Apple usually releases its big iOS updates at 10 am PT / 1 pm EDT / 6 pm BST, and that proved the case again with iOS 17.
iOS 17 was announced back in June at WWDC 2023, so unless you’ve taken an early ride on the beta train, it can be easy to forget the new features that were announced.
You don’t have to upgrade to an iPhone 15 this week to get a hit of iPhone-based fun, because iOS 17 has finally launched. And there are some big improvements that I’m looking forward to taking for a spin on my older iPhone.
1. Interactive widgets
Apple says these interactions will let you tick off things on your to-do list, pause songs, or access your smart-home controls, among other tricks. This is something you’ve been able to do on Android for a while, but I’m looking forward to being able to do this on my iPhone.
Until now I’ve always found widgets to be more useful on iPads, but their new interactive versions will likely see them take up more of my home screen.
2. StandBy mode
Beyond turning your iPhone into a glorified alarm clock, StandBy combines nicely with iOS 17’s new interactive widgets (above) to serve you up glanceable info like the latest news headlines, weather, and more.
While it looks a bit limited right now (not all widgets are supported), StandBy could (literally) become the sleeper hit of iOS 17.
3. Better autocorrect
The new autocorrect could also reduce the amount of tapping we do, too – like Gmail, its predictive smarts will let you hit the space bar to choose its suggested phrases and sentences.
4. FaceTime on Apple TV
As most TVs don’t have a built-in camera, the feature instead uses Cona Tinuity Camera to turn your iPhone into a webcam. Given how wide the iPhone’s main camera is, I’m not yet sure how close to the TV I’ll need to sit – but it will use Center Stage to keep me in the air, so it’s dee of the first iOS 17 features I’m planning to try out.