iOS 17: User-Friendly Updates

IOS 17

iOS 17

The best iPhone features don’t need to be spectacular; they just need to operate effectively, as my summer working on the iOS 17 beta showed to me.

Whether you’re purchasing a new iPhone 15 or updating a previous version with iOS 17, which goes live today (18 sept), this month is all about the iPhone for Apple users.

Since it first became available for developer beta testing in June, iOS 17—the latest generation of iPhone software—has received substantial coverage on ZDNET. Apple is delivering you a familiar iPhone experience with helpful upgrades that are just subtle enough to not demand a drastic change in lifestyle. That is the clear focus of this year’s software update.

That was the main lesson I learned after using an iPhone running iOS 17 all summer long. Initially, I had planned to write about all the amazing new capabilities that would be suitable for billboard advertising. Instead, I’ve realized that the most recent iPhone software is fantastic because it improves everything I already do on the device even better, not because of any cute animations or color pops.

New protections in Lockdown Mode

IOS 17

The main improvement to Lockdown Mode is that it is now compatible with Apple Watches as well as iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Given that recent spyware-planting exploits have been able to compromise Apple Watch owners, it can’t come soon enough.

Lockdown Mode makes it much more difficult to sneak into a device and steal its data by selectively disabling some iPhone (and Watch) functionalities that have previously been misused by spyware producers, such as iMessage and HomeKit.

When sharing images with others, Lockdown Mode in iOS 17 also by default deletes the geolocation information from photos that could betray a person’s location, like as where the shot was taken.

Another useful feature prevents iPhones in Lockdown Mode from automatically connecting to insecure Wi-Fi networks that can allow someone using the same network to view the network traffic of the iPhone. Additionally, 2G cellular network connections are barred by Lockdown Mode. With the help of cell site simulators, sometimes known as “stingrays,” which are frequently used by law enforcement to mislead nearby phones into connecting to fictitious mobile base stations, monitor phone positions, and eavesdrop on calls and messages, this tries to stop a variety of cellular-based exploits. Because they operate across a large region and catch various gadgets without discrimination, stingrays are divisive.

More anti-web tracking features

IOS 17

The Safari browser in iOS 17 now removes tracking data from web addresses that might be used to identify your device specifically and follow you online. Because of this, it is more challenging for websites and advertising to determine which other websites you visit.

If you want to really make a difference, you can apply this feature to all of your browsing sessions while using iOS 17’s Safari settings, or you can choose to use it only when you’re using private browsing. This shouldn’t interfere with or negatively impact your regular browsing.

By default, private browsing is likewise locked, requiring a face or fingerprint scan from the device owner before any private tabs can be opened.

Check-in safety features and avoiding scammers

IOS 17

Updates are coming to Passkeys, the phishing-resistant password replacement that enables you to log in without being concerned that your passwords might be stolen. Numerous websites and services, like Apple, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, and many others, already offer passkeys. You’ll soon be password-free permanently. Passkeys (and passwords, if necessary) can now be shared with loved ones. End-to-end encryption is used to communicate passkeys and passwords so that no one else, not even Apple, can access them.

With the new Check In function, iPhone users can notify their pals when they expect to arrive safely at their location. The function keeps track of the user’s current position and notifies a friend if something seems off. There is no need for third-party apps that have sold your location data to marketers and data brokers because this location data is end-to-end encrypted.

Last but not least, Live Transcription is an added benefit for people who desire to never again be harassed by a spam or scam call. Instead of answering (or denying) the call, which can both inform the caller that the line is active, live transcription converts the caller’s voice into text that is displayed on the screen in real time.

The following is a list of helpful features that you should be aware of when you prepare your iPhone for iOS 17 today or at a later time

Swipe to reply on iMessage

There are times when conversations get of line and you want to respond to a particular message in a group chat with family members, roommates, or fantasy sports players. You may now swipe sideways on a text bubble in iMessage to leave a direct response. Your response will be added to the associated message and still show up as a new entry in the group conversation.

Improved adaptive autocorrect

In addition to not autocorrecting that word to “duck” or “ducking,” iOS 17 makes use of a transformer language model to better understand your typing patterns and how you spell particular words. It’s a breath of fresh air not to have to undo an autocorrect because the iPhone thought I wanted to type something else for someone who frequently uses romanization of words.

Auto-removing one-time passcodes

The iPhone may now immediately erase the coded message when you autofill a confirmation number for two-factor logins, whether it is taken from your iMessage or Mail.

No more “Hi Siri” and longer conversations

Nothing is more awkward than saying “Hi Siri” before each instruction to activate Apple’s voice assistant. Siri can hold longer conversations and respond to many requests in a single session with iOS 17, in addition to being activated by just saying “Siri” like before.

Leveler in the Camera app

The camera leveler received more oohs and aahs from my parents than any other hidden feature when I showed them iOS 17. Whether you’re taking a picture of a landscape, a family portrait, or the top-down of a main course, it’s such a subtle improvement to the camera experience that it makes framing images incredibly simple.

Live activities in StandBy Mode

StandBy Mode, which turns your iPhone into an ambient smart display when docked sideways on a MagSafe charger, is arguably the flashiest addition in iOS 17. But did you know that Live Activities, such as sports scores and Uber pickups, can be shown when in StandBy Mode as well?

Offline maps in Apple Maps

Apple Maps now offers the option to download regions for offline navigation, just as Google Maps. This is especially useful when you’re on the road and there is little to no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.

Interactive widgets

With iOS 14 in 2020, Apple debuted home screen widgets. Three years later, with iOS 17, you can finally interact with those elements without opening the corresponding apps, whether it’s playing and pausing the Apple Music widget, marking your Reminders as completed, or turning on or off smart home lights.

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