Just a week after the release of iOS 17, Apple has already seeded the first beta of iOS 17.1 to developers. This latest update brings some of the features that were promised for iOS 17, as well as refinements and improvements to existing features. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything new in the first iOS 17.1 beta.
One of the notable additions in iOS 17.1 is the ability to favorite songs, albums, playlists, and artists in the Apple Music app. You can now mark your favorite music, which will then be added to your library and improve your recommendations. This feature replaces the previous “Love” system and can even be done from the Lock Screen’s Now Playing widget. Tracks that are marked as favorites will be indicated by a star, while the most played track will have a dot next to it. The Music app will also suggest songs to add to your playlists based on your favorites. Although not yet implemented, Apple plans to provide a “Favorite Songs” playlist and collaborative playlists in future updates.
Another significant addition is the ability to complete AirDrop transfers over a cellular connection or Wi-Fi, even if you walk out of the range of the person you’re sharing with. This means you no longer have to stay close to someone when transferring a large number of files. You can toggle the “Out of Range” setting in the AirDrop section of the Settings menu to allow or disallow transfers over cellular.
With watchOS 10.1 and iOS 17.1, Apple Watch and iPhone users can now exchange contact information through the NameDrop feature. This makes it easier to share contact details between devices.
Unfortunately, the more than 20 new ringtones and text tones that were added in the initial release of iOS 17 have disappeared in the first beta of iOS 17.1. However, Apple is expected to re-add them in a later update. Custom tones for Mail and Messages have been re-added though.
UK users can now add their UK bank accounts to the Wallet app in iOS 17.1. This allows them to see their account balances, payments, purchases, and deposits all in one place.
There have been some changes in the Apple Books app as well. The “Reading Now” section has been renamed to “Read Now,” giving a clearer description of its purpose.
Although not yet included in iOS 17.1, there are mentions of a future Journal app in the code. This suggests that Apple may introduce a dedicated Journal app in a subsequent update.
For owners of iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15, or iPhone 15 Plus, the flashlight icon on the Dynamic Island now indicates when the flashlight is activated. Previously, this feature was only available on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iOS 17.1 introduces support for the Nintendo Switch N64 Controller, allowing users to use this controller with their devices.
When setting up a new wallpaper, iOS 17.1 now includes an “Extend” option. This can be selected if the image doesn’t fit the display properly, ensuring a better visual experience.
These are just some of the new features and changes present in the first beta of iOS 17.1. If you are a developer testing this beta release, feel free to share any other features that we might have missed in the comments below.