iOS 17 comes packed with many new features that Apple touted on stage, but there are also some hidden gems that aren’t so obvious at first glance. In this complete guide, we’ll walk you through how to use some of the best use iOS 17 hidden features.
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use iOS 17 hidden features represents one of the biggest updates to iOS in years. While Apple announced big changes like the new customizable Lock Screen, there are a number of hidden features that weren’t given as much spotlight.
These features range from small quality-of-life improvements to larger enhancements that can really change how you use your iPhone. We’ve dug through iOS 17 to uncover some of the best hidden gems.
In this guide, we’ll cover how to use iOS 17 hidden features to get the most out of your iOS 17 update. Let’s get started!
Advanced Message Search
The Messages app now has more powerful search capabilities in iOS 17. You can now search for specific words or phrases within your message conversations.
Here’s how to use advanced Message search:
- Open the Messages app and tap on the search bar at the top.
- Type in your search term and hit return. This will surface conversations that contain that word or phrase.
- To filter further, tap the three dots in the lower left corner while viewing search results.
- Choose options like “Photos,” “Links,” or “Videos” to narrow down matches.
With this enhanced search functionality, you can easily find specific messages, links, photos, and more in your messaging history. No more endless scrolling to find what you need!
Laundry Symbol Scanner
The Camera app in iOS 17 has a new trick up its sleeve: it can now recognize laundry symbols and provide details on how to wash that item of clothing. Here’s how to use it:
- Open the Camera app and point it at a clothing tag with laundry symbols.
- Tap the laundry symbol button at the bottom (it looks like a shirt icon).
- The Camera will scan the symbols and provide a popup with information like recommended wash cycle, drying directions, and if ironing is needed.
This takes all the guesswork out of laundry day. Next time you’re sorting clothes, just let your iPhone decode those cryptic symbols for you.
Measure Surfaces with Camera
The Camera in iOS 17 has gained “Ruler View” which lets you measure distances just by pointing your iPhone at objects. Here’s how it works:
- Open the Camera app and select Photo mode.
- Along the top, choose the ruler icon to enter Ruler View.
- Aim your camera at the object you want to measure. Yellow crosshairs will appear to target distance.
- The width, height, and distance numbers will automatically populate at the top of the screen as you move the camera around.
- Tap the shutter button to lock in a measurement.
With this simple yet powerful tool, you can measure furniture, distance between walls, TV size, and more. It’s perfect for interior design, real estate, and everyday estimation needs.
Need to keep track of multiple timers at once? iOS 17 now allows you to have multiple active timers in the Clock app.
To set multiple timers:
- Open the Clock app and select the Timers tab.
- Tap the + button to create a new timer.
- Set the time as needed, add a label, then tap Start.
- Repeat steps 2-3 to create more timers.
The timers will show a list of all your active ones, letting you monitor them simultaneously. You can give each one a unique label like “Baking” or “Laundry” to keep things organized.
From cooking elaborate meals to productivity sprints, multiple timers makes managing time much easier.
Conversation Boost for AirPods
If you own AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, iOS 17 includes a new feature called Conversation Boost that makes it easier to hear conversations in loud environments. Here’s how it works:
- Open Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual.
- Under Hearing Devices, select your AirPods.
- Toggle on Conversation Boost.
Now when you’re wearing your AirPods in a noisy area, your iPhone’s microphone will isolate the person speaking in front of you and amplify their voice in your ears. It’s great for hearing friends at concerts or noisy restaurants.
Adaptive Transparency Mode
Along with Conversation Boost, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max also get Adaptive Transparency mode in iOS 17. This adjusts the Transparency level automatically based on your surroundings.
- Open Control Center by swiping down from the top right.
- Long press on the volume slider.
- Tap the Adaptive Transparency toggle.
Now your AirPods will automatically increase Transparency when in louder spaces and decrease it in quiet settings. This makes it effortless to stay aware of your environment without having to manually adjust it.
Trying to take perfectly level photos? iOS 17 adds a handy camera leveling feature to make that easier.
To access it:
- Open the Camera app and enter Photo mode.
- Tap the Level icon along the top – it looks like a bubble level tool.
- Yellow horizontal lines will appear on screen. Adjust your iPhone until the lines turn green, indicating the camera is level.
- Take your level photo!
This quick level check can be a big help for real estate photography, product shots, artistic Instagram pics and more. No more crooked horizons ruining your shots.
Lock Camera White Balance
Inconsistent color in your photos? iOS 17 lets you lock the camera’s white balance so every shot has the same temperature and tint.
- Open Camera and point it at a white surface, piece of paper, or object you want to set the baseline color.
- Tap the ellipsis (…) icon to access more settings.
- Choose Lock White Balance.
- Frame your shots and the white balance will stay locked in despite different lighting.
Locking white balance is handy when lighting conditions change while shooting video or timelapses. It ensures consistent color throughout all your clips.
Streamline “Hey Siri” Activation
Tired of always needing to say “Hey Siri” before making requests? iOS 17 allows you to skip that activation phrase if you want.
To set it up:
- Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
- Under “Listen for Hey Siri,” choose Only with Power Button.
Now instead of saying “Hey Siri”, you can just hold down the side/power button to activate Siri immediately. It saves a couple of words each time and feels more instant.
Interact with Home Screen Widgets
Widgets on your iPhone’s home screen are no longer just set dressing. In iOS 17, you can now interact with many widgets without opening the full app.
- Music widgets let you play, pause, or skip tracks
- Weather widgets show current conditions and forecast
- Clock widgets set alarms or timers
- Calendar widgets create new events
Just press and hold a widget to access available controls. It makes them so much more useful at a glance.
Be sure to try it out with your favorite widget-enabled apps!
Private Safari Tabs
Private browsing tabs have been streamlined in iOS 17’s Safari. Now there’s an easy way to open a new private tab without digging through menus.
- Open Safari and tap the Tabs button.
- Scroll down and select Private. This will instantly open a new private tab while closing any others.
The tab will show “Private” in the header so you know browsing is hidden. No history, cookies, or data will be retained once you close it.
Have Safari Read Pages Aloud
Safari can now read entire webpages out loud using its new Speak Screen feature. Here’s how to use it:
- Navigate to the webpage you want read aloud.
- Tap the AA button in the URL bar to access Reader View.
- Select the Play button. Safari will start reading the content out loud!
You can adjust playback speed, jump between sections, or have Safari autoscroll as it reads. It’s perfect for catching up on articles hands-free or learning pronunciation of new words.
Delete Verification Codes Automatically
Those pesky one-time verification codes sent via text and email can clutter up your inbox. iOS 17 can now delete them automatically after use:
- Go to Settings > Messages > Verification Codes.
- Enable Auto-Delete Verification Codes after Using Them.
Now when you receive a text or email code, it will disappear from your history after you successfully enter it. No more built up strings of random numbers in your messages.
This setting helps keep your inbox tidy while still retaining access to codes when you need them. Set it and forget it!
Conclusion & Next Steps
Those are 10 of our favorite hidden gems in iOS 17, but there are plenty more waiting to be uncovered. Features like multiple stops in Maps, passkey support, and customizable spatial audio for AirPods are also brand new.
We recommend exploring your iPhone’s settings and apps to find additional iOS 17 secrets. Enable features like Haptic Keyboard for tactile typing feedback, or try out the redesigned Home architecture. There’s a lot to experience!
For more in-depth guides, be sure to check out our YouTube channel where we have videos demonstrating these iOS 17 tips. And let us know your favorite new features by tweeting us @TechBlog. Enjoy unlocking the possibilities with iOS 17!