Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 17, will roll out on Monday, and many new features and enhancements come with it. The updates were unveiled at the Wonderlust event and are primarily for iPhone users, with iPad users also seeing some changes.
iOS 17 brings a built-in journaling app called Documents with iCloud that lets you save drafts and keep track of your thoughts, as well as a redesigned contact card with a photo and all the information you need at a glance. You’ll also be able to quickly check in on friends or family using a feature that will notify them that you made it home safely or reached your destination. There are also some improvements to the People album in Photos, a new Pets album for keeping track of all those furry companions, and offline maps that work without a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, which is especially useful for hikers, travelers, or anyone who might find themselves somewhere they can’t get an Internet signal.
Messages are getting some significant changes as well. A new sticker experience with a range of emojis and Live Stickers lets you lift subjects from photos and create animations. Messages will also let you jump to the first message you haven’t seen in a conversation, which can be helpful when group chats get lively. A new nightstand mode also puts notifications on the lock screen, allowing you to swipe away or dismiss them quickly.
The iPhone’s Siri will be a little smarter with iOS 17, as you’ll no longer have to say “Hey Siri” for it to wake up. It’ll be able to understand more natural and complex commands, interpret back-to-back requests, and handle multiple things simultaneously. You can use it to make payments through Apple Pay, and you can now ask Siri for directions to nearby places.
Other safety features include blurting nude images and videos on photos or video calls in FaceTime and the ability to transcribe your voicemail in real time. According to Apple, this will be available in Messages, AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, and even third-party apps.
Apple’s other new features in iOS 17 include a more innovative, more intuitive way to draw on the screen to take notes in the Notes app and better auto-correction and voice transcription. The update will also bring a customizable “nightstand mode” for iPad that lets you add widgets, drop down the volume buttons to control music and videos, and turn off the iPad’s keyboard when it’s in the landscape. A new version of the Health app is also on its way to the iPad, and Apple is adding a feature that allows you to share files between Mac and iPad via USB. There’s more, including a faster and safer Safari with password autofill and the ability to see links from webpages in the browser.