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February 25, 2024
Android & iOS Review

Apple’s iOS 17 is a lot of little updates that make a big impact


iOS 17 is among the finest iPhone updates in years, and I can’t offer you a single good cause why.

There are many little tweaks however no single characteristic that stands out above the remainder — although StandBy mode will get an honorable point out. Keyboard enhancements, reside voicemail, and new stickers don’t sound all that compelling. It’s the overall impact of those incremental updates that I’m enthusiastic about.

There are a handful of recent options that fall somewhat flat, as if Apple engineers figured, “Properly, we can add this operate, so why not?” I don’t suppose I’m going to be logging my temper repeatedly on my telephone. And dropping the “Hey” from “Hey Siri” feels somewhat “meh” when it wasn’t actually an issue to say “Hey Siri” within the first place. Additionally, Siri remains to be type of dangerous.

iOS 17 seems like one other step towards making your iPhone really feel extra prefer it’s yours

However these options don’t stick out as a lot as just a few moments that left me with an impression of, “Okay, that’s really very cool.” I began a grocery checklist in Reminders and watched it robotically kind “rice wine vinegar” into a bit referred to as “oils and dressings.” That’s precise magic.

Past all that, iOS 17 seems like one other step towards making your iPhone really feel extra prefer it’s yours. The lock display customization that arrived with iOS 16 is carried via within the telephone app, the place you may specific somewhat character along with your Contact Card. You possibly can sort swears freely with out autocorrect swooping in with its prim little “ducking!” Reside voicemail seems like an acknowledgment that none of us really need to reply a telephone name. Associated: I’ll by no means be answering the telephone once more.

In no specific order, listed below are my 5 favourite options on iOS 17 you could look ahead to utilizing this fall. Or sooner, if you happen to’re feeling spicy — the general public beta is on the market as we speak.

Stickers? Stickers!

Simply have a look at the lil’ man go.

iOS 16 gave us the power to chop out photographs of our associates, which was enjoyable! But it surely was by no means fairly clear what you have been imagined to do with them. Now, we have now the reply: flip them into stickers. In iOS 17, once you faucet and maintain a photograph to separate the topic from the background, you’ll see the choice to show it right into a sticker.

You possibly can add a white border so it appears to be like extra sticker-y or apply an impact like that reflective holographic look all of the Lisa Frank stickers in your Trapper Keeper had. This sounds foolish till you understand that it makes use of your telephone’s gyroscope to vary the reflection as if you happen to’re transferring it round within the gentle. That’s straight-up pleasant.

You possibly can put these stickers throughout iMessage conversations now, too. Reside Pictures additionally flip into animated stickers, so I’m trying ahead to responding to all of my husband’s texts with a picture of a dancing toy beaver with a Canadian flag any more. You possibly can entry your stickers in a whole lot of third-party apps proper from the keyboard, too, however results and high quality don’t all the time translate. 

I stan StandBy

Additionally excessive on the checklist of pleasant options in iOS 17 is StandBy mode, which turns your iPhone into somewhat bedside clock. All it’s a must to do is flip your telephone sideways whereas it costs. You possibly can choose from just a few clockfaces, a calendar view with widgets, or have it show photographs. This works with any charger — wired, Qi, or MagSafe.

While you stick the telephone on an official MagSafe charger, the telephone will bear in mind which StandBy display you utilize it with, so you could possibly have totally different presets on your desk and your nightstand. That’s one incentive to spring for the actual MagSafe, versus MagSafe-compatible (Qi with a magnet) — however the truth that StandBy works with any previous charger is a win and, frankly, un-Apple-like. 

“May as nicely do one thing whilst you’re doing nothing” — dads, usually, and in addition StandBy mode.

In case you have an iPhone 14 Professional, the StandBy show will keep on, however on a non-14 Professional, you may wake the show by tapping the display or the floor it’s sitting on the identical manner you may with an Apple Watch in bedside mode. Tapping my nightstand doesn’t fairly work each time I strive it — success in all probability varies relying on the kind of desk and charger you’re utilizing — however I like this as an possibility for checking the time in the midst of the night time.

A greater keyboard

The keyboard will get a group of updates this 12 months which are all fairly small individually, however collectively, they kind a type of Captain Planet replace that’s larger than the sum of its components. For starters, it received’t autocorrect your favourite four-letter phrase anymore. It nonetheless suggests “ducking” as I’m typing, however once I faucet the house bar, the swear stays intact. 

Phrases that are autocorrected are underlined in blue to cut back the probabilities that you just’ll miss an inaccurate change earlier than you hit ship. And when it’s essential to reverse a change that autocorrect made, you may simply faucet an icon in-line with the textual content to revert it. This all provides as much as rather less friction as you go about your day-to-day typing texts and emails — at the very least, that’s the way it felt for me. 

Reside voicemail for the telephone call-averse

This one is pretty self-explanatory. When a name is available in, you now have the choice to ship it to voicemail from the decision display and skim a reside transcription of the caller’s message. You possibly can choose up, block the caller, or simply learn the transcription and silently marvel as one robotic tells one other robotic how you could possibly be saving 50 % in your cable invoice. What a time to be alive.

It’s exhausting to think about a greater candidate for Reside Transcription than a robotic providing you a reduction in your web service.

Current Pixel telephones (and, to an extent, different Android telephones) do one thing related the place you may have Google Assistant “reply” for you and ask the individual on the opposite finish what enterprise they’ve calling you. However like, in a pleasant manner.

Apple dispenses with the pretext and simply lets the caller imagine they’re leaving you a voicemail. Which is kind of true, however in each instances, the message is in your machine — not in your wi-fi provider’s voicemail. I strongly suspect that most individuals won’t care about this distinction.

Personally, I’m a fan of Reside Transcription. My space code is totally different from the one the place I reside, so like lots of people, I’ve been utilizing this as a shortcut to weed out spammers by solely selecting up native calls. This intelligent little hack fell aside when each actual property agent within the higher Seattle space began cold-calling me not too long ago to see if I need to promote my home. (I don’t.) I’ve already put it to work incessantly whereas testing out this iOS beta, and I plan to proceed utilizing it to not reply the telephone for the remainder of my pure life.

Mechanically sorted grocery lists

In iOS 17, the Reminders app will robotically kind a listing of groceries for you. That’s it, that’s the characteristic. You inform Siri so as to add “strawberries” to your checklist, and it will get robotically sorted into a bit titled produce, not thrown in willy-nilly beneath laundry detergent. I’m not an everyday Reminders person once I’m on iOS, however that is the type of characteristic that will persuade me to maintain coming again.

That’s it, that’s the characteristic

This characteristic dovetails properly with considered one of Siri’s new skills, too: dealing with back-to-back instructions with out having to get its consideration each single time. This makes itemizing off grocery objects as you test your cabinets a bit simpler. Siri’s nonetheless received an extended solution to go earlier than it’s as helpful as Google Assistant, however it might probably at the very least assist you put collectively a good grocery checklist now.

iOS 17 takes somewhat little bit of the ache out of on a regular basis duties like making grocery lists.

I’m an enormous fan of telephones getting higher at doing the issues they’re imagined to do for us, and to this point, I’m a fan of what’s coming in iOS 17. There are much more options to check out, together with a journaling app coming someday later this 12 months. A few of them shall be extra seen — prepare for the Contact Playing cards onslaught — however a whole lot of them are hidden deep within the weeds of your day by day telephone chores. Flashy new options are enjoyable and all, however actually, I reside for the weedsy stuff, and there’s loads of that in iOS 17.

Images by Allison Johnson / The Verge


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