Apple reveals iOS 17 with improvements to Messages, AirDrop and more

Finally, you can just say "Siri" to summon the voice assistant

Apple iOS 17 header

iPhones are set to get tons of new features with iOS 17.

Apple unveiled the newest version of its smartphone operating system at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on June 5th.

The company started with updates to three central apps: Phone, Messages and FaceTime. The Phone app now has customizable contact posters that appear when you get a call or in contact cards. The contact posters work a lot like iOS 16’s lock screen customizations.

Apple also announced ‘Live Voicemail,’ which shows a live transcription of the voicemail on your screen so you can decide whether to answer the call. The feature looks a lot like Google’s Call Screen feature, though it works off your voicemail instead of a live call like Call Screen.

With Messages, Apple is improving search by adding filters to help users narrow down results. There’s also a new catch-up arrows in chats so you can quickly review messages in busy chats.

Messages will get a new feature called ‘Check In’ that automatically notifies friends and family when you arrive home safely. It can also share location information and battery details with people so they can keep track of where you are.

Image credit: Apple (screenshot)

Apple revamped Messages’ apps feature, moving everything into a new ‘+’ button that shows a list of regularly-used apps followed by all your Messages apps.

Along with the new apps menu, Messages has a revamped Stickers feature, including a ‘peel-and-stick’ function for dropping stickers into chats. Users can make stickers out of their own photos, including animated stickers from Live Photos.


Image credit: Apple (screenshot

Apple also unveiled updates to AirDrop. There’s a new feature called ‘NameDrop’ for sharing your contact info with people. The feature looks like the old NFC contact sharing from mid-2000’s era Android phones but with typical Apple polish.

Apple also expanded its AirDrop range. Users can start sharing via AirPlay while in range, then move out of range and iOS will automatically keep sharing over the internet.

Keyboard enhancements

iOS 17 brings changes to the keyboard, autocorrect and dictation.

Autocorrect now uses a new model for predicting words. Apple also redesigned autocorrect in iOS 17 to make it easier to add in corrections or fix the corrections when autocorrect keeps ‘ducking’ up.

Dictation leverages the new autocorrect engine to improve speech-to-text as well.


Apple unveils its rumoured Journal app at WWDC. iPhones can create personalized suggestions for what to write about in the Journal based on your usage. Suggestions will be available to developers through an API.

iPhone owners can schedule notifications for when to write, mark important entries, and more. Apple also touted the privacy of the Journal with end-to-end encryption and locking capabilities.


Image credit: Apple (screenshot)

iOS 17 includes a new Standby mode that effectively turns the iPhone into a tiny smart display with clocks, widgets, home controls, photo slideshows and more. At night, Standby will go into a low light mode to not interrupt your sleep.

Other updates

Image credit: Apple (screenshot)

Siri is getting a boost in iOS 17. Users no longer have to say “Hey” and instead can just say “Siri” to summon the personal assistant.

iOS 17’s developer beta is available now, followed by a public beta in July. Apple says iOS 17 will launch in the fall alongside iPadOS 17 and macOS Senoma.

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Image credit: (Screenshot)