iOS 17 superguide: What’s new in iOS 17

Apple has launched new iPhones for 2023, but there’s another iPhone update available for all iPhones from the iPhone XR up: iOS 17. The iOS 17 update was made available to hundreds of millions of iPhones on Monday, September 18, 2023.

New features in iOS 17 include contact posters, NameDrop, StandBy, Live Voicemail, FaceTime video voicemail, a whole new Siri voice recognition model, huge improvements to autocorrect and dictation, and a lot more.

It’s almost like getting a new iPhone without paying a penny. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about iOS 17, including all the features and any issues that arise, as well as keeping tabs on the latest version and what is coming in the next update.

Update December 12: Apple has released the first beta of iOS 17.3 to developers. The first beta arrived a day after iOS 17.2 was available for download with new features and the new Journal app.

iOS 17: What’s the latest version?

The initial iOS 17 release was on September 18, but just days later on September 21 Apple issued iOS 17.0.1 with three zero-day security patches that “may have been actively exploited”. More information here: Apple pushes out critical iOS 17.0.1 update just days after iOS 17 release.

That same day there was a iOS 17.0.2 update for iPhone 15 models that fixed a bug for new iPhone buyers. Some users who bought new iPhone 15 models discovered that they were not able to transfer data from an old iPhone during the new iPhone setup process. This same fix was then issued for other iPhones on September 27. All new iPhones should be updated to iOS 17.0.2 before attempting a data transfer from an old iPhone.

iOS 17.0.3 arrived on October 4 with a fix for a problem that was causing iPhones to overheat–specifically the iPhone 15 Pro. There are also two security fixes, more here: iOS 17.0.3 is out with iPhone 15 Pro overheating fix and security updates.

Next up was iOS 17.1, which arrived on October 25. New features include improvements to AirDrop (file transfers continue over the internet when you are out of range), new StandBy options, Favorites in Music and a number of bug and security fixes.

Then iOS 17.1.1 arrived, which was a minor update fixing a couple of bugs. One bug related to Apple Pay and other NFC features becoming unavailable on iPhone 15 models after wireless charging in BMW cars, the other bug related to the Weather Lock Screen widget which might not correctly display snow.

iOS 17.1.2 on November 30 fixed a couple of WebKit security vulnerabilities that have been exploited in the wild. WebKit being the browser engine used by Safari.

The current version of iOS 17 is iOS 17.2. It arrived on December 11 and included the Journal app, new Weather and Clock widgets, and Stickers for Message reactions.

There will be a lot of updates over the coming months, both minor point releases for bug fixes and security updates and major releases that add new features. Here’s a look at just some of the iOS 17 features coming in later updates.

iOS 16 and iOS 15 are still receiving security updates.

iOS 17 beta: What’s the latest iOS beta?

Apple has run a beta program since it revealed the details of iOS 17 at WWDC. Now that the full version of iOS 17 is available to the public the beta testing continues.

On December 12 Apple issued the first beta of iOS 17.3 to developers. The update includes a new Stolen Device Protection feature that should make it harder for thieves to mess up your digital life using a stolen passcode.

iOS 17.3 Release date and new features

iOS 17.2 was first released to developers on October 26 and then arrived on iPhones on December 11. That’s just over six weeks of testing. iOS 17.1 was first released to developers on September 27 and was made available for download just four weeks later on October 25, which was a fast turnaround, perhaps because of pressure from France to address an issue with iPhone 12 radiation levels.

Assuming a six-week turnaround, we could see iOS 17.3 on iPhones around January 22, but the holiday period may mean that we are waiting a little longer.

Here are the new features expected for iOS 17.3:

  • Collaborative Playlists for Apple Music: This feature was expected for iOS 17.2, but may now appear in iOS 17.3. Collaborative Playlists for Apple Music, will allow you to create, edit and share playlists with others. This feature was removed from the iOS 17.2 beta during testing, but is back in the first beta of iOS 17.3.
  • Stolen Device Protection: This optional security feature can limit what can be done on your iPhone if your six-digit passcode is entered when not at a familiar location like your home or work. This is designed to make it harder for thieves to access important information. The settings for this are found in Settings > Face ID & Passcode

If you’d like to continue to receive iOS 17 beta updates read How to get the iOS 17 beta on your iPhone. We also describe how to revert from iOS 17 beta to a non-beta version of iOS for those testers who wish to use the full version of iOS 17.

iOS 17.2: New features

These are the features that arrived in iOS 17.2:

  • Journal app: The new app is coming in iOS 16.2. The app is a bit like a diary in which you can record things that happen to you. It can be locked using Face ID/Touch ID.
  • Change default alert sound: You’ll be able to go to Settings > Sound & Haptics > Default Alerts to change the default sound for alerts and notifications.
  • News app: The News app will support Live Activities.
  • Apple Music: You will be able to disable the listening history in Apple Music so it doesn’t impact Apple Music suggestions. You can listen to a new Favorites playlist based on tracks you have marked as Favorite, and it’s easier to get to the songs you’ve marked as Favourite in Apple Music.
  • TV app: There will no longer be separate Movies and TV Shows tabs. Just a Store tab.
  • Improved Telephoto camera focusing speed for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
  • Spatial video recording for Apple Vision Pro.
  • iMessage Contact Key Verification gains extra security options.
  • Emergency Alerts: A new “Local Awareness” option to improve the reliability of alerts.
  • Action button on iPhone 15 Pro/Max will get a new Translate option.
  • Weather and Clock widgets: There are three new widgets for the Weather app and one for the Clock app a Sensitive Content. A new Digital Clock widget is available for the Home screen and StandBy.
  • Messages: You can now react to iMessages with any emoji or sticker. Warning for stickers if you have enabled it for Messages. New catch up button to go to first unread message.
  • Memoji: There’s a new Body section so you can customize full body details.
  • Weather: View rain and snow amounts. Wind map. Moon calendar.
  • Wireless charging: The iPhones 13 and 14 will gain support for Qi2 wireless charging. With Qi2 support, you’ll get 15W charging even when you aren’t using MagSafe chargers.

There are also a number of bug fixes including AirDrop improvements and a fix for an issue that may prevent wireless charging in certain vehicles.

iOS 17.1: New features

The following new features arrived in iOS 17.1 on October 25.

  • New StandBy settings give users a choice of when the display should turn off (automatically, after 20 seconds or never).
  • The Watch app gains options to control double-tap for Apple Watch.
  • Apple Music gains a new Favorites feature as well as collaborative Apple Music playlists. New Generic artwork available for Apple Music playlists.
  • The Continue AirDrop over the internet feature will mean that you don’t have to keep your iPhones together while transferring data.

iOS 17.1 also addresses the iPhone 12 radiation issue highlighted by the French government agency, Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR). Apple claims that France’s testing method does not allow for the off-body detection and increased connectivity power that Apple has employed on all iPhones for more than a decade, so the update will accommodate this specific test protocol. After this update, iPhone 12 users in France may notice reduced wireless performance when the signal is poor. Apple maintains that iPhone 12 models are safe to use.

In addition, the update fixes a number of security flaws in Find My, Siri and the Weather app. More here: Apple’s iOS 17 update patches scary Find My, Siri, Weather flaws. That security fix has also been released for iOS 16 and iOS 15.

iOS 17: Bugs and problems

Overheating: Apple has addressed a problem that was causing the iPhone 15 Pro to overheat. The iOS 17.0.3 update is designed to fix this problem.

Security: Apple issued an update to iOS 17 on September 21 to address some security flaws. Another security fix came on October 4.

Slowdowns, battery life: Some people when updating iOS complain that their iPhone slows down, or that their battery runs out quickly, or that their phone feels hot. This can be typical behavior after an iOS update as the iPhone spends a few days carrying background tasks related to the update, such as re-indexing, this can in turn cause it to use more battery up, and get hot. You could try restarting your iPhone to see if that helps.

Apple has previously addressed this issue in a Tweet:

Wi-Fi: Another issue people sometimes encounter after updating the iOS is that their iPhone struggles to stay connected to Wi-Fi networks. Again, it’s worth restarting the iPhone if this happens. Alternatively, look at: How to stop an iPhone dropping Wi-Fi connection.

Standby won’t show correct time zone: We encountered this issue (the clock was stuck in Cupertino). The fix was as follows:

  1. Long press the clock that appears in Standby mode
  2. Tap the + in the top left
  3. Add the clock widget with the correct time to the list

iOS 17: How to install iOS 17 on your iPhone

Installing iOS 17 couldn’t be simpler. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Software Update

On this screen you’ll see the version of iOS you have installed, and if a new version is available it will say so. It may say “Install Now” if the update was already downloaded in the background but not yet applied, or “Download and Install” if you haven’t even downloaded it yet.

Just follow the instructions there to upgrade to iOS 17. You may need to re-agree to terms and conditions, and it will take several minutes to download, verify, and apply. Then your iPhone will restart, and you’ll be presented with some welcome screens that introduce new features.

We have more information about installing iOS 17 and addressing any issues with it here: How to update to iOS 17 on your iPhone.

If you install an update and want to revert to the previous version there is a very small window in which you can do that, but it can be done, read: How to downgrade iOS.

iOS 17 Compatibility: Which phones can run the latest software?

iOS 17 will not support the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or the iPhone X. They are all able to run iOS 16 though, so they should get support through security updates for at least another year. The following iPhones get support for iOS 17, although some won’t support all of the new features:

  • iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE(2nd gen or later)

Even if your chosen device is granted another year of software support, it’s worth noting that older iPhones may not get the full range of new features. In 2022, for example, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X missed out on a bunch of cool stuff due to their older processor. For more information take a look at every version of iOS released so far and find out which version of iOS your iPhone supports.

iOS 17 Features: What’s new in iOS 17

There were many new features in iOS 16, including a redesigned Lock Screen, unsending iMessages, and the iCloud Shared Photo Library, but what is new in iOS 17? Initial rumors suggested that there would be “fewer major changes” than usual–but at WWDC 2023 Apple announced numerous new features for the update which we will describe below. You can also read our comparison of iOS 16 vs iOS 17 for an overview of what’s new.

Not all the new features were available for the September launch though. At least five iOS 17 features weren’t ready including AirDrop over the Internet, the Journal app, Collaborative Apple Music playlists, AirPlay in hotel rooms, and NameDrop to Apple Watch. Some of these features arrived in subsequent software updates.

You may like to read: iOS 17 features didn’t make the WWDC keynote and iOS 17 features that make us want to upgrade.


This is a brand new app that builds on Memories in Photos to bring a new way to relive special moments, remember and write about experiences with text, location, and photos, and more. There is also a Suggestions API for developers to use in their apps.

The Journal app arrived in iOS 17.2 (see details above).


This seems to borrow from the Apple Watch. Put the phone in landscape on a stand at night and see the time with a clock and a range of clock styles. You can also shuffle through your best photos, display widgets, and see Live Activities, like game scores. You can also choose Night Mode to display red text and minimize eye strain at night. Remember alarm clocks? It’s a bit like that. See: How to use StandBy to make a smart home hub


Contact Posters

This will let you personalize how you appear in calls and on your contact card (since your custom contact card will show up in Contacts for your friends). You can customize your poster with images, fonts, and colors. This works with Call Kit so it can be used in third-party VOIP apps.

See: How to create and customize your Contact Poster in iOS 17


Live Voicemail

If someone calls and leaves a message you will see a live transcript as they speak. That way you can see if you want to pick up or not.

Read: How to use Live Voicemail in iOS 17.


Phone calls

Apple made some changes to the Phone app. It replaced the Contacts button, moved the in-call buttons, and updated the icons.

After a bit of a backlash, Apple moved the end-call button back to the middle midway through testing.


Apple added the ability to leave a video message in the FaceTime app when people don’t answer.

You will also be able to take FaceTime calls on an Apple TV.



The Messages app should feel faster, and search filters will let you add terms to a search to narrow the results. You’ll also be able to jump to the first unread message in a group chat, swipe to reply on any bubble, and automatically transcribe audio messages.

A new Check-In feature will also let Family and Friends know if you’ve made it to a destination safely. Messages can recognize if you aren’t making progress toward the destination and prompt you to respond. If you don’t, it will share information with the selected contact, including your location, battery level, and cell service status.

Additional Messages features arrived in iOS 17.2 including the ability to react to Messages with any emoji or sticker. There is also a new catch-up button to go straight to the first unread message.

Ring Tones and Text Tones

There are 24 new Ringtones in iOS 17 including Dollop, Kettle, Scavenger, Steps, Storytime, Unfold and Valley. To change the ringtone go to Sounds & Haptics, then tap Ringtone.

New text tones include Cheers, Droplet, Portal, Slide and Welcome. Find them in Sounds & Haptics setting under Text Tone.

Read more here: iOS 17 adds lots of new Ringtones and Text Tones


All emoji across iOS 17 are now stickers that can be resized. Subjects from photos can be lifted out of photos and turned into stickers. You can turn live animated photos into Live Stickers.

As of iOS 17.2 you will see Sensitive Content Warnings for stickers if you have enabled it for Messages.

Here’s a look at the new emoji that could come to iOS 17 in 2024.



Apple is changing the way AirDrop works it will be much simpler to use. You only need to bring your phones close together and you will be able to share information. You can easily choose the phone numbers and email addresses you want to share on an iPhone or Apple Watch. For example, if you want to share photos, just bring your phones close together.

AirDrop improvements that arrived in iOS 17.2 included expanded contact sharing options and the ability to share boarding passes, movie tickets, and other eligible passes by bringing two iPhones together.

Another AirDrop related change will come in a later update – the ability to start an AirDrop in person, but then leave before the transfer completes with the transfer finishing over the Internet.

AirDrop over the Internet arrived in iOS 17.1.


A new feature that takes advantage of AirDrop is NameDrop, an easy way to exchange contact info. No more having to miss-call a new friend just so they have your number.

You can even AirDrop to an Apple Watch.


Keyboard and Dictation

Autocorrect is “more accurate than ever,” says Apple. Tap the underlined word to get the option to revert to the word you had typed. You can get predictions in line as you type and just tap the space bar to add them. Machine learning will also learn your writing style and adapt autocorrect accordingly. Additionally, Dictation leverages a new speech recognition model to make it even more accurate.

Hey Siri

You no longer need to say, “Hey” every time you want to summon Siri. Siri is powered by the new transformer model that the new dictation and autocorrect is, making it far more accurate and better able to understand what you mean. You can also make multiple requests in the same command.


The People album in iOS 17 uses on-device machine learning to recognize “more photos of a user’s favorite people” as well as cats and dogs.

Safari and private browsing

Apple’s web browser gains a new Profiles feature to allow a user to separate work-related browsing from other browsing. Profiles can be tied to Tab Groups and Favourites.

Additionally, iOS 17 lets you pick a different default search engine for private browsing

Search in Safari is more responsive, according to Apple, with “easier to read and more relevant suggestions”.

The Safari update comes to iOS 16 and iOS 15 as well.

Apple Music

Collaborative Apple Music playlists are coming to Apple Music, but not until a later update. You’ll be able to share playlists with friends and they will be able to add, remove and reorder the songs.

Coming in iOS 17.3 (probably).

Smaller features

There are also numerous smaller features that Apple didn’t mention in the keynote that are worth knowing about, including improvements to Spotlight search, Notes, Autofill, and Apple Music, see: How to set and adjust crossfade in Apple Music.

Apple ID passkey

Apple announced passkey support in iOS 16 but it’s going mainstream in iOS 17. In iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, you’ll can log into your Apple ID with a passkey using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone instead of a password.

iOS 17: Third-party app stores and sideloading

Ahead of WWDC, there were reports that Apple will start to open up the iPhone in iOS 17, allowing the distribution of apps outside of Apple’s own App Store, the use of NFC for touchless payments beyond Apple Pay, browsers that don’t have to use Apple’s Webkit rendering engine, and more. It’s all necessary to comply with the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, and the expectation is that it will only apply to those iPhones running iOS 17 in the regions covered by EU law.

Apple didn’t discuss the changes at WWDC, which isn’t very surprising. Furthermore, there are no references to sideloading or third-party app store on the iOS 17 website. However, that doesn’t mean those changes aren’t coming in iOS 17, either at launch or sometime in 2024.

Source : Macworld