The tech world is always moving at a rapid pace, and Apple consistently surprises us with its innovative updates. As iOS 17 approaches, it’s tough not to get excited. This update is set to bring major changes for both iPhone and iPad users, introducing a range of long-awaited features that will transform how we interact with our devices.
Although we can’t be entirely sure about every detail, the rumors and leaks surrounding iOS 17 provide a good idea of what’s in store. From user-requested adjustments to significant overhauls, iOS 17 seems to be one of Apple’s most distinctive updates to date. In this article, we’ll dive into the features most likely to appear and those that have a decent chance of being included.
Almost Certain Features
Apple is famous for paying attention to its users, and iOS 17 won’t be an exception. Although we don’t know the specifics yet, we anticipate some small but meaningful changes that users have been wanting for a while. These improvements may not be as eye-catching as a revamped lock screen, but they’ll surely enhance the overall user experience.
Support for Sideloading and Third-Party App Stores
Thanks to new EU regulations, iOS 17 is expected to allow sideloading apps and using third-party app stores. This represents a major shift in Apple’s strategy, but you don’t have to worry about your iPhone’s security. It’s likely that Apple will use a security system similar to Gatekeeper on macOS to ensure only verified and trusted apps can be installed.
The introduction of sideloading and third-party app stores might also affect app pricing. Developers won’t be forced to pay Apple’s fees, which could lead to lower prices for users and more flexibility for app makers.
Changes to Apple’s First-Party Apps
The new EU legislation doesn’t stop at the App Store. It also requires companies to open up their services and platforms, meaning Apple will need to make some changes to its first-party apps. Here’s what we can expect:
- iMessage on Android: Yes, you read that correctly! We might finally see iMessage working on Android devices, bridging the gap between Apple and non-Apple users.
- FaceTime on Android: Similarly, FaceTime could also become available on Android, making video calls more accessible for everyone.
- Siri Improvements: By granting Siri access to more third-party data sources, Apple’s digital assistant could become even smarter and more versatile.
Apple Pay Later
Introduced in March 2023, Apple Pay Later is currently being tested by randomly selected users. With a full launch expected around WWDC, this feature will likely be included in iOS 17.
Apple Card Savings Account
Announced in October but not yet released, the Apple Card Savings Account allows users to open a savings account within their Apple Card. With perks like daily cash rewards, this feature is expected to debut as part of iOS 17.
iMessage Content Key Verification
Teased in December 2022, iMessage Content Key Verification aims to provide an extra layer of security for users such as journalists and government officials. By verifying the identity of message senders, this feature will protect against hackers and other malicious actors. It’s highly likely we’ll see this as part of the iOS 17 announcement.
While Apple announced its next-gen version of CarPlay last year, we haven’t seen it in action just yet. With new cars supporting this technology set to launch in 2023, it’s probable that iOS 17 will finally bring this updated CarPlay experience to users.
Unsupported Devices with iOS 17
As with every major iOS release, some older devices will lose support. iOS 17 is expected to drop support for the iPhone 8, iPhone X, first-gen iPad Pros, and the fifth-gen iPad. Notably, this includes the relatively recent iPhone X, due to a vulnerability found in chips from the A5 to the A11. With Apple’s focus on security, this move makes sense, and newer devices like the iPhone XS will likely enjoy a longer lifespan as a result.
Now, let’s discuss some potential features that may be included in iOS 17. Although these updates haven’t been confirmed, they’ve been speculated or requested by users, and it’s possible that Apple might include them in the upcoming release.
Close All Apps Button in Multitasking Panel
A much-requested feature is the ability to close all apps with a single tap. Currently, users must swipe away each app individually, which can be time-consuming. A “Close All” button in the multitasking panel would be a welcome addition for many.
Customizable Lock Screen Buttons
iOS users have long desired more customization options for their lock screens. One potential feature is the ability to change the default lock screen buttons, such as swapping the flashlight button for a different app or quick action.
Quick Camera Launch Options
Quick camera launch options could provide users with more flexibility when capturing photos. By offering various modes or settings directly from the lock screen or home screen, users could more easily capture the perfect shot without needing to open the camera app first.
Multiple Simultaneous Timers
Though iOS currently supports only one timer at a time, multiple simultaneous timers could be a valuable addition for users who need to track different tasks or events concurrently. This feature would greatly benefit those who multitask frequently or require multiple reminders.
Dynamic Island Improvements
Dynamic Island, introduced in iOS 16, could see some improvements in iOS 17. While the details are not yet clear, we might expect enhanced functionality, better customization options, or even new dynamic icons for various apps.
Better Use of Haptics Throughout the OS
Haptic feedback is an essential aspect of the iOS experience. In iOS 17, Apple could improve the use of haptics throughout the operating system, offering more nuanced feedback and making the interface even more engaging and responsive.
Lastly, let’s talk about some desired features that users would love to see in iOS 17. While there’s no guarantee that these features will be included, they represent the hopes and dreams of the iOS community.
Running Two Apps Side by Side
Running two apps side by side on the iPhone, similar to what’s possible on the iPad, has been a long-standing request from users. This feature would significantly enhance productivity and multitasking, allowing users to work on multiple tasks simultaneously without switching apps.
Customizable App Library
The App Library, introduced in iOS 14, could benefit from greater customization options. Users would love the ability to create custom folders, change the order of categories, and even choose the apps that appear within each category.
Integration of ChatGPT with Siri
Lastly, integrating ChatGPT with Siri could dramatically improve the digital assistant’s capabilities. By harnessing the power of advanced language models like ChatGPT, Siri could offer more natural and intelligent responses, making it an even more useful tool for iOS users.
In addition to the potential and desired features we’ve already discussed, the iOS community has also put forth various suggestions for improvements. While it’s unclear if these will make it into iOS 17, they represent the ongoing conversation and wishful thinking among users.
Clear Red Bubbles Without Removing Entirely
Users often express frustration with the red notification bubbles that appear on app icons. They would appreciate the ability to clear these bubbles without having to remove the notifications entirely, allowing for a cleaner home screen experience.
Number Row on the Keyboard
Another popular suggestion is the inclusion of a dedicated number row on the iOS keyboard. This would make it easier for users to type numbers without having to switch between keyboard layouts constantly.
Pause While Recording Video
A pause function while recording videos is another feature users would like to see. This would allow them to create seamless video clips without having to edit multiple clips together after recording.
Universal Back Button Gesture
The addition of a universal back button gesture could improve navigation across the entire iOS ecosystem. By swiping from the edge of the screen, users could easily return to previous screens, making it more convenient and efficient.
Built-in Icon Customization
Lastly, many users would love built-in icon customization options within iOS. This would enable users to personalize their home screens further, choosing different icon styles, colors, and shapes to match their preferences.
The anticipation for WWDC 2023 and the potential reveal of iOS 17 is growing. With so many exciting features and improvements speculated, the iOS community can’t wait to see what Apple has in store.