(CNN) — iPhone users: The day has come to update your phones with Apple’s latest operating system, iOS17, and unlock a series of new features that promise a more personal and intuitive experience.
Apple first unveiled iOS17 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, but you may have missed some of the details, as the tech giant also revealed its highly anticipated Vision Pro mixed reality headset that same day.
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iPhone users can update to iOS17 starting this Monday in the Software Update section, found in the Phone Settings app. Of course, many users have gotten into the habit of backing up important photos or files before downloading the latest software update, or waiting until the second version is released (probably in the coming weeks) if they are concerned about any failure that may occur with the first version of a next-generation mobile operating system.
These are some of the most anticipated new features that iPhone users will be able to enjoy with iOS17.
Real-time voice messages and FaceTime video messages have arrived
One of the most notable new features, called Live Voicemail, will transcribe the caller’s message in real time, allowing iPhone users to decide whether to ignore the call or answer it while the other person remains online leaving their message. .
Calls from unknown numbers will go directly to voicemail with the Live Voicemail feature when “Silence calls from unknown people” is activated.
Additionally, FaceTime will allow users to leave video messages if someone doesn’t answer a video call.
With iOS17, FaceTime calls will also be more expressive, with reactions like hearts, balloons, fireworks, and more effects that can be activated with simple gestures.
“Hey, Siri” is about to lose the “Hey”
Another update that many will have to get used to is saying just “Siri” to activate Apple’s voice assistant, instead of the “Hey, Siri” command, which has been around for several years.
Removing the “Hey” from the phrase for Siri is intended to create a more natural way to activate the assistant. Additionally, Siri will be able to process consecutive requests better once activated.
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For example, instead of asking “Hey, Siri, how tall is Shaquille O’Neal?” and “Hey, Siri, how old is Shaquille O’Neal?” You should be able to simply say: “Siri, how tall is Shaquille O’Neal?”, followed by: “How old is she?”
NameDrop feature makes it super easy to share contact information
The new NameDrop feature in iOS17 makes it very easy to exchange contact information with a new friend. iPhone users can simply hold their phones together, as they would while using AirDrop, to share names and contact cards.
The contact card update is another of the new features that has most excited iPhone users. It allows them to design a custom image that will appear when making calls. This new feature allows users to choose their own caller ID photo and will provide iPhone users with a more consistent look no matter who they are calling, Apple said.
The autocorrect has a “significant” improvement
Autocorrect also gets a complete upgrade, Apple said, with a transformative language model, or “a next-generation on-device machine learning language model for word prediction,” according to the company.
This revamped design enables better typing and offers sentence-level autocorrect that can detect more types of grammatical errors. iPhone users will also now receive online predictive text recommendations as they type, making adding whole words or completing sentences as easy as pressing the space bar.
The new iOS keyboard will also learn your habits over time, such as correcting words you misspell frequently and blanking out words you’ve intentionally entered with your thumb. As Craig Federighi, Apple’s software chief, said in June: “In those moments when you just want to type an elusive word, well, the keyboard will learn it too.”
New StandBy mode, Journal app and much more
iOS17 also introduces StandBy, a new full-screen experience with easily visible information, designed to be visible from afar when iPhone is on its side and charging. For example, when you charge your iPhone on your nightstand or desk, you can customize the screen to show a clock, your favorite photos, or your most used widgets.
The latest software update also includes Apple’s new Journal app, which aims to help users reflect and practice gratitude through journaling.
iOS 17 is available today with some exciting new features like Live Voicemail, contact sharing with NameDrop, a new way to make your iPhone even more useful when you set it down with StandBy, improved autocorrect, and many more features you’re gonna love! pic.twitter.com/TS6YzyXi30 — Greg Joswiak (@gregjoz) September 18, 2023
And there’s much more: check out Apple’s 17-page how-to guide to everything new in iOS17.
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