On Monday, September 18, Apple will make iOS 17 available to the general public. I’ve been beta-testing it for the past two months, and this is what I’ve discovered.
On Monday, September 18, you may download iOS 17, regardless of whether you’re upgrading to one of the new iPhone 15 models or keeping your five-year-old iPhone XS. Before releasing beta versions of the software, Apple unveiled the newest iPhone operating system at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
For the past two months, I’ve been evaluating beta versions of iOS 17 on two different iPhone models—a more recent iPhone 14 Pro and an older iPhone XR—to determine how the most recent OS would affect most users of compatible devices. Your iPhone now has a ton of fresh and practical features thanks to the OS, particularly in Messages, which may have you wondering why those features weren’t available before. Some applications, such as Shortcuts, are easier to use than they were in earlier iOS versions.
The iPhone XS and subsequent variants are compatible with iOS 17. Although the new software streamlines interactions and lightens the load on both older and newer iPhones, some features, like the iPhone 14 Pro, really shine on more recent models. Even though you’ll still enjoy approximately 90% of iOS 17’s advantages if you have an older iPhone, that doesn’t mean you should avoid installing it. For instance, StandBy mode works on my XR, but when the display’s sleep timer is disabled, I have to lock my screen for it to function. Shortly after entering StandBy mode, the display goes to sleep.
iOS 17 StandBy mode is a standout
I had my doubts when Apple first introduced the StandBy mode at WWDC. My wife and I have managed just fine without having a smart display like the Amazon Echo Show or any other kind of supplemental hub in our home. If you stop by later, I’ll probably be shouting about the weather. But without a doubt, StandBy mode is my favorite new iPhone feature in recent memory.
You could argue that StandBy mode turns your iPhone into a pricey bedside clock, but doing so would rob you of a ton of useful features. On my screen, interactive widgets made it simple to check the weather, read the most recent news, and do a lot more. Changing the music on connected smart speakers also allowed me to do it without taking my iPhone out of my pocket.
Even so, StandBy mode has helped my connection with my iPhone. Before iOS 17, whenever I left my desk to have a snack or use the restroom, I would check to see if my iPhone was in my pocket. If it wasn’t, I would instantly enter detective mode to track it down and put it back in its proper place—my right front pocket.
Messages upgrades beyond auto-correct
A variety of additional new features, such as an autocorrect undo option, are also added to Messages to make staying in touch with others simple and effortless. Didn’t you just state that autocorrect will comprehend what I mean better and won’t constantly correct me? Yes, I’m delighted to see you’re paying attention, reader, but autocorrect still occasionally makes mistakes. When it happens, Messages will highlight the term that needs to be corrected. You can choose to undo the correction and have the word read as you had originally entered if you tap the word.
A catch-up arrow in group chats is an additional enhancement. I usually go to bed at about 8:30 p.m., and on occasion, when I wake up, there are 30 new messages in a group chat with my family or friends. There is a new arrow that will direct me to the first message in the chat that I haven’t read, saving me from having to scroll up to discover the beginning of the messages. I would have been really confused as to why my friends and I couldn’t get together without this.
Create your own stickers for Messages
With iOS 16, Apple made it possible to remove a subject from a picture’s background, producing (usually) aesthetically pleasing cutout images. You may use these cutouts to make your own stickers with iOS 17 from Apple. To make your stickers stand out, you can add various effects like a white outline or a holographic filter. With Live pictures, you can create animated stickers.
Verification code messages can be automatically deleted with iOS 17
Using two-factor verification messages while connecting to an account or service is an excellent method to increase security. But you know what truly irritates me about them? All the unrelated emails and texts that clog up my inbox. That, though, is no longer a concern.
Once a code has been used to automatically fill out its intended field, the Messages and Mail apps on iOS 17 can erase two-factor verification codes for you. I take great pride in keeping all of my inboxes neat and organized, and this new function acts as a virtual Roomba, removing unused messages as soon as they are read.
Improvements of Shortcuts
I’ll admit it now: I’ve never used Shortcuts on my iPhone. I was puzzled and frustrated when setting them up. I was scared by the Shortcuts homepage as well, so I persuaded myself that it wasn’t worth it. However, because of iOS 17, I changed my perspective and have already incorporated several of them into my daily routine.
Camera level is a game-changer
I am concerned that my social media-related pictures and videos won’t seem straight when I take them. Before iOS 17, I would attempt to align the grip with a straight line in the frame, but when I was outdoors, I would simply make the most of it.
With iOS 17, you can level your films and photos using the onscreen level in the Camera app. The level appears as a thin white line in the middle of the screen, but when it is level, it turns yellow. I’ve used it to snap straight photographs and to make sure a picture frame I hung on my wall was level after hanging it.
Grocery lists in Reminders
I enjoy going grocery shopping. I enjoy browsing the aisles, locating my purchases, and observing everyone else’s purchases. I don’t like, however, to walk all the way across the store and pick up everything I need before realizing I forgot an item on one side.
Fortunately, a new feature in Reminders allows you to build a grocery list that is divided into categories with headings like Produce, Breads and cereals, and Household Items. As you add items and arrange them into the appropriate categories, the software automatically produces these sections. Even brand names like Ritz and Dr. Pepper are recognized by the program, and they are sorted accordingly.
Final thoughts on iOS 17
Even though your iPhone isn’t the newest model, the most recent iOS update adds a lot of useful upgrades. The majority of the improvements feel significant, even though not all of them are huge and showy, like StandBy mode.
Before the new operating system is made available, the following advice is offered: Before updating to iOS 17, you should make a backup of your iPhone. While it would be tempting to download iOS 17 immediately, you might want to wait a day or two to make sure your device receives the update more quickly and to find out if anybody else is having problems with their iPhones.