With every iOS update, Apple introduces new features and improvements to its built-in apps, and iOS 17 is no exception. From the Phone app to Messages, Photos, Notes, and Reminders, there are updates and enhancements across the board.
Starting with the Phone app, users can now create Contact Posters to customize what people see when they receive a call. You can choose a background image or use your Memoji, and even customize the font and color of your name. Contact Posters can be shared with just your contacts or with anyone you call, but the recipient needs to have an iPhone to see the customized image.
Another feature in the Phone app is Live Voicemail. When someone leaves a voicemail, you can now see a transcription of the message in real-time on your lock screen. This allows you to quickly decide whether to answer the call or ignore the message. It’s important to note that Live Voicemail changes your voicemail message. Additionally, if the “Silence Unknown Callers” feature is turned on, unknown numbers will go directly to Live Voicemail, while calls identified as spam will be automatically declined.
The Messages app also receives some notable updates in iOS 17. The design of the app has been revamped to give it a cleaner look. All Messages apps and tools, including the camera and photo options, can now be accessed by tapping on the “+” button. A new safety feature called “Check In” allows you to let friends and family know your whereabouts and automatically notifies them when you reach your destination. If you stop making progress, Messages will check in to find out what’s going on, and if there’s no response, your friend or family member will receive helpful information like your battery level and location.
There’s also a new Stickers experience in Messages, where all emoji are now considered stickers and can be found in the same place. Emoji can be placed anywhere on a message, just like stickers. Users can create and save their own stickers using the “Remove Subject From Background” feature introduced in an earlier update. Sticker reactions allow users to react to messages by placing a sticker directly on the message bubble.
Other new features in Messages include the ability to use stickers and emoji anywhere they can be accessed, catch-up arrows to jump to the first unseen message in a conversation, swipe reply for quick replies, search filters for easier message searches, location sharing, audio message transcriptions, auto-delete for verification codes, and new Memoji stickers.
FaceTime also gets some updates in iOS 17. Users can now leave video or audio messages when someone misses a FaceTime call, similar to voicemail for phone calls. FaceTime reactions add fun augmented reality effects to FaceTime calls using hand gestures. There are gestures for hearts, confetti, fireworks, and more. FaceTime calls can also be started on an iPhone and handed off to an Apple TV for a big-screen experience.
Additionally, Apple plans to introduce a Journal app later this year. The Journal app will allow users to record their daily thoughts and activities, integrating information from their iPhone like photos, music, and workouts. The app will suggest topics for writing, entries can have integrated media, and important moments can be highlighted. The Journal app is protected with a passcode and Face ID, and entries are encrypted.
Safari, the default web browser on iOS, introduces profile support in iOS 17. Users can create different profiles for various activities like work and personal use, each with its own browsing history, extensions, cookies, favorites, and Tab Groups. Passwords and passkeys in iCloud Keychain can now be shared with trusted contacts, allowing them to access and edit the same set of passwords.
Other new features in Safari include the automatic removal of tracking parameters from URLs to prevent cross-website tracking, locked private browsing behind Face ID or Touch ID, blocking of unknown trackers, faster search results, and improved relevancy of search results.
Overall, iOS 17 brings significant updates and enhancements to the built-in apps on Apple devices. Whether it’s the Phone app, Messages, FaceTime, Journal, or Safari, users can expect new features and improvements that enhance their experience and make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable.