropping support for the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone XR which were compatible with iOS 16 announced last year.