Apple’s latest iPhone update is now available.
After giving us a teaser at the annual WDC event back in June, Apple has once again raised the bar with the release of iOS 17 – the latest version of its mobile operating system.
Packed with new, innovative features and improvements, the update offers you a more personal and intuitive experience and a shedload of new capabilities.
Here, we take a closer look at some of the big (and little) features, like StandBy mode, Live Voicemail and improved autocorrect – and have put together a handy guide on how to make the most of them.
StandBy mode is our favourite new feature, hands down. And if you’re anything like us and are the type of person who charges your phone in the kitchen while you cook, or on your bedside table at night, this feature will be right up your street.
So, what is it? Well, it turns your iPhone screen into a little smart display, appearing as you rotate your phone on its side and into landscape mode. There’s no set-up as such, but for this to work, your iPhone has to be on charge and at an angle (not flat) – so I’d recommend using a stand.
Once activated, you’ll find three customisable options to choose from: a widget view, a rotation of your featured photo library, and a clock face. To select your display, scroll through them by swiping to the left.
It means you can easily glance at your iPhone to get information about the weather, emails, your calendar, or other widgets you use on a daily basis, effectively turning your iPhone into a 'control centre' for your home.
Share with NameDrop.
There’s never been an easier way to share your contact info. With NameDrop, you can easily exchange your number with another iPhone user in seconds, by simply bringing the top of both iPhones close together.
You’ll have two options, “Receive Only” or “Share”. Select “Receive Only” to get the other person's contact details without sending them yours. Or tap “Share” to get their contact details and send them yours at the same time.
To use this feature, you’ll need to have AirDrop already switched on. Don’t panic if you’re not sure how to do that, it’s really quite easy. Go to Settings > General > AirDrop, and make this open to Everyone. Once that’s set up, you can start sharing your contact details straight away.
Live Voicemail and FaceTime Video messages.
These two new features are definitely worth shouting about. Live Voicemail will transcribe a caller’s message in real time during an incoming call. This comes in handy if you're unsure about whether to answer or not, as it lets you preview the message before deciding to answer or decline.
When somebody calls you, you’ll see a new Voicemail button appear on your screen. Tap it and voila, you’ll see a transcription onscreen as someone leaves a voice message. If you decide you want to take the call after all, you can pick up.
Want to know the best bit? Unknown numbers will go directly to Live Voicemail when you have the “Silence Unknown Callers” setting enabled. Making it so much easier to recognise those annoying scam callers.
Last but not at all least, with iOS 17, you’ll also be able to leave video messages on FaceTime if someone doesn’t pick up a video call. You can also send reactions, such as hearts, balloons, fireworks and rain triggered through simple gestures – try two thumbs up for fireworks.
Updates to Siri.
Gone are the days when you had to greet Siri to activate her. That’s right, with the new update, you can just say "Siri" and your digital assistant will activate and listen for any questions or commands, similar to how you’d use Amazon's Alexa.
You'll also be able to ask multiple back-to-back requests. So once you activate Siri, you can ask to send a text or set an alarm, and then ask Siri again for the time without having to say "Hey, Siri" or "Siri" again.
Improvements to Autocorrect.
Apple aren’t ‘ducking’ around anymore. As with iOS 17, autocorrect has received a complete update with a new language model for word prediction – improving the experience and accuracy for users every time they type, helping to reduce those annoying typos or pesky grammar mistakes.
As you type a message you’ll receive predictive text recommendations, so you can add entire words or complete sentences just by tapping the space bar, making texting so much faster than before.
How to download iOS 17.
There are so many new and exciting features available with the update. All you need to do is update your iPhone and get stuck in. If you don't have automatic updates enabled, you can manually check for and install the latest update on your iPhone. Here’s how.
Open up Settings and then navigate to General > Software Update. Tap “Download” if available, and then reboot to install. Simples.
*iOS17 is available on iPhone XR, XS and XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone SE (second generation and up), iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14 and iPhone 15. Earlier model iPhones will not support the system update.