Home > iOS > iOS FAQ

The Latest on iOS 17: Features, Release Window Speculation and Phone Compatibility

What's New: Explore the enhancements and improvements in iOS 17
Last Updated on July 20, 2023
The Latest on iOS 17
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

As we progress through 2023, all eyes in the tech world are on Apple’s next major update — iOS 17. This update, which is the latest on iOS 17, was announced at the WWDC in June and is set to introduce a plethora of innovative features aimed at enhancing and redefining the user experience on iPhones.

From the unveiling of the Journal app to the introduction of Live Voicemail, iOS 17 is set to transform your iPhone experience. The Journal app is a unique tool designed to chronicle your life’s moments. On the other hand, Live Voicemail revolutionizes the traditional voicemail system. Additionally, a fresh, interactive approach to using Stickers adds a fun element to your communications.

Furthermore, iOS 17 predictions include a significant improved battery level management. This ensures your device can keep pace with your busy schedule. The update also refines location tracking and map features, making navigation to your destination a breeze.

As we eagerly await its official fall release, this article delves into everything you need to know about iOS 17. From release dates and standout features to phone compatibility, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or an everyday user, read on to discover how the latest on iOS 17 could reshape your iPhone experience.

iOS 17: Release Window Speculation

Following its announcement and demonstration at WWDC 2023 on June 5, Apple has successfully rolled out the first Public Beta of iOS 17 on July 12, 2023. This beta version matches the Developer Beta 3, which had an updated release just a day prior.

Though the public beta is now accessible, the final public version of iOS 17 is anticipated to be launched in mid-September 2023. It’s noteworthy that, except for iOS 5 which was launched in October 2011, all other recent versions of iOS have been released in September. This has set a predictable trend, suggesting that the iOS 17 update will arrive in the fall, likely close to the launch event of the iPhone 15.

Historically, there has been a gap of a few days between the unveiling of the new iPhone model and the release of the corresponding iOS update. For example, iOS 16 was released five days after the iPhone 14 launch in 2022, while iOS 15 was released six days after the iPhone 13 launch in 2021.

To provide further insight into this pattern, here’s a brief look at the release dates of previous iOS versions:

  • iOS 16: Monday, September 12, 2022
  • iOS 15: Monday, September 20, 2021
  • iOS 14: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
  • iOS 13: Thursday, September 19, 2019
  • iOS 12: Monday, September 17, 2018

By studying these dates, we can infer that the official iOS 17 release is highly likely to be in mid-September, paving the way for a fresh and enhanced iPhone experience.

The Top Features on iOS 17

The latest on iOS 17 reveals a host of exciting changes aimed at enhancing the user experience. Let’s delve into some of the standout features that this update is set to bring.

From the introduction of a new journaling app that allows you to document your life’s moments, to the innovative live speech feature that transcribes your spoken words in real-time, iOS 17 is all about enriching user interactions. The update also brings improvements to the keyboard, making typing more intuitive and efficient.

Moreover, the ‘Catch-Up’ feature in iMessage will help you stay updated with group chats, ensuring you never miss out on important conversations. Additionally, the enhanced audio messages feature provides a more dynamic and engaging way to communicate, further elevating the iOS messaging experience.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into these features and more in our comprehensive coverage of the latest on iOS 17.

AirPods

With iOS 17, AirPods users will be able to experience Adaptive Audio for AirPods Pro (2nd Generation). This feature seamlessly integrates the transparency mode with the active noise cancellation mode, adapting according to your environment.

AirDrop

Major changes are headed towards AirDrop, including the ability to initiate file transfer by simply placing your iPhone near another. Later in the year, it will also enable transfer continuation over the internet, so you can conveniently walk away once the transfer has started.

Assistive Access

iOS 17 continues Apple’s commitment to accessibility with new assistive access features. These features make it easier for people with disabilities to use their devices.

NameDrop

This feature provides a quick way to share contact details with new acquaintances. Just place your iPhone near another iPhone or Apple Watch, and you can select specific phone numbers or email addresses to share.

StandBy

Borrowing from the Apple Watch, placing the phone in landscape on a stand at night will display the time, your best photos, widgets, and Live Activities, like game scores.

Journal

A brand-new app that expands on the Memories in Photos feature. It offers a new way to relive special moments, remember experiences with text, location, and photos, and more. Developers can also leverage the Suggestions API in their apps.

Contact Posters

This feature allows you to personalize your appearance in calls and on your contact card with custom images, fonts, and colors.

Live Voicemail

Live Voicemail transcribes voicemails in real-time, allowing you to decide whether to answer the call or not while the caller is still on the line.

FaceTime

iOS 17 offers the option to leave audio or video messages in FaceTime. The app is also coming to Apple TV, allowing for seamless hand-off between your iPhone and your Apple TV. 

Messages

iOS 17 updates the Messages app with the ability to swipe to reply, mirroring the functionality in apps like WhatsApp.

Improved Autocorrect

The on-device machine learning model has been enhanced to provide more accurate autocorrect suggestions. It will also suggest complete sentences as you type based on your commonly used words.

Stickers

All emojis in iOS 17 can now be resized and used as stickers. Subjects can also be lifted from photos to create unique stickers.

Siri

In iOS 17, you can now make multiple requests in a single command without the need to precede each with “Hey Siri”.

Photos

The People album in iOS 17 will utilize on-device machine learning to recognize more photos of the user’s favorite people, as well as cats and dogs.

Apple ID passkey

With iOS 17, you can log into your Apple ID with a passkey using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, an improvement initially introduced in iOS 16 but is now going mainstream in iOS 17.

Transcript

The transcript feature in iOS 17 allows you to transcribe voice notes and audio recordings. This can be particularly useful for students, journalists, or anyone who needs to convert speech to text.

Health App

The Health app in iOS 17 has been upgraded with new features. It now includes a mood tracker, which allows you to track your mood over time and gain insights into your emotional well-being. The Health app also integrates with other iMessage apps, allowing you to share health data with friends and family.

Navigating with Offline Maps

Offline Maps is a new feature in iOS 17 that allows you to download maps for use when you don’t have an internet connection. This can be particularly useful when traveling in areas with poor cellular reception.

It also introduces new navigation features that make it easier for users to get around. The Maps app now includes a detailed city experience, featuring a three-dimensional city view and immersive walking directions. Additionally, the new driving features provide more detailed road information, including turn lanes, medians, bike lanes, and pedestrian crosswalks.

Sharing with SharePlay

SharePlay is a new feature in iOS 17 that allows you to share your screen with others during a FaceTime call. This can be used to watch movies, listen to music, or browse the web together.

What’s New with Personal Voice in the upcoming iOS update?

The personal voice feature in iOS 17 has been significantly enhanced. It now offers a more natural and expressive speech pattern, making Siri sound almost human. This upgrade is not just about making Siri sound more pleasant, but it’s also about improving the overall user experience. The new personal voice feature can adapt to the user’s speech pattern and accent, making interactions with Siri more seamless and personalized.

Exploring New Gestures

iOS 17 introduces new gestures that make it easier for users to navigate their devices. These include a new back tap feature, which allows users to perform specific actions by double or triple tapping the back of their iPhone.

How Does iOS 17 Help Connect with Family Members?

iOS 17 introduces a new feature that allows users to set up and manage Apple devices for family members who don’t have an Apple ID. This feature is especially useful for parents who want to manage their children’s device usage.

Furthermore, the new Family Sharing feature allows up to six family members to share App Store purchases and Apple subscriptions, making it easier and more cost-effective for families to enjoy Apple services.

Improving Your Search with New Filters

The new search filters in iOS 17 make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for. Users can now filter search results by date, location, or people. This feature is particularly useful for finding specific photos or messages.

What’s New with Safari?

Safari in iOS 17 has been redesigned for easier navigation and better performance. The new tab bar design allows users to see more of the page as they scroll. Additionally, the new Tab Groups feature makes it easier for users to organize their tabs and switch between them.

Third-Party App Stores: What You Need to Know

With iOS 17, Apple has opened up to third-party app stores. This move is a significant shift from Apple’s previous policy of only allowing apps from its App Store. This change provides users with more options and flexibility in choosing apps.

However, it’s important to note that while third-party app stores offer a wide range of apps, they may not have the same level of security and quality control as the Apple App Store.

iOS 17: Compatible phones

While the arrival of a new iOS update is exciting, it’s essential to note that not all iPhone models will support iOS 17. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, all released in the same year, will not be supported by iOS 17. These models currently run on iOS 16 and are expected to continue receiving security updates for at least another year.

Here are the iPhone models that are compatible with iOS 17:

  • 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 generation or later)

However, it’s worth noting that not all of iOS 17’s features may be available on the older devices listed above, as their processing power or hardware might not be sufficient to support them. It’s always a good idea to check the individual feature compatibility with your specific iPhone model before updating.

Simply put, some new features in iOS 17 need newer iPhones. For example, the improved autocorrect requires an iPhone 12 or newer. Other features need specific devices. For instance, using FaceTime on Apple TV will work with any iPhone that can run iOS 17, but you’ll need a 2nd-generation Apple TV 4K.

Conclusion: Wrapping Up on iOS 17

As we conclude our exploration of the upcoming iOS 17, it’s clear that Apple is set to deliver a major update packed with exciting features. From personalized phone calls to live stickers, the new iOS promises to enhance the user experience and offer more customization and functionality than ever before.

One of the most anticipated features is the ability to create a backup of your device directly from your iPhone. This feature, coupled with the ability to manage backups, ensures that your data is always safe and accessible. The introduction of the WWDC, a configuration profile that allows developers to test new features and updates, is another significant development.

If you’re a developer with an Apple developer account, you’ll have the opportunity to test these features before they’re released to the public. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the new features and prepare your apps for the update.

Remember, before you upgrade to iOS 17, it’s essential to create an archived backup of your device. This will protect your data in case you want to downgrade to iOS 16. Major updates like iOS 17 often come with bugs and issues that are usually resolved in subsequent updates. Joining the public beta program allows you to test these updates and provide feedback to Apple.

In summary, iOS 17 is shaping up to be a significant update that will enhance the functionality of your iPhone. Whether you’re a general user or a developer, there’s a lot to look forward to with iOS 17. Stay tuned for more updates as we approach the official release date.

FAQ

What phone will not support iOS 17?

The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X will not support iOS 17 and under. These models were all released the same year and while they can run iOS 16, they will not be compatible with iOS 17. However, they should still receive security updates for at least another year.

What phone will not support iOS 17?

The iPhone 7 and any models before it will not support iOS 17. The earliest model that will support iOS 17 is the iPhone SE (2nd generation), followed by the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, going up to the latest iPhone 14 series.

Maria is a contributer to PC Guide, highly-interested in productivity and AI tools, and ensuring the inclusion of detailed product info and coverage across versus pieces.