If you’re an iPhone user, there are some very exciting changes coming your way. That’s because iOS 17, Apple’s new operating system, is launching today (September 18) and comes with some great new features that provide more personal and intuitive ways to use your phone.
From improved ways to communicate with your contacts to the ability to customize what people see when they call, your phone just got better and easier to use with these new iPhone tricks. The new technical system is compatible with all iPhone models 2nd generation SE or later, and as usual, the new system should install automatically while you charge your phone overnight, ensuring that automatic updates are turned on in your settings.
Here are seven new features coming to iPhone today that we’re excited about.
1. Contact stickers
We’re all familiar with the fear of seeing an unknown number appear on our screens when we’re not expecting a call, but with iOS 17, you get a new way to express yourself with a personalized display that appears with incoming calls. You can customize your caller ID screen — or as Apple calls it, your contact sticker — with either a photo or a Memoji avatar so people know exactly who you are. This new iPhone trick works not only over phone calls, but also through messages and some third-party apps!
2. Direct voicemail
Do you miss the old landline where your answering machine reads your voice mail messages to you as they arrive? Well, this new iPhone feature is somewhat similar.
Before 2010, this happened all the time, where you let your phone go to voicemail and then realized it was actually a call worth answering. Well, now we’ve done the full 360, but with a more modern twist. Live Voicemail gives you the ability to see real-time transcription when someone leaves a voicemail, and the opportunity to decide whether to respond as the caller leaves their message. If you don’t want to be bothered by unknown numbers, you can turn on Silence Unknown Callers so numbers that aren’t in your contacts go straight to voicemail instead.
3. FaceTime video and audio messages
There’s nothing worse than missing Facetime and not knowing why your family member or friend (or worse, your boss) made an impromptu video call. Now, instead of leaving them guessing why you’re calling, you can leave a personalized message via voice or video letting them know why when they don’t answer to put their worries to rest!
4. Check in
How many times have you promised to text someone to let them know you got home safely and forgotten? Especially if you’re a woman, I can safely expect this to happen a lot. Well, with iOS 17, you can now reassure your friends and family with the Check-in feature.
It’s basically a new tracking setting that lets certain contacts know when you arrive at a destination. Your contact will be automatically notified once you arrive, and if for any reason you don’t make progress, your iPhone will check in with you. If you don’t respond, useful information will be temporarily shared with the designated contact, such as device location, battery level, and cellular service status. It is a real innovation in the world of technical safety!
5. The name of a drop
Another smart new interactive feature is NameDrop. This allows you to easily connect with new people you meet just by bringing your iPhones together and automatically displaying your name, photo, and contact sticker. You can also select specific phone numbers or email addresses that you’d like to share as well, which puts an end to misspellings. If you’d like to receive only someone else’s contact information and not your own, you can do that too – simply click “Receive Only” in your settings.
With iOS 17, there’s also an innovative new screen that appears when your phone is set and charging when Apple connects to StandBy. By turning your iPhone on its side while charging, you can get a full-screen experience with quick information that’s designed to be viewed from a distance.
The screen can be customized with a range of beautiful clock styles, favorite photos or widgets, and it supports Live Activity, Siri and incoming calls. It’s the perfect setup when your phones are on your nightstand, your kitchen counter while cooking, or while you’re working at your desk. It’s the iPhone’s answer to the Amazon Echo.
7. Automatic correction
Okay, so this may just be a (long overdue) improvement and not an entirely new feature, but we think it deserves a special mention. Autocorrect is now new and improved, and will put an end to that particularly annoying autocorrection from F to D that you don’t need to explain…
It’s all thanks to a new machine learning language model for word prediction, which improves the experience and accuracy every time you type. Auto-corrected words are temporarily underlined so you know what was changed as you type and can go back to the original words with just one click. It’s really the little things in life that make the difference.
Not an iPhone user and want to test these features right away? You can get a closer preview of the new iOS 17 via Apple’s website.