iOS 17: features, release date, beta, update

iOS 17: features, release date, beta, update

As anticipated, during WWDC 2023, Apple unveiled iOS 17, the upcoming iteration of its operating system for iPhone, along with iPad 17, its corresponding counterpart for iPads. While not revolutionary in nature, the presentation highlighted a range of appealing customisation features. In this article we will explore the main iOS 17 features.

Over the last year, iOS 16 has made considerable strides in enhancing the amount of iPhone customisation, include features such as the AlwaysOn display mode, a more practical Lock Screen and various improvements to apps. The new iOS 17 update is set to continue this trend. 

What's new in iOS 17?

In addition to the recently unveiled accessibility features, designed to enhance usability for individuals with disabilities, iOS now boasts a collection of refreshing new features. Notable improvements have been made to essential apps such as Phone, Messages, and the keyboard. However, there has been no mention of the evolution of the App Store or the possibility of acquiring apps outside of the official platform. This is a requirement that Apple will eventually need to address in order to comply with the Digital Market Act, a new European legislation governing the digital services market. It remains to be seen whether this significant evolution will be implemented in iOS 17 or a subsequent version.

© Apple


The Phone app, which is one of the main components of the iPhone experience, has been updated with the introduction of personalised Contact Posters. Users can now customise their appearance to give incoming calls a new look. These Contact Posters will take up the entire screen when one of your contacts calls you. 

© Apple

Voice Mail

The phone application has another new function: Live Voice Mail. If you don't want to pick up and the caller leaves a message, the Phone app displays a transcript of the message left on your answering machine. A useful way to know, depending on the content of the message, whether it is necessary to call back immediately or not. It is difficult to know for the moment if this function will be offered by all operators.

Face Time

Face Time receives a small update with the possibility of leaving a video message, like a video voice mail. FaceTime calls now offer an even more expressive experience with the addition of Reactions, including hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain and other effects. To activate these effects, all you will need to do is make a gesture, adding an extra touch of fun to your conversations. 


The Messages app for SMS still does not use the RCS protocol. Google, which is urging Apple to use it, will still have to wait. On the other hand, the app benefits from some improvements. It allows for example to follow the movements of one of your contacts and to know if they have arrived at their destination. Practical, for example, to know if a child has returned home safely, or a friend after a night out.

© Apple

Stickers are also becoming more important, and they can be created directly from a photo from your photo library and resized at will to stick on messages. It is even possible to create small animations in the form of stickers that are made from Live Photos taken on an iPhone.


The Quick Sharing system available on iOS, iPadOS and macOS just got easier to use. It will be possible to share contact details by bringing two iPhones closer together or between an iPhone and an Apple Watch, this is referred to as NameDrop. The gesture also allows users to share other type of content and initiate SharePlay, where you can listen to music, watch movies or play games with other nearby iPhone users. 


This is a new app coming to iOS. The Journal allows you to feed a diary combining notes, photos, videos, music from locations, etc. It invites you to build up a personal logbook. Everything is done locally on the device, so nothing is stored in the cloud.

Standby mode

Combined with a foot/charger and positioned horizontally, with the StandBy function, the iPhone can turn into an advanced alarm clock. It thus looks like a voice assistant with a screen such as those found at Amazon or Google for example and can display the program of the day, the news, the weather, etc.

© Apple

Besides these few changes, iOS 17 will bring several other minor changes. The self-correction system for SMS will be improved using machine learning to better understand your habits and only correct "useful" mistakes. In addition, it will no longer be necessary to pronounce "Hey Siri" to wake up the home voice assistant, a simple "Siri" will suffice. Moreover, conversations with Siri can continue without having to pronounce the name. The Maps app for its part will allow you to download maps to display them offline. Finally, the Photos app will not only just recognise human faces, but also animals.

Which iPhones will be compatible with iOS 17?

For this new version of iOS, Apple has reduced the list of iPhones capable of running its latest OS. Models released since 2018 will be able to benefit from it. From the iPhone XR, the iPhone SE (2nd generation) through the iPhone XS and all iPhone 11, 12, 13 and 14 ranges will be able to benefit from the update. However, unlike iOS 16, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus are excluded from the list. Their latest OS will therefore be frozen at iOS 16.5. We nevertheless salute the longevity of the Apple brand's software support, which reaches 5 years where, in the Android world, it is difficult most of the time to deploy major updates beyond four years in the best case.

When will iOS 17 be available?

Still in beta, iOS 17 is available to developers this month. The public beta, available for all those who want to discover the new features in preview, will be available in July. Then the final version of the system should be fully released in September, around the same time as the release of the iPhone 15 range. 

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