iOS 17: New Features, Release Date, and Compatible Devices

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Apple has recently announced iOS 17, bringing a host of new updates and discoveries for iPhone users.

iOS 17 was initially revealed at WWDC 2023 in June, but only for developer beta testers.

Exciting features include updates to Messages and FaceTime, as well as a new app for journaling and glanceable information while your iPhone charges.

Rumors suggest that iPhone 15 could be released in late September, making it likely that iOS 17 will also arrive around the same time.

Device Compatibility

Notably, iOS 17 requires the A12 Bionic chip or newer. This means that older devices like iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, which were released in 2017, won’t receive the update this year.

Here is the list of iOS 17 supported devices:

  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 and 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 and 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd gen)

New Features

“With iOS 17, we’ve focused on making iPhone more personal and intuitive by considering the features we rely on every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Contact Posters

iOS 17 introduces Contact Posters to the Phone app, allowing users to customize contact photos to resemble the Lock Screen wallpaper. This enhances the appearance of incoming calls with customizable fonts and colors. Contact Posters are also available in third-party calling apps.

Live Voicemail

iOS 17 brings Live Voicemail to the iPhone, enabling users to see a real-time transcript while someone is leaving a voicemail. Users can even pick up the phone during the voicemail recording. The Neural Engine on the iPhone handles Live Voicemail securely and privately.

New Reactions

FaceTime now features a variety of new Reactions, such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, and rain. Users can activate these effects with certain gestures and they are compatible with third-party apps too.

NameDrop and Improved AirDrop

iOS 17 enhances AirDrop functionality by introducing NameDrop, allowing users to “tap” another iPhone to share contact details. The NameDrop feature also works with Apple Watch. The same “tap” gesture can be used for SharePlay, making it easier to watch movies, listen to music, or play games together.

The Music App

The Music app has been revamped with support for collaborative playlists and cross-fade. In CarPlay, the Music app now includes SharePlay support, allowing anyone in the car to contribute to the playing content.

Revamped Autocorrect

iOS 17 introduces updates to Autocorrect with a transformer language model, improving the typing experience and accuracy. Users will receive predictive text recommendations as they type, making text entry faster. Dictation also benefits from a new speech recognition model, enhancing accuracy.

StandBy

StandBy is a notable change for iPhone users this year. When the iPhone is placed horizontally on a charger, it will display a new custom smart interface with glanceable widgets for the time, calendar, alarms, and more.

Journal

Apple has also announced new features for tracking mental health. The Health app allows users to log how they feel and provides helpful advice based on calculations over a certain period. Additionally, Apple plans to release an app called Journal later this year, which allows users to document their daily lives and check-in with their emotions, similar to Day One on iOS.

Additional Changes

iOS 17 introduces new features for Private Browsing, including locking tabs behind Face ID or Touch ID. Passwords and passkeys stored in iCloud Keychain can be shared with friends and family. Apple Maps now supports offline maps and provides real-time availability information for electric car charging stations. A new feature called Screen Distance helps reduce the risk of myopia in children by reminding them not to hold their devices too close to their faces. Siri can now be activated by simply saying “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri.” AirPods now offer Adaptive Audio, Personalized Volume, Conversation Awareness, and improvements to Automatic Switching and call controls. The Photos app can now recognize cats and dogs as individuals, automatically organizing pictures of each pet into separate albums.

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