iOS 17: New features, release date, and more

Home » iOS 17: New features, release date, and more
iOS 17 development in full swing ahead of WWDC


Believe it or not, iOS 17 is coming in just a few days at WWDC on June 5. This represents Apple’s biggest software update for iPhone users, and it’s usually packed full of new features and changes. Read on as we round up what the rumors currently say about iOS 17 new features and more.

When will Apple announce iOS 17?

Apple will announce iOS 17 at WWDC in June. WWDC is Apple’s annual developer conference where it unveils the newest versions of its operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Apple has officially announced that WWDC 2023 will kick off on June 5 with a special keynote address focused on its newest announcements.

After Apple announces iOS 17 at WWDC in June, it will immediately release a beta version of the update to developers. Sometime in July, it will release a public beta that all iPhone users can try out. Then, Apple will release iOS 17 to everyone sometime in September, likely alongside the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups.

New features in iOS 17

Apple VP Craig Federighi

Whereas Apple hardware products leak months – or even years – ahead of time, software leaks are less common. This is because most hardware leaks come from Apple’s massive supply chain, rather than from inside Apple itself. The company is able to keep software leaks to a minimum because only a small number of people inside Apple actually have knowledge of the company’s plans.

With that being said, the “big picture” of iOS 17 this year appears to be that it will be a relatively modest update in terms of new features, but there’s a focus on “nice to have” changes.

Bloomberg has reported that iOS 17 (and Apple’s other software platforms) is taking a backseat as the company focuses on the development of its AR/VR headset. The headset could also be announced at WWDC and marks Apple’s first major new hardware and software platform since the Apple Watch.

Apple is believed to be pulling hardware and software engineering resources from throughout the company to focus on headset development.

iOS 17 is reportedly codenamed “Dawn” and is in continuous development and testing inside Apple ahead of WWDC. Bloomberg says the update “may have fewer major changes than originally planned” due to the focus on the Reality Pro headset “along with iOS 16 snags.”

New Control Center design?

With that in mind, however, Bloomberg also reports that iOS 17 will have “nice to have” features that are intended to address some of the most-requested features from users. At least one rumor suggests one of Apple’s focuses in iOS 17 will be on Control Center.

As we’ve explained, Control Center on iOS hasn’t received any notable changes since iOS 11 and the launch of the iPhone X. This rumor claims that Apple is prepping “major changes” to the iPhone’s Control Center in iOS 17.

Currently, Control Center is currently accessible by swiping down from the top right of the iPhone’s display. It features quick access to settings for things like Wi-Fi and airplane mode as well as the “Now Playing” interface. You can also customize the tiles at the bottom to include your most used settings.

Journaling app

According to the Wall Street Journal, iOS 17 is set to include a brand new journaling app that integrates data from other Apple apps, including Find My. This will reportedly include a feature that detects a user’s physical proximity to other people to distinguish between friends outside work and colleagues.

Bloomberg has echoed that the journaling app will include location-based capabilities, describing that it will serve as “an extension of the company’s Find My service and other location features.”

Find My and Wallet app updates

Speaking of Find My, Mark Gurman reports that both the Find My app and the Wallet app will receive updates this year. There aren’t many details here, but the Wallet app in particular will reportedly include “some user interface tweaks and enhancements.”

New features for the Health app

In the Health app on iOS 17, Apple is reportedly planning support for mood and emotion tracking capabilities. These features, according to Bloomberg, will let users log their mood, answer various questions about their day, and see how their responses change over time.

Apple has more ambitious plans for this feature in the future, including using “algorithms to determine a user’s mood via their speech, what words they’ve typed and other data on their devices.”

The Health app will also reportedly add support for managing vision conditions this year. More specific information on this feature, however, remains unclear.

Building on those new features, Apple is also reportedly going to bring the Health app to the iPad for the first time. Historically, the Health app has only been available on the iPhone.

Sideloading and third-party app stores

Last but not least, Apple will reportedly open the iPhone to third-party app stores and side-loading in the European Union as part of iOS 17 this fall. This comes in response to the Digital Markets Act, which implements a number of new requirements on platform operators such as Apple.

These features will reportedly allow users to access third-party app stores on their iPhone, but Apple isn’t planning to make it easy to do so. Speculation suggests that Apple will likely charge developers to be part of the program, and they will use some sort of configuration profile-based process.

The new side-loading and third-party app store features will only be available in the European Union, which is where the Digital Markets Act is applicable. Apple isn’t planning on bringing the features to the United States or other countries.

Smart display features

According to Bloomberg, Apple is also prepping to expand the Always-On display features of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. iOS 17 will reportedly add a new “smart display” interface that works when an iPhone is in landscape orientation and charging.

The new smart display interface in iOS 17 will show users information such as “calendar appointments, the weather and notifications in the style of a smart-home display.”

AirPlay and SharePlay updates

SharePlay, which is Apple’s feature that allows iPhone and iPad users watch TV shows, movies, and other content together, is set to get an upgrade as part of iOS 17.

For AirPlay, Apple has reportedly “held discussions with hotels and other places that offer TVs and speakers, aiming to make it easier for users to beam video and audio to devices they don’t own.”

iOS 17’s supported devices

There are two conflicting rumors on which devices will support iOS 17, and both rumors come from sources that have previously been accurate.

The first rumor suggested that iOS 17 will drop support for the following devices:

  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st generation)

Shortly after that rumor was published, another source came out of the woodwork to say that all devices that supported iOS 16 will also support iOS 17. This source cited an anonymous person on Apple’s iOS development team.

Wrap-up

As we approach WWDC in June, it’s possible that new leaks and rumors will shed additional light on what’s to come with iOS 17 this year. In general, however, Apple is able to keep a lot of things under wraps until WWDC itself.

What are you hoping to see in iOS 17 this year? Are there any particular features at the top of your wishlist? Let us know in the comments.

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