Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference wasn’t only about a virtual reality headset. The Cupertino tech giant also showed off new features coming soon to their products including the iPhone, Apple Watch and more.
iOS 17 is expected to arrive in the fall and it’s focused on making the iPhone more personalized and even easier to communicate.
For starters, you’ll be able to create a customized “Contact Poster.” This is basically a personalized contact card that will be shown on the lock screen when you call someone else’s phone. Think of it as an expanded version of the little profile picture and name that you can see when someone sends you an iMessage.
A new AirDrop feature called NameDrop will make exchanging phone numbers and contact information easier. All you have to do is bring an iPhone or Apple Watch near someone else’s and you can swap info. It’s reminiscent of an app called Bump which was popular back when the iPhone first launched.
Live Voicemail is a new feature that will help you decide if you should pick up the phone. When someone is leaving a voicemail message, your phone will transcribe and display what they’re saying in real time on your lock screen.
A new feature called Standby turns the iPhone into a useful information display when you’re not using it. You can have your phone show photos, a calendar, clock and more when it’s on a little magnetic charging stand.
Voice commands are easier than ever. Starting in iOS 17 you’ll no longer have to say “Hey” before Siri. Just saying “Siri” will trigger the virtual assistant.
Apple is introducing several new mental health features, including a way to log your daily mood. You can even specify what’s causing you to feel a certain way like travel, family or lack of sleep. Later, you can see trends related to your mood.
iOS 17 is also getting a built-in journaling app. It will help “start” entries for you by pulling in information from various apps like your photos, music and GPS. Apple says everything remains private and encrypted.
A new feature called Check In will provide peace of mind when you’re trying to make sure someone gets home safely. They can set iMessage to automatically send a message when they reach their destination. If they don’t get there in a timely manner, the recipient will get information about the route they took, their phone’s battery level and if they have a cellular signal.
Finally, there’s a new setting to turn on a “Sensitive Content Warning.” This feature will screen incoming photos and videos for nudity and blur them even before you see them. The analysis happens on device so your photos aren’t sent to a server somewhere for processing, which keeps the function private.
iOS 17 will be available in the Fall. It will support iPhone XS and later models, which means if you have an iPhone 8, 8 Plus or an iPhone X, you won’t be getting iOS 17 or any further software updates.