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Apple releases iOS 17 with redesigned communication apps, AirDrop improvements, more

The official iOS 17 promo image

iOS 17, Apple's latest mobile operating system announced at WWDC 2023, is now available for download. It brings redesigned communication experiences, updates for AirDrop, iMessage improvements, a new StandBy mode, interactive widgets, and more.

Which iPhone models support iOS 17?

Bad news for those owning an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X—these smartphones are no longer supported. From now on, the most recent iOS releases require a second-generation iPhone SE, iPhone XS/XS Max, or iPhone XR. Here is the complete list of supported iPhone models:

  • iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generation).
  • iPhone XR.
  • iPhone XS and XS Max.
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

What is new in iOS 17?

Redesigned Phone Experience. iOS 17 lets you create a personalized Contact Poster and express yourself with photos, memoji, and typography. Contact Posters are available in the standard Phone app and third-party calling applications.

A screenshot of iOS 17

Live Voicemail. You can see real-time transcription or pick up the phone when someone leaves a voicemail.

FaceTime Audio and Video Messages. If the person you are trying to reach via FaceTime is unavailable, you can leave a video or audio message. In addition, FaceTime is now available on Apple TV 4K, powered by Continuity Camera on your iPhone.

iMessage improvements. The "blue bubble" camp can now enjoy the latest advancements in iMessage, such as a new place for iMessage apps, auto check-in, a swipe-to-reply gesture, search filters, and audio message transcription.

A screenshot of iOS 17

StandBy. Turn your iPhone sideways when on charge to display useful information, such as date and time, music, photos, Live Activities, Siri results, and more. StandBy also works with third-party apps.

A screenshot of iOS 17

Interactive Widgets. You can now tick reminders, play music, interact with smart home items, and more, all from the Home screen without opening the corresponding apps.

NameDrop. You can exchange phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact-related data, including your Contact Poster, with other people by holding two iPhones together.

A screenshot of iOS 17

AirDrop improvements. iOS 17 makes sharing items via AirDrop much easier. Bring two iPhones together to initiate the transfer. Later this year, users will get the option to transfer files using AirDrop over the internet when not nearby.

Keyboard improvements. Apple has finally reworked its autocorrect logic, making it more convenient and less intrusive. iOS 17 will underline autocorrected words, allowing you to revert to the original with a single tap. In addition, you can use inline prediction and finish words or entire sentences by tapping the spacebar key.

Safari Upgrades. iOS' built-in browser lets you create dedicated spaces for work, personal browsing, and other activities with history, extensions, tab groups, cookies, and favorites separated from one another.

AirPods. With iOS 17, second-generation AirPods Pro get Adaptive Audio that dynamically blends Transparency mode and noise cancelation. You can also quickly mute or unmute yourself on a call by pressing the stem on your AirPods. Finally, Apple has made automatic switching easier, faster, and more reliable.

Health App. iOS 17 delivers plenty of upgrades for the Health app, allowing you to track even more health metrics, such as your emotions and sunlight exposure (with compatible Apple Watch models). The medication tracker can provide more reminders and give you charts, highlights, and overviews about when and how consistently you take your medications. Finally, your iPhone can warn you when you hold it too close to your eyes, potentially creating risks for your eyesight.

Siri improvements. Say goodbye to "Hey, Siri." With iOS 17, you can just say "Siri." Also, the digital assistant supports back-to-back requests.

And here are some other notable changes iOS 17 brings:

  • Downloadable maps for offline use and real-time charging station monitoring for electric vehicles.
  • Autofill verification codes received in Mail.
  • Password sharing with trusted contacts.
  • Communication Safety with additional protections for sensitive videos and photos received in messages, AirDrop, FaceTime, and more. iOS 17 can also blur sensitive images and videos before you view them.

How to download iOS 17?

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to General > Software Update.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to detect the update, then tap iOS 17 at the bottom of the screen. Note that you can stay on iOS 16 and continue receiving updates for it, even if your iPhone supports a newer release.
  4. Proceed with on-screen instructions.

Are you updating your iPhone today?

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