Apple made a number of announcements at its Worldwide Developers Conference, and while the futuristic Vision Pro grabbed most of the attention on the hardware, iOS 17 was perhaps the star on the software front. Apple announced a number of new features and tweaks for the next version of the iPhone’s operating system, some of which might even indicate what the next iPhone could have in store for us.

best ios 17 features

Here then, are seventeen of the most notable features to look out for in iOS 17:

Best iOS 17 Features

Journal – Record your life

iOS 17 will come with a new app. Journal is a sort of digital diary for users, allowing them to record their thoughts and feelings by writing, putting audio notes, images, music, and more. You can mark events and moments and, importantly, get back to them later.

Apple claims that “machine learning” will also suggest note-worthy moments for you based on the images, music, and other data on the phone. Think of it as a Notes app for mindfulness, and of course, Apple has ensured that it looks and works smoothly. It is for iOS 17, but we are so looking forward to using it on the iPad too.

Apple Maps Offline – Navigate without network

It started off disastrously with routes that seemed to be from a different world, but Apple Maps have been steadily improving. And iOS 17 brings a new feature to it that a lot of users will appreciate – the ability to use maps and navigation even if you have no network connectivity. Apple Maps will have an offline mode in iOS 17. You can get turn-by-turn navigation using various means of transport even when you are not online.

Check In – I got home, iPhone

ios 17 check in

It might not have got the sort of attention that some other features did, but for us, this was one of the most important additions to iOS 17. Check in safely and automatically notifies select friends and family members whenever you reach home.

What’s more, if you are not home by a time specified by you, it will actually check up on you to see if you are all right. If you do not respond, it can send details of your location to specific contacts.

Visual look up – What did I just lift?

visual lookup

Remember how you could ‘lift’ a subject out of a photograph and then place them somewhere else (on a note, document, presentation, and so on)? Well, iOS 17 adds a spin to it. You can now not only lift the subject but also search for information about it right from the call-out menu.

There’s more – you can pause a video and then hit the info button to find out more about the subject in the video.

Photo Stickers – Look, Mum, I am a sticker

live stickers

There’s more you can do by just pressing down and lifting an object from a photograph. Not only can you get more information about it, but you can also convert it into a sticker and even a live sticker if you have used a Live Photo. You can also add a number of effects like Shiny, Puffy, and Comic to spice it up!

StandBy Mode – Charged up to be smarter

Apple has added elements of a smart display to the iPhone through the StandBy feature. All you need to do is put the iPhone on charge and place it horizontally or in landscape mode. The entire iPhone display is then transformed into a smart display that can show everything from the time (like an alarm clock) to live scores to photographs to Siri results.

standby mode iphone

It looks super cool and makes excellent use of the iPhone display. We just wish it could work without being connected to a charger, and it could be turned on whenever we lock the screen and place the phone in landscape mode!

NameDrop – Close contacts, literally


We can see this feature becoming as popular as the epic AirDrop. iOS 17 comes with a feature that lets you swap contact information with another person (of course, another person with an iPhone) by just bringing the two devices close to each other. You can choose the emails or phone numbers you wish to share!

SharePlay – Share that screen with the near and/or dear

It is not just contacts that you can share by bringing two phones running iOS 17 close to each other. You can also share content like music and videos and even play multiplayer games by bringing phones close. SharePlay on iOS 17 is a whole lot easier.

Swipe to reply – Right, that’s my reply

The Messages app got quite a makeover in iOS 17, and while there were a number of very sophisticated new features added to it, our favorite was a super simple one. In iOS 17, you can reply to a message by simply swiping right on it. Yes, as simple as that.

Safari Profiles – For those with split personalities on browsers

safari profiles

Safari lets you use it in different modes in iOS 17. The new version of iOS will let you create different profiles in Safari, with different tab groups, bookmarks, history, cookies, and extensions.

You can have different profiles for work, pastimes, and others and switch between them. So you could have a profile for research, another for work, a third for videos and shows, and keep moving from one to another depending on your needs. Very cool!

Contact Posters – Put yourself in full screen mode

contact posters

You can now design a poster of yourself that will be visible to other people when you are calling them. So if you place a call to someone, they will not see the normal number and name combo but actually a full-screen poster designed by you. You can choose to use a photograph or a memoji and even choose a font that you like for any text.

The poster is going to be part of your contact card (you set it up through the Contacts app), and Apple says it will be visible whenever you try to contact someone else: a small change, but a very visual one.

Live voicemail – Read while they talk

live voicemail

This is a rather cool feature. If you have set your iPhone to move incoming calls to voicemail, you will now be able to see a transcript of the voicemail even as the caller is speaking it. If you think it is something important, you can actually take the call. We are not voicemail users, but features like this might make us change our minds.

Audio message transcription – Speech to text is cool too

It is not just the voicemail that is getting the transcription treatment. If you get a voice note as a message, you can read its transcription. Immensely useful for those times – when you are in the movies or in a meeting – when you are too busy to listen to a message but not too busy to read it.

Autocorrect underlining – See those automatic edits

ios autocorrect

One of the most irritating things about using autocorrect on the iOS keyboard is that sometimes words and phrases get changed after you have typed them, with autocorrect replacing words with what it considers to be more appropriate.

The toughest part is that there is no way of finding out what autocorrect has changed unless you go back and read what you have written (which most of us rarely do). iOS 17 gives you a chance to spot autocorrect changes by underlining them temporarily and giving you the option to change them back before continuing!

AutoFill PDFs – Fill the form, contacts

iOS 17 will make filling up PDF forms an easy task. A new autofill system will let PDF forms be filled by using information from Contacts, all with traditional Apple security. While on the subject of PDFs, one will be able to view and even mark up PDFs in the Notes app with iOS 17. Should Adobe be worried? Again?

Sensitive Content Warning – Blurry eyed when needed

sensitive content warning

Security and privacy have been key USPs for iOS, and iOS 17 takes them to a new level. Users will now get warnings when they are about to view what the operating system detects as or deems to be ‘sensitive content.’

Users will also get the option to blur content on sensitive photos and videos before viewing them — a massively important feature, given the sort of content that gets sent around these days.

Siri needs no Hey – On first name terms only

hey siri

In iOS 17, Apple’s virtual assistant can be summoned by just uttering its name. Apple just took the “Hey” out of “Hey, Siri.” You can now start off by simply saying, “Siri.”

What’s more, you can give multiple instructions once Siri is activated instead of having to activate it every time!

iOS 17 will be available for iPhone XR and the phones that came with or after it. It is expected to roll out in September 2023, although this has not been officially confirmed. At present, it is available to developers in a developer beta form. A public beta is expected in July 2023.
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