Apple’s iOS 17 Debut at WWDC Sees Major Updates to Journal, FaceTime and More – CNET

Apple has announced iOS 17, its next major update for the iPhone. The reveal came Monday during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The new iPhone software builds upon the last several versions of iOS which is important since it will likely disrupt the status quo on your iPhone. iOS 17 brings updates to FaceTime, Messages and the phone app.

Last year’s software update, iOS 16 introduced the ability to edit or “unsend” messages you send via iMessage, Apple Pay Later, a major overhaul to the lock screen, revamped notifications and Live Activities. These additions didn’t all come out at once and were actually scattered over the course of smaller iOS software updates throughout the year.

We can expect the same for iOS 17, which will likely release just before the rumored iPhone 15 goes on sale.

Contact Posters

Three iPhones, each showing a different Contact Poster

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>Contact Posters aim to make your contact cards more compelling.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple</span>

Last year we got customizable lock screens in iOS 16. This year, iOS 17 has something similar for your iPhone’s contact cards, to make them look more eye-catching. Contact Posters are beautiful treatments for contact photos and emoji paired with slick-looking typography that show up when you get calls and for other services on your phone where you communicate and share.

You can customize your Contact Poster similar to how you personalize your lock screen. Pick a photo, font and color and that’s it.

AirDrop gets easier to use

iOS 17 brings an overhaul to AirDrop. You now just need to bring your iPhone close to someone else’s to share a Contact Poster, photos, videos or kick off a shared activity using Share Play. So you can bring your phones together to watch the same live stream for example. And of course, being Apple, there’s a word for sharing your Contact Poster with someone new: NameDrop. What’s nice, is that you can choose what contact info is shared. NameDrop works between iPhones or with an Apple Watch, too.

Standby turns your iPhone into an Amazon Echo Show

An iPhone with its Standby screen active

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="28"></p> <p>iOS 17 adds an attractive screen that shows photos, widgets and info when your iPhone is charging.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple</span>

One of the biggest additions in iOS 17 is for when your iPhone isn’t in your hand. When you turn your iPhone on its side while charging, you get a new full screen experience with glanceable information. The feature is called Standby and mimics what many smart home devices can do, such as the Amazon Echo Show. Standby is designed to be viewed at a distance and is aimed for when your iPhone is on a MagSafe charger on a nightstand, kitchen counter or desk. The new screen shows the time, photos, widgets and Live Activities; nearly all of which can be personalized.

When you swipe to the side on the Standby screen, you can look at your favorite photos or moments, and in such an Apple-only way, have photos automatically shuffled to find the best shots to take advantage of the screen.
Standby can also show glanceable widgets. For example, you can see the weather, your Apple Home smart controls or your favorite third-party widget. Standby widgets are organized in smart stacks. And just like your iPhone’s home screen, Standby widgets automatically surface the right information at the right time. So you can view your schedule before a meeting starts. With support for live activities, you can also see the score of sporting events or the status of a food delivery. 

One of the more curious features is that Standby can remember your preferred view for each place you charge via MagSafe.

The new Journal app

The icon for the new Journal app in iOS 17

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>The icon for the new Journal app in iOS 17.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple</span>

iOS 17 brings a new Apple app called Journal that creates personalized suggestions to inspire writing. These suggestions are curated from information on your iPhone, like photos, location, music and workouts.

Journal gives you the option to select a moment, like “morning visit, Ocean Beach,” and start writing. You can also schedule notifications to remind you to write and get new prompts. You can flag important moments so that you can reflect on them later.

Live Voicemail

And iPhone with a Live Voicemail transcription

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>Live Voicemail lets you preview a transcription in real time as a voicemail is being recorded.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple</span>

Another new talent iOS 17 has involves your voicemail. When someone calls you and leaves a message, you’ll see a live transcription in real time as they speak. The new service is called Live Voicemail and it kind of feels like the days of answering machines, when my dad would screen a call. For Live Voicemail, you’ll see the voicemail right on your screen so you can decide whether to step out and take the call. The feature is powered by your iPhone’s neural engine in order to preserve your privacy. Live Voicemail seems identical to Call Screen on Google Pixel phones.

FaceTime messages

iOS 17 will let you record a video message in FaceTime. It’s a heavily requested feature that will ensure you can document and share important moments, even if someone misses your call.

Messages Check In

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>iOS 17 comes with a new location sharing tool called Check In.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple/GIF by Arielle Burton</span>

Apple is expanding and simplifying its location sharing via Messages. The new feature, called Check In, is for letting a loved one know you made it to your destination safely. Whether you’re walking home after dark or going for an early morning run, you can Check In with a family member or friend to let them know when you get home safely. As soon as you arrive home, Check In automatically detects that you’re home and lets your friend know. But if something unexpected happens, it can recognize that you’re not near your destination and check in with you. And if you don’t respond, Check In can automatically share your current location, the route you took, your iPhone’s battery level and cell service status; all of which is end-to-end encrypted.

Messages get a handful of fixes and additions

A message thread showing an audio recording and its transcription

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>The Messages app will get transcriptions for audio messages in iOS 17.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple</span>

The tried-and-true Messages app gets a handful of updates, including a visual overhaul of your iMessage apps which will no longer live above your keyboard and instead be accessible via a plus sign on the bottom left.
Searching through your Messages becomes a lot easier on iOS 17 with the addition of filters. When you start a search in the Messages app, you will be able to add terms to narrow the results.

Another welcome addition is transcription for audio messages. If you’re someone who has friends or family members who send you audio messages, you’ll be able to read a transcription of the recording right in the Messages app.
There’s also a new “catch up arrow” in Messages. It sits in the top right of your conversation and lets you jump to the first message you haven’t read. This could be a killer feature for managing group chats. Apple also made inline replies faster. In iOS 17, you’ll be able to just swipe to reply on any message bubble.

Apple fixes ‘ducking’ autocorrect

Autocorrect will become more intelligent and can fix more grammatical mistakes. Reverting words back to what you typed is easier. And apparently, autocorrect will learn and let you use curse words. Duck, yeah!

An iPhone with the Stickers drawer in Messages open

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>Messages adds a bunch of Sticker features.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Apple</span>

iMessage stickers get a new drawer to bring all the stickers you’ve used into one place. And now emoji are stickers. You can peel and stick an emoji sticker, rotate and resize it. The drawer also has a Live Stickers tab that lets you create a sticker from a photo, a Sticker animation (aka a gif) from a Live Photo and previous stickers you’ve created.

Last year in iOS 16, Apple introduced the ability to lift a subject from the background of a photo as part of Visual Lookup. With iOS 17, you can turn a photo’s subject into a sticker by tapping the Live Stickers tab. Stickers can be accessed system wide in things like Tapback, Markup and third-party apps; basically anywhere you can access emoji.


Watch this: Apple Reveals iOS 17