Apple has released the iOS 17.1 Beta 2 to developers, which includes several new features and changes compared to iOS 17. Some of the highlights include new display options, the return of ringtones and text tones, updates to battery charging, and more. Keep reading to learn about all the changes found in iOS 17.1 Beta 2.
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iOS 17.1 beta 2 was seeded to developers on October 3, 2023, just a couple weeks after the release of the first beta. This update comes after the launch of iOS 17 in September.
Apple frequently releases incremental updates to iOS versions that introduce new features and bug fixes. iOS 17.1 appears to be one of those updates, adding useful new capabilities to the iOS operating system.
Beta releases allow developers to test out new features and provide feedback to Apple before the software is made publicly available. The iOS 17.1 beta indicates that we can expect the public release sometime this fall, likely in October or November.
Standby Display Options
One of the more notable changes in iOS 17.1 beta 2 is new display options for the Lock Screen, which Apple refers to as “Standby.” When your iPhone is locked, it shifts to the Standby Display, which previously had limited options.
In iOS 17.1 beta 2, a new “Display” section has been added to the Standby settings. Here you’ll find the following new display controls:
- Turn Off After: Options to have the Standby Display turn off after 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes of inactivity. This helps conserve battery life.
- Always On: A toggle to keep the Standby Display permanently on. This is useful if you frequently want to glance at info like the time or widgets.
- Night Mode: Toggles on a reddish tint and slightly dims the display. This is meant to reduce eye strain in low light environments.
- Motion to Wake: Determines whether raising or tapping the iPhone will turn the display on. Can be toggled on or off.
These new controls offer you much more flexibility over the Standby Display. You can fine tune both the visual appearance and intelligent behavior to suit your preferences.
Ringtones and Text Tones
iOS 17.1 beta 1 had removed over 20 ringtones and text tones that originally shipped with iOS 17. Beta 2 adds back these ringtones and text tones, restoring the full set of options.
What’s more, there’s a new ability to set custom ringtones and text tones that you create yourself. This was not possible in iOS 17.
To set a custom sound, simply select “Add New” when choosing a ringtone or text tone. You can then browse your audio files and select any song, recording, or other audio to use.
This should greatly expand the variety of sounds you can use for incoming calls and text messages. Listen to a short clip from your favorite song or a silly audio meme to liven things up.
Battery Charging Updates
The iPhone 15 models introduced a new Battery Charging option that pauses charging once the battery hits 80%. This can help extend the overall battery lifespan by reducing wear. However, in iOS 17.1 beta 1, iPhones would ignore this setting and charge to 100%.
Beta 2 fixes this issue, making sure the 80% charge limit is correctly applied. So if you have that setting enabled, your iPhone will once again halt charging at 80% battery capacity.
This should prevent excess battery aging that could shorten the usable lifespan of your iPhone’s battery. It’s an important fix for those using the new charging optimization.
Apple Watch Double Tap
Alongside the iOS 17.1 beta 2, Apple also seeded watchOS 10.1 beta 2 to developers. This update to the Apple Watch operating system adds one small but neat new feature.
Double Tap, which allows you to double tap the side button on your Apple Watch to perform shortcuts and actions, is now fully enabled.
With watchOS 10.1 beta 2, you can go into the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and configure Double Tap to your liking. Set it to launch certain apps, activate accessibility features like VoiceOver, or trigger other useful functions.
Double Tap provides a quick way to open apps or access information without having to touch the Apple Watch’s screen or use raise to wake. It’s a handy addition to watchOS 10.1.
When will iOS 17.1 be publicly released?
Apple has not announced an official release date yet, but based on past timelines it will likely launch sometime in October or early November 2023. The final version number may be iOS 17.1 or 17.0.1.
What other changes are included in iOS 17.1 beta 2?
Aside from the user-facing features covered here, this beta likely includes under-the-hood improvements, security updates, and bug fixes. Developer beta release notes aren’t normally published.
How can I install the iOS 17.1 beta?
The beta is only available to registered developers at this time. A public beta typically launches shortly after the developer beta period starts.
What devices are compatible with iOS 17.1?
iOS 17.1 can be installed on all devices compatible with iOS 17, including:
- iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max
- iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS, XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8, 8 Plus
- iPhone 7, 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s, 6s Plus
- iPhone SE (1st and 2nd gen)
Along with the various iPod Touch, iPad, and iPadOS models that support iOS 17.
Will my device automatically update to iOS 17.1?
When the final version releases, compatible devices will receive the update automatically if you have automatic updates enabled. Or you can install it manually by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
The second developer beta for iOS 17.1 delivers some helpful improvements to the iPhone user experience. New Standby display options grant you more control, while the return of ringtones, text tones, and proper 80% charging bring back important capabilities.
We can expect additional changes to come in future iOS 17.1 betas as Apple moves towards a public release. This should be a worthwhile update for any iPhone user once it becomes available.
For now, developers can continue testing the iOS 17.1 beta 2 and try out the new features. Have feedback for Apple? Reach out to the developer forums or Apple Developer Support. We look forward to seeing the final version of iOS 17.1 hit customer devices soon.