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In September, the new iPhone 15 line is expected to launch officially. Alongside this is the new iOS 17 update rollout to compatible iPhone devices. It is now in beta versions for developers and public testers and is expected to come with numerous new features and improvements.
Apple has a dedicated page highlighting the biggest features iOS 17 will bring. Yet, as the beta testing continues, more changes and hidden features are being spotted by testers. Here are all of them:
Note: While these features and improvements have been spotted by testers in the current beta versions of iOS 17, there’s still a chance that some of them will be removed in the final release of the update.
- New Apple Wallet features. There are some notable improvements and new capabilities Apple added to Wallet in iOS 17. Most of them are focused on Apple Pay, including Apple Maps support for order tracking, transaction receipts (for businesses who want to add receipts in the form of PDF or image files), and the new “Track with Apple Wallet” button that companies can add to their websites and apps. Also, iOS 17 business users will notice that they can now attach Apple Pay orders to emails. This will allow customers to tap on the attachments on the Mail app and add them to the Wallet app as orders.
- Ping My Watch. This has the same function as the feature found on your Apple Watch. This time, however, you will use your iPhone to ping your Apple Watch. Users can use this via the new Control Center tile in iOS 17. It is turned off by default, but you can access this in the Control Center section in the Settings app. Remember, however, that this will require the two devices to be constantly paired via Bluetooth.
- DockKit API. iOS 17 includes an API for developers and accessory makers, allowing them to create apps and stands to control the iPhone’s movements while docked. It can use Apple’s Vision framework, which provides face/face landmark detection, text detection, barcode recognition, image registration, and general feature tracking. This means developers who like to take advantage of the API can create apps that allow users to choose what subject to track using the camera.
- Cinematic API. The Cinematic API should allow developers to integrate Cinematic mode video playback and editing capabilities in their third-party apps. Apple said it will enable developers’ apps to “change focus distance and aperture in movies, creating a bokeh effect, even after recording.”
- Screen Distance prompt. iOS 17 will remind you when you are holding your iPhone too close to your eyes for a long period. This will be in the form of a prompt reading: “Keeping your iPhone at arm’s length can protect your eyesight.” Users can activate or deactivate the feature by going to Screen Time in the Settings app as long as it has Face ID.
- iPhone new passcode reset. In iOS 17, you’ll be given the option to reset your newly set password in case you forget it right after setup. There will be a 72-hour limit for you to reset the password. You can access this via the new “Try Passcode Reset” control when you tap the “Forgot Passcode?” button. This will let you enter your previous passcode and create a new one.
- Check In. The feature will alert your friends or loved ones that you got home safe after a trip or a drive. This will be accessible in the iMessage’s menu. Once selected, it will estimate the time (though you can adjust it) you need to arrive at a specific place (in this case, your home). It will also notify the recipients when you get home safely. However, if you don’t reach the place in time and forget to disable it, the recipient will be able to view your location (and so as your route and battery and signal level), which is great as it will alarm them in case something goes wrong.
- Sensitive Content Warning. Your iPhone will soon warn you when you receive sensitive media, especially nudes. This will show a pop-up warning, giving you different action choices: view it, keep it hidden, or find “ways to get help.”
- Better autocorrection. Apple said autocorrection in iOS 17 would be better as users could personalize them by training them using on-device machine learning (ML). This means your keyboard should learn your typing behavior, preventing it from suggesting unnecessary words like “ducking” when you want to cuss.
- StandBy. After earlier reports, Apple confirmed the feature in the event. The idea behind the feature is to turn your iPhone into a smart home display when locked and placed horizontally. The information it will show will depend on the preferences of the iPhone owners, and it will employ the system’s widgets. Some include the calendar, clock, reminders, alerts, and more. Nonetheless, Apple optimized the system widgets to make their information more glanceable even when the phone is docked on the table or anywhere in the room.
- Offline mode in Apple Maps and real-time EV charging station availability details. Apple Maps is also getting a new capability in iOS 17, allowing users to download specific map areas for offline use. When downloaded, it will include all the essential details to be able to show them to you even when you go offline. Another addition is the new option to set the EV charging network you are using. The map will also display charging station availability information in real time. For example, if you choose the Supercharger network, Apple Maps will now show you the number of available charger spots in a station alongside the chargers currently being used. Also, the app will only show you the stations that can cater to your EV’s charging connectors.
- Apple Wallet IDs for businesses. In iOS 17, iPhone users should be able to share their IDs stored in their Apple Wallet with businesses requiring it for certain purchases. This will be helpful for stores wanting to verify their customer’s identity and details before handing them services. For instance, bars and other places selling alcohol can find this system valuable for their businesses.
- NameDrop. Building on Apple’s AirDrop capability, NameDrop will allow users to use a new gesture to trigger a sharing action of contact information. This will enable an easier and more convenient way of sharing your details, especially when meeting several new people during events. AirDrop also has a new sharing gesture, which can be performed by holding the top of your iPhone close to another. This can be deactivated.
- Auto fillup and deletion of email verification codes. When you receive a verification code in the mail, iOS 17 will automatically use it for automatic fillup and later delete the message. It removes the need to leave Safari to get the codes.
- Family Passwords. The new Family Sharing feature in Safari will allow easier sharing of passkeys with family and trusted friends. This will be possible via the improvement in the iCloud Keychain.
- Visual Look Up for food recipes. The feature will allow iPhone users to receive recipe suggestions using a picture as a reference. It can be summoned by tapping the information icon on the screen of the food’s picture. The Visual Look Up will then identify the food subjects in the photo and suggest a list of recipe results. However, Visual Look Up won’t directly suggest the exact recipe for the dish in the picture. Instead, it will recommend similar recipes using the main ingredient identified by the system.
- Journal app. iOS 17 also signals the arrival of a dedicated journaling app for Apple customers. Like the keyboard improvements, the Journal app will use ML to provide suggestions. It can use different data on your device, including music and location, to suggest topics and content you can discuss and include in your journal. The Journal app will also offer a notification system, so you’ll be reminded when to write your journal for the day. You also have the option to customize this setting by adding the notification schedule.
- Contact Posters. iOS 17 users can customize the looks of their own contact cards or the cards that belong to other individuals in their Phone app. Contact Posters will give iOS 17 users a set of tools that they can use to customize (or, basically, edit) the appearance of their contact cards. This will allow users to change the contact’s image effects, the name’s font style, and even the image’s background.
- FaceTime voicemail. After the relentless request of the Apple community. Apple is finally bringing voicemail to FaceTime. With this, you can record a video (or just an audio message) and send it when the recipient misses the FaceTime call.
- Live voicemail transcription. In iOS 17, the devices will be able to display live transcripts while someone is leaving a message or voicemail. These transcripts will be shown on the device screen while simultaneously featuring the caller’s contact card and the Message and Accept buttons.
- Personal Voice. It is one of the biggest and most controversial features of iOS 17, as it will allow users to produce a synthetic voice. The idea behind the feature is to give people at risk of losing their voices a tool they can use to immortalize them. It will only require a total of 15-minute voice input from users by reading a series of prompts on iPhones or iPads. Doing so will record the users’ voice, which will then be processed to generate the synthetic voice copy that can be used with Apple’s Live Speech. Apple said Personal Voice would only use on-device machine learning, assuring the voice data of users won’t be used or accessed by others.
- Interactive widgets. iPhones are soon setting interactive widgets for the Home app, allowing users to instantly access controls for HomeKit accessories.
- Dynamic Island. There are no big changes in Dynamic Island, unfortunately, except for some app integrations, including the clock, Shazam, and Meater smart meat thermometer.
- Apple ID passkey support. iOS 17 will soon allow iPhone users to use passkeys to log in on icloud.com and apple.com domains or any Apple site on the web. This will give users the “Sign in With Apple” or “Continue with Apple” buttons when they try to enter Apple ID-supported domains or websites. When clicked, users will be presented with a QR code that they can scan using their iPhones to sign in without entering their passwords. The new passkey support employs Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate the logins.
- Hey, Siri is now “Siri.” Apple simplified the command for calling Siri in iOS 17. Nonetheless, there’s still an option to disable it and return to the conventional use of Hey Siri. Just go to the Settings app, look for “Siri and Search” in the fourth section, select “Listen for,” and choose from the options “Siri or Hey Siri,” “Siri,” or off.
- New British voices for Siri. The new voices join two other current British voices of Siri, giving us a total of four British voice options in iOS 17. They can be found in Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice. On the page, they are the third and fourth options. There are also new voices for Siri in German.
- Bilingual query support. Currently, it is just available to select Indic languages (Telugu, Punjabi, Kannada, or Marathi), which can be combined with English. Nonetheless, the list is likely to expand in the future.
- More Siri improvements. Siri should also soon be able to read web articles aloud and accept back-to-back requests without having to reactivate the voice assistant in between requests. Also, when commanding Siri to send a message, you’ll be given the option to select the app from which you want to send the message. Apple’s recent work on tvOS 16.6 also brings Siri support in Hebrew for Apple TV and HomePod.
- Game Mode. Apple is silently testing macOS’ Game Mode in iOS. The feature is one of the most awaited additions to macOS. It should allow an optimized gaming experience through smoother and more consistent frame rates. The company says this will be possible by giving games the highest priority on the CPU and GPU when the mode is enabled. This is one of the unofficial features of iOS 17 and there are no clear indications it will be coming in September.
- Open Camera option. iOS 17 will reportedly come with an “Open Camera” action for the Camera app. This should allow the users to select the mode they want to use and “immediately open to any preset using Shortcuts.” The selection of modes includes Photo, Selfie, Video, Portrait, Portrait Selfie, Cinematic, Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, and Pano.
- iMessage Contact Key Verification. It will give users another option to verify that the recipient of their messages is really the person they trust. According to Apple, if an “exceptionally advanced adversary” has managed to eavesdrop on the supposedly encrypted communications, the activated feature will provide automatic alerts. As the company noted, it will benefit people who “face extraordinary digital threats,” including journalists, human rights activists, and government officials.
- Action Button options. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models are expected to have an Action Button. In the beta tests of iOS 17, a code was spotted showing the options that can be used for the button: Accessibility, Shortcuts, Silent Mode, Camera, Flashlight, Focus, Magnifier, Translate, and Voice Memos.
- The Weather app gets a bunch of detail changes, including the wording and details in the Averages section. Apple also added information about some weather-related phrases in the app when you tap and scroll down the Averages page.
- Apple has implemented changes in different icons across the OS. This includes the icon of Home Screen & App Library in Settings, the Apple TV remote icon in Control Center, and the Auto-Brightness in the Insights and Suggestions section of the Battery page.
- The icon changes also include the icons within the + option in Messages. In iOS 17, Apple has resorted to more rounded looks, so each icon in the + menu in Messages is now contained in a circle.
- You will find a new option in Settings > Accessibility >Display & Text Size. According to the description, the new “Prefer Horizontal Text” option allows you to “prefer horizontal text in languages that support vertical text.”
- My Photo Stream feature is no longer available in the system.
- Apple enhanced the AirPlay picker animation.
- The thinnest text option for the Lock Screen is now a bit thicker, and the font colors also seem to be changed. The button of the Apple TV remote also now has thicker lines.
- When you start a timer, the Timer app will give you an Add (+) button. This will allow you to add another timer while the first ones you launched are running.
- In the Camera section in Settings, there is a new option for Depth Control, which can “preserve the depth setting for Photo, Portrait, and Cinematic modes” rather than automatically resetting it.
- When using the camera’s video mode, there is a new ProRes indicator, showing you whether you are using SDR or HDR.
- Photos will now show the appropriate icons for animals detected by Visual Lookup instead of generally using the paw icon for all of them. A new icon for Music for Visual Lookup will also be spotted for screenshots of albums or any music-related images. Also, Visual Look Up is about to get a laundry symbol recognition capability. Using it, users will be able to take a photo, and the system will automatically recognize the laundry symbols, whether it is zoomed in or not. Swiping up from the picture will show its details, where you can also access the Information icon to view the details of the detected symbols. The results will list the symbols alongside their definitions and sources. Tapping them will bring you the source.
- Users can see a new SharePlay icon at the bottom of the Music app when the iPhone is connected to a CarPlay device. Tapping it will show the QR code that can be shared with other passengers in the car, allowing easy connection. There is also a new icon for AirPlay in the same area where the SharePlay icon is located.
- Spotlight now shows more information about the artist when you search for them. Results will include the artist’s latest releases.
- The Music app now has a new View Credits section, giving you different details about a song, including lyrics, artist, production and engineering, and available audio quality. It can be accessed by tapping the three-dot menu next to the song item. The looks of the Apple Music player are also improved.
- There is a new Save as Video option in the menu for Live Photos.
- The Home app has new features: accessory control widgets, activity history, and improved UI. When you first open the app in Beta 3, this will be detailed in the splash screen.