iOS 17 announced: new features, new apps, new designs!

iOS 17 announced: new features, new apps, new designs!
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 has just kicked off! It's a week-long event where developers get to visit the Apple campus to learn and share ways to develop and expand their products for the Apple ecosystem.

WWDC starts with a keynote, where we get to see a preview of the next operating systems for Apple products. iOS 17 is, of course, included — every new feature, redesign, or new app gets a preview. Later down the line, devs get access to a beta build, so they can test their apps with it. And we, the common people, can also register our iDevices to receive public beta builds when they are available.

The full version of iOS typically launches in September — together with the latest iPhone. So, this year, we expect iOS 17 to come with the iPhone 15 series.

New updates to Phone, iMessage and FaceTime just announced!

Phone, iMessage, FaceTime update

You will now be able to customize your appearance on the recipient's call screen, so you can always look your best (or funniest). These are called Contact Posters and you can choose how you appear to the different people you are calling — have one poster for your best buddy, another poster for your boss. The new "Incoming call" screen is slightly redesigned, now looking like a big wallpaper, incorporating your custom picture.

Voicemails now come in Live Voicemail format, where you get a realtime speech-to-text transcription on your lockscreen, without picking up the call. If it turns out to be something important, you can see what the person on the other end is saying and choose to pick up.

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As for FaceTime, you will now be able to record short video messages if your recipient doesn't answer the call. Show them what they missed!

iMessage updates

  • Catch up - in group chats, you will be able to scroll up to the last message you read, so you can catch up with everything that's new without having to manually find it.

  • Reply to - you can now quote messages and reply to them directly by swiping on the message in question. Again, helpful in group chats or in multi-threaded conversations.

  • Location sharing - a new way to share live location with loved ones has been added to iMessage. For one — the live location widget now lives natively within the conversation, and doesn't need to go full-screen to work. Secondly, a new check-in feature will allow you to set up auto notifications that let friends and family that you have reached your location safely. If you are delayed, a notification on your iPhone will ask if you need to add 15 minutes to the expected arrival time. And, if you don't react, your trusted contacts are notified.

  • Live Stickers - iMessage now gets a new menu drawer stickers that you have created from your own photos. Just tap and hold on an object from a picture to "pick it up" and choose to save it as a sticker. You can edit it further to make it funnier, cuter, or whatever else you desire, and drop in in any iMessage conversation — stick it to a message, enlarge it, rotate it, you know the works.

NameDrop that AirDrop

Apple has discovered NFC — AirDrop is now updated to work by just bringing your iPhone next to another iPhone. Instead of dictating your phone number to the other person, simply reach out with your iPhone. They will instantly receive your Contact Poster — and this feature is now called NameDrop.

Starting AirPlay shared watching with friends is now also much easier — just bring your iPhones closer. And, of course, you can now initiate AirDrop sharing easier by just bringing your iPhone close.

Autocorrect... corrections!

In a dramatic turn of events, one of the biggest updates in iOS 17 is an improved autocorrect! Using advanced algorithms, Autocorrect will now increase the amount of words it analyzes, so autocorrect will not only work for 2 or 3 words at a time, but entire phrases and sentences. Oh, also, it will now remember words that you intentionally mistype or certain "bad" words that autocorrect often refuses to let through.

Of course, these improvements also translate to better word and phrase suggestions, as the keyboard will continuously learn and adapt to your style of expression.

New app: Journal

As the name suggests, it's an app to help you journal your daily life, internal thoughts, certain events, or anything and everything that is you. Where do you even start when journaling? This is where this app is trying to help.

Journal is entirely "suggestion"-based — the iPhone will show you where you were, what photos you took, and what music you were listening throughout the day. Then, it will ask you to reflect on how you felt about today's adventure. From then on — it's your story to tell!

Standby, I'm a clock now

A new way to use your iPhone while it's charging — if you make use of a MagSafe stand, which can hold your iPhone in horizontal orientation, the entire lockscreen UI changes. You will now get a large clock, or a Photos slideshow. You can swipe around to view your favorite Live Widgets, or Homekit controls. So, the iPhone can double as a super-smart smartclock while on the charging stand.

Other small updates

  • Not "Hey, Siri", it's just "Siri" - in a small change, you will now be able to call Siri by just her name — no need to say the "Hey, Siri" catchphrase.
  • Photos knows better - the Apple Photos app will now be better at recognizing and will also learn the names of your pets
  • Find My item sharing - in a logical step, you can now share an AirTag location with multiple people, which should make it easier for families to track mutual items, like keys
  • Offline Maps - finally, Apple Maps will also support offline mode, where you can download locations and view them when Internet is not available. Keep in mind, offline routes to locations won't be able to access traffic information, so they may not be the best for the time of day.

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