iOS 17 in a nutshell: Improved contacts, innovative sharing and StandBy mode

  • The Cupertino brand kicked off the WWDC 2023 conference today
  • As part of the keynote, we saw the unveiling of the new iOS 17
  • What has the technology giant prepared for us?
Apple iOS 17

The new version of iOS 17 officially introduced | photo: Apple

One of the most anticipated conferences of the year is finally here. As expected, on Apple WWDC 2023 a new version of the iOS operating system was introduced. Coming iOS 17 is packed with new features that dramatically expand the arsenal Apple. These include, for example, a number of novelties in the field of communication applications, improved AirDrop, the integration of neural networks or the never-before-seen use of an always-on display.

Apple introduced iOS 17

The basic trio of communication applications, which include Phone, FaceTime and iMessage, have received big news and changes. Among the main news regarding calls is the ability to customize how an incoming call will look on a foreign device. The feature allows you to edit the font, photo or Memoji, while you can create different looks for other contacts. Another big news is live voicemail transcription without answering the call or send a short video message instead of a missed FaceTime.

Apple iOS 17, Contact Poster

We will now be able to edit the profile of the recipient for each contact | photo: Apple

The iMessage application has also received a number of modifications, which are mainly small things that make life easier. Specifically, it is a button to move to the last read message in a group chat or reply to a message by swiping. A more interesting novelty is the text transcription of a voice message or the sharing of your location and the Check In function, which allows you to set automatic notifications that you got home safely. Important contacts will be notified in case of delay or neglect.

AirDrop supports NFC

As part of iOS 17, we will see a drastic improvement of the well-known AirDrop function, which will now also support NFC chips. Instead of dictating your phone number, simply bring the two devices closer to each other and you’re done. The counterpart will get your Contact Poster almost immediately, which is part of a new sub-feature called NameDrop. It is a way to quickly and efficiently share contact information such as a phone number or your email with new people.

Apple NameDrop

The new NameDrop feature will allow quick sharing of contact details | photo: Apple

Autocorrect is suddenly smarter

Although at first glance this news might seem insignificant, the opposite is true. The new autocorrect based on the use of neural networks is clear evidence that Apple is experimenting with further and deeper integration of artificial intelligence into completely common tasks. Innovative autocorrect will use advanced algorithms to analyze and predict entire phrases and sentences instead of a few words.

In addition, it will also focus on the user’s behavior, when it can remember which words you have deliberately misspelled. The same applies to the use of profanity, which autocorrect traditionally corrects to literary and decent expressions. It will now remember your rejection of word correction and adapt.

Write a diary with the Journal app

We will stay with neural networks for a while, because the new Journal application also uses them extensively. It is a simple app that is supposed to serve as a personal diary capturing your life. It is based on a recommendation system, where it shows you the locations you visited, the photos you took or the music you listened to during the day. It then asks you what you experienced and how you felt, leaving the rest up to you and your creativity.

Apple Journal

New Apple Journal app | photo: Apple

Offline maps

Tourists and everyone who likes to travel can expect great news. Apple Maps will finally support offline mode, where you can download your chosen destinations and then view them when you don’t have an internet connection. Logically, however, the maps will lose interactive functions such as the current overview of traffic and others.

Mental health and myopia

The Health application will be expanded to include two often neglected fields, namely mental health and myopia. The app will now enable mood recording. In addition, a questionnaire will be integrated into it to help evaluate the risk of anxiety or depression. The new Screen Distance function will use the TrueDepth camera to measure the distance of the face from the display, thereby reducing the risk of nearsightedness.

Standby mode

Although Apple was one of the last brands to jump into the use of always-on displays, as usual it brings a completely new, innovative and never-before-seen point of view. Together with the arrival of iOS 17, we can look forward to a new feature called StandBy, which makes the most of the integration of always-on displays. It basically turns your iPhone into a smart alarm clock and smart assistant all in one.

Apple StandBy

Apple StandBy | foto: Apple

When you put your device in landscape mode, the entire lock screen UI is transformed. It will now be dominated by large clocks, weather and photos. The displayed data can be set exactly according to your needs, while you can also connect widgets, Homekit control and more. It will also offer a red tone at night, following the example of the Apple Watch Ultra. Your iPhone suddenly becomes a smart multifunctional alarm clock displaying all the necessary information.

More news

That’s still not all, iOS 17 will also bring a bunch of other minor news. For example, you will no longer need to say “Hey Siri” to activate the smart assistant Siri. Just call the assistant by name. The Photos app will now learn to better recognize animals and even remember pet names. The Find function will also be expanded, when the app will now allow you to share the location of the AirTag with other contacts. Improvements will also come to stickers, which can be animated, can be created from cut-out images and saved.

iOS 17, all the news

Overview of all news in iOS 17 | photo: Apple

When will we wait?

While the developer version of the operating system is already available, we will have to wait a while for the public beta. It should be available from this July. The full version should come as usual in September together with the latest iPhone 15.

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