iOS 17 New Features: What’s New in Apple’s Next Big iPhone Update

Apple recently announced iOS 17, the latest version of its iOS operating system for iPhones. iOS 17 brings a variety of new features and improvements that enhance the overall user experience on iPhones. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most notable new additions in iOS 17.

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iOS 17 is expected to be released in September 2023, alongside the launch of new iPhone models. While Apple has not officially confirmed all the features yet, various leaks and rumors have given us a good idea of what to expect in iOS 17.

Some of the biggest changes include new features for core apps like Phone, FaceTime, and Messages, major improvements to notifications, updates to CarPlay, and more control over apps to improve privacy and security. There are also some fun new additions like an AR/VR mode, Apple Pay Later, and live captions for calls and media.

Overall, iOS 17 aims to make the iPhone more personalized, intelligent, and seamless to use. The new features cover a wide range of capabilities that will appeal to all kinds of iPhone users.

New Features for Phone, FaceTime, and Messages

Interactive Notifications for Calls

iOS 17 makes notifications for incoming calls more actionable. When you receive a call, the notification will show the caller’s name, photo, and the reason for their call (if they have added it to their outgoing call settings). You will be able to accept or decline the call and send automated text responses – all without leaving the app you are currently in.

This feature reduces disruptions from calls and makes it easier to handle them when you are busy with something else. The text auto-responses can convey common messages like “I’ll call you back in 10 minutes” or that you are driving and cannot take the call.

FaceTime Call Planning

The FaceTime app now allows you to schedule a future video call. You can pick a date and time and send a calendar invite to the participants over iMessage. The recipient can easily accept the FaceTime call event from their iMessage thread or calendar.

At the scheduled time, FaceTime will automatically start a video call without requiring you to call each person individually. This is useful when you want to plan virtual meetings or online sessions with family and friends.

SharePlay in Messages

iOS 17 brings SharePlay integration to Messages. SharePlay is Apple’s shared experiences technology that was introduced in iOS 15. It lets you enjoy synced content like movies, music, and your screen with other people on FaceTime.

Now in Messages, you’ll be able to launch SharePlay while chatting in an iMessage thread. This allows you to listen to songs together, watch TV or movies, and browse websites with friends directly within Messages.

StandBy Mode to Improve Battery Life

A new StandBy mode is coming to iOS 17 to extend iPhone battery life when needed. StandBy mode stops background activities, downloads, mail fetch, and other battery-draining tasks until you start using the iPhone actively again.

You can enable StandBy manually at any time or schedule it to turn on automatically at certain times, like at night. This will ensure your iPhone does not waste battery on background tasks when you are not using it.

Apple claims StandBy mode can double the battery life in some cases, which is great for traveling or days you will be away from a charger for long periods.

Interactive Notifications with Live Activities

Live Activities is a new feature that allows apps to deliver more dynamic and interactive notifications. For instance, sports apps can show live score updates directly in the notification without opening the full app. Ride-hailing apps can let you track your cab or driver en route.

Developers can create notifications with real-time animations, live text and input options. Thanks to this, notifications become powerful mini apps that users can interact with to get quick info or complete tasks faster.

Open With App Modes for Camera

The default Camera app gains “Open With” modes powered by Shortcuts automation. This allows you to long-press the Camera icon and choose a mode like “Open with QR Scanner” or “Open with Document Scanner”.

As the name suggests, this will open the Camera app directly in QR code or document scanning mode. The Camera app currently requires manually enabling these modes from Settings each time. The new shortcut modes provide one-tap access to specific camera capabilities.

72-Hour Passcode Grace Period

iOS 17 introduces a 72-hour grace period for unlocking your iPhone with Face ID after restarting your device. Currently, you must enter your passcode immediately after restarting your iPhone for security reasons.

The new 3-day grace period allows you to conveniently unlock with Face ID before requiring your passcode again. This means you won’t need to scramble to enter your passcode when rebooting your phone. After 72 hours, you’ll need to enter the passcode once to re-enable Face ID unlock.

Autocorrect Gets Smarter with Automatic Period Insertion

iOS 17 brings some enhancements to the on-device keyboard and autocorrect engine. One nice upgrade is automatic period insertion after double-tapping the spacebar.

This allows you to create a new sentence simply by double-tapping space, without needing to press the period key manually. Autocorrect will insert the period for you. This feature already exists on several Android keyboards and will greatly improve typing convenience on iPhone.

New Journal App for Personal Diary Keeping

iOS 17 introduces a new first-party app called Journal. As the name implies, Journal offers a private space for users to log thoughts, memories, events, notes, lists, and more as daily journal entries.

All content created in the Journal app is securely encrypted and can only be accessed via your iPhone’s passcode or biometric login. Users can add text, photos, handwritten notes, web links, weather data, and location tags to journal entries.

The app includes search, organization tools, and deep integration with Apple Pencil and iPad for versatile journaling capabilities.

Adaptive Audio for Improved Spatial Listening

iOS 17 upgrades the iPhone’s existing Spatial Audio feature with something called Adaptive Audio. It uses the TrueDepth camera to determine how your head and ears are positioned relative to the iPhone.

The iPhone can then adapt the spatial mixes of music, videos, and phone calls for optimized audio output tailored specifically to your orientation.

This allows Spatial Audio to deliver more precise surround sound effects and audio depth through AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Adaptive Audio ensures you get the best spatial listening experience customized in real-time.

Apple Pay Later Comes to Apple Pay

iOS 17 integrates the upcoming Apple Pay Later service directly into the Apple Pay workflow. Apple Pay Later lets you split purchases made with Apple Pay into four equal payments spread over six weeks. There are no fees or interest associated with using Apple Pay Later.

In iOS 17, you’ll see the Apple Pay Later option after authenticating a purchase with Face ID or Touch ID. You can simply choose Apple Pay Later at checkout to avail of this purchase plan for any eligible Apple Pay transaction.

CarPlay Improvements

CarPlay sees some helpful improvements in iOS 17, including customizable wallpapers and enhanced navigation features.

You’ll be able to set custom wallpapers in CarPlay for the first time, helping better integrate your iPhone with your vehicle’s infotainment system. iOS 17 also adds more detailed maps and new road details in CarPlay navigation.

Siri suggestions on CarPlay now include useful actions based on where you’re driving to, like playing a podcast or calling someone. These enhancements make the CarPlay experience more personalized.

Live Captions for Calls and Media

iOS 17 brings live captions to iPhone and iPad devices. The Live Captions feature generates real-time subtitles for phone and FaceTime calls, video/audio content, and even conversations with Siri.

Live Captions auto-transcribes speech to text and displays it on your screen so you can read the captions as people speak. This provides an accessible way for those with hearing impairments to follow along and engage in phone conversations and media playback.

The transcription happens on-device for privacy, and captions can be customized for text size, color, and more based on your needs.

NameDrop and Contact Poster

There are two fun new accessibility features called NameDrop and Contact Poster aimed at helping recognize voices/faces and remember contacts.

NameDrop listens for the names of contacts during calls and alerts you visually about who is speaking currently. This makes it easier to identify different people on conference calls.

Meanwhile, Contact Poster shows recent incoming/outgoing calls around the phone screen. Their contact photo, name, and context like “Mom (5 mins ago)” acts as a visual reminder of recent interactions.

And Much More

Above we covered some of the most significant updates you can expect in iOS 17.

But there are dozens of other handy additions and changes coming too, like:

  • Scheduling modes for Focus
  • Redesigned notifications
  • More customizable Always-On Display
  • Haptic feedback for keyboard, buttons, scroll wheels
  • Improvements to Maps, Health, Wallet apps
  • New options to further limit app tracking and data access
  • AR/VR mode with controller support
  • Emergency SOS via satellite

And more that Apple will reveal over time as we get closer to the iOS 17 release date.


iOS 17 represents a major update for the iPhone’s software capabilities and user experience. Key new features like interactive notifications, StandBy mode, Continuity Camera, and Apple Pay Later bring fresh capabilities to complement iOS’ existing strengths.

Upgrades across apps like Messages, FaceTime, Maps, and CarPlay also showcase Apple’s focus on refining core experiences rather than major overhauls. And exciting additions like the new Journal app and accessibility features demonstrate Apple’s commitment to privacy, personalization and inclusive technology.

Overall, iOS 17 reflects Apple’s maturity in developing mobile software that strikes the right balance between innovation, utility and simplicity. It sets the stage for Apple to deliver its most refined and powerful iPhone experience yet when iOS 17 lands later in 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About iOS 17

Here are some common questions about iOS 17’s new features, release date, compatibility, and more:

Q: When will iOS 17 be released?

A: iOS 17 is expected to release in September 2023, around the launch of new iPhone models. The exact release date is not confirmed yet.

Q: What devices will be compatible with iOS 17?

A: iOS 17 will be compatible with iPhone models going back to the iPhone XR and iPhone XS. Older iPhones like the iPhone 7 and below will likely not be supported.

Q: Will my iPhone battery life improve on iOS 17?

A: Yes, the new StandBy mode can help double battery life when enabled by stopping background activity. Adaptive charging also helps prolong battery capacity over time.

Q: What are Live Activities on the iOS 17 lock screen?

A: Live Activities are interactive notifications that provide real-time info from apps at a glance on your lock screen and in the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models.

Q: Can I try iOS 17 before it officially releases?

A: Yes, Apple will release iOS 17 as a public beta in the summer months so you can try it early if desired. The beta can be downloaded after signing up at

Q: Will iOS 17 have any major visual changes?

A: No, iOS 17 retains the overall design of iOS 16. The focus is more on new features rather than design overhauls.

Q: Does iOS 17 improve gaming capabilities on iPhone?

A: Yes, iOS 17 adds support for Nintendo Joy-Cons and adaptive triggers on PS5 controllers. There is also said to be a dedicated Game Center app.

Q: Will my iPhone work better with Mac on iOS 17?

A: Yes, iOS 17 enhances Continuity Camera integration for video calls and adds expanded Handoff capabilities between devices.

Q: What are some of the hidden features in iOS 17?

A: Some hidden gems include password auto-fill via Face ID, always-on display customizations, live captions for videos and TTY support during emergency calls.

Key Features of iOS 17

Interactive NotificationsActionable incoming call and app notifications
FaceTime Call SchedulingPlan video calls in Calendar and FaceTime
SharePlay in MessagesShared experiences in iMessage chats
StandBy ModePause background activity to improve battery life
Live ActivitiesDynamic, real time notifications
Open With Camera ModesQuickly open Camera in scanning modes via Shortcuts
72-Hour Passcode Grace PeriodUnlock with Face ID for 3 days after rebooting
Automatic Period InsertionDouble tap spacebar for autocorrect to insert periods
Journal AppPrivate diary with media, maps and Memories integration
Adaptive AudioSpatial audio that adapts to your head position
Apple Pay LaterSplit Apple Pay purchases into 4 interest-free payments
CarPlay WallpapersCustom wallpaper option in CarPlay
Live CaptionsReal-time subtitles for calls, media and conversations
NameDropOn-screen alerts identifying callers
Contact PosterRecent contacts displayed around phone edges

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