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iOS 17.1 Beta: All the New Features So Far

by Maine Bacos

Apple is currently testing iOS 17.1, the first major update to the iOS 17 operating system that was released in September. It is expected that Apple will release iOS 17.1 sometime in October, but there are still several betas to go before the software is available to the public. In this article, we will highlight some of the new features and changes that have been observed in the iOS 17.1 beta so far.

One of the notable additions in the iOS 17.1 beta is the ability to favorite songs, albums, playlists, and artists in the Music app. Favorited music is added to the Library and helps improve recommendations. This replaces the previous “Love” system, and users can now favorite songs directly from the Lock Screen’s Now Playing widget. A star next to a track in an album indicates that it’s a favorite, while a dot is placed next to the most played track. The Music app also suggests songs to add to playlists based on favorites.

The iOS 17.1 beta also introduces new customization options for Apple Music playlists. Users can now select color-matched playlist artwork options, featuring geometric shapes and gradients. The colors are pulled from the album artwork of the first song in the playlist, providing a visually appealing experience.

One practical addition in the iOS 17.1 beta is the ability to complete AirDrop transfers over a cellular connection or Wi-Fi, even if you walk out of range of the person you’re sharing with. This means that users can transfer a large number of files without having to stay physically close to the recipient. Users can enable or disable this feature in the AirDrop settings.

Another new feature in the iOS 17.1 beta is the “Play Favorite Songs” quick action. By long pressing on the Apple Music icon on the Home Screen, users can choose to play their favorite songs directly.

For Apple Watch users, the iOS 17.1 beta enables a “Double Tap” feature that allows Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 owners to control their watches with one hand. This gesture can be used for various actions, such as opening the Smart Stack, answering/ending calls, playing/pausing music, and more. Users can manage the settings for this feature in the Apple Watch app.

In terms of customization, the iOS 17.1 beta introduces new options in the StandBy section of the Settings app. Users can now choose when the display turns off automatically, with options ranging from 20 seconds to never. The Night Mode function, which adds a red tint and dims the screen, has also been relocated to this section, along with the Motion to Wake toggle.

UK users will be pleased to know that they 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 directly in the app.

Other notable additions in the iOS 17.1 beta include improvements to the Apple Books app, the addition of a flashlight indicator in the Dynamic Island for certain iPhone models, support for the Nintendo Switch N64 Controller, and options to extend wallpapers and customize the Photo Shuffle Lock Screen.

It’s important to note that these features are based on the current state of the iOS 17.1 beta and are subject to change before the final release. Apple may also introduce additional features that are not yet included in the beta.

Overall, iOS 17.1 appears to be a significant update with various new features and improvements across different apps and functions. Apple users can look forward to experiencing these enhancements once iOS 17.1 is officially launched later this month.

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