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iOS 17: iPhone gets a major update today

Before the iPhone 15 hits the market, a significant software update is arriving on Apple's existing smartphones today.

iOS 17: iPhone gets a major update today

iOS 17 introduces several new features, including a standby mode that transforms your device into a smart bedside display, interactive widgets for the home screen, and the capability to clone your voice using AI. Sky News has extensively tested the update since it became available to beta testers earlier this summer, and we've compiled a list of the key highlights you should be aware of. But first, how do you go about getting the update?

  1. Check your iPhone's Compatibility: Apple, each year, leaves at least one iPhone behind in terms of updates. This time, the iPhone X is among those missing out, which was the first to eliminate the once-common home button when it debuted in 2017. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are also not receiving iOS 17, but they, along with the iPhone X, will continue to receive essential security updates. If you're uncertain about your iPhone model, check the model name in your phone's settings under General/About.

  2. Install the Update: If you have automatic updates enabled, iOS 17 should arrive without any action on your part. However, it may take a few days to roll out, so if you're eager, you can manually install it today. Navigate to the Settings app, then General/About/Software Update to see if Apple has made it available yet.

  3. Improved Autocorrect: One of the noteworthy enhancements in iOS 17 is the upgraded autocorrect. The iPhone keyboard will now learn your conversational style, no longer "correcting" intentionally used vulgar vocabulary.

  4. Standby Mode: For those who keep their iPhone by their bedside, this mode transforms it into an assistant resembling a home hub. When activated, placing your phone on charge in landscape mode displays selected widgets like the clock, calendar, photos, weather, and media playback controls on the screen.

  5. Interactive Widgets: Apple is making its widgets interactive, following in the footsteps of Android. This allows you to operate simplified versions of apps directly from the home screen without opening them, such as checking off tasks on a reminders list.

  6. Calls and Messages: The phone app will introduce customizable contact cards, which appear when you receive a call and can be shared with new contacts using AirDrop. Voicemails will benefit from live transcriptions, and you'll have the option to leave video voicemails via FaceTime. Messages will include a check-in feature, similar to apps like HomeSafe, enabling you to inform friends and family of your whereabouts, even sharing vital information like battery level and signal strength if there's no response.

  7. Voice Cloning and Accessibility: Voice cloning allows you to create an on-demand version of your voice to read aloud typed phrases, particularly designed for those at risk of losing the ability to speak or facing speech difficulties. This feature falls under the accessibility settings, along with other new features like customizing Siri's speaking speed.

  8. Privacy and Security: You can now share passwords in your iCloud keychain with trusted friends and family members. The Safari web browser introduces facial recognition-based privacy for your private sessions. Messaging apps, both Apple's and third-party ones that support it, can now flag sensitive photos and videos before you open them, primarily to prevent the reception of unwanted content.

  9. Photo Recognition: The Photos app can now recognize and distinguish between different animals. Additionally, if someone sends you a photo of a tempting dish, you can tap the info button to access online recipe suggestions for similar meals.

  10. Mental Health: The Health app, traditionally associated with tracking physical activities, will now offer mood tracking and assess signs of anxiety and depression.

Finally, a PSA: "Hey Siri" is being replaced with "Siri," making it even easier to accidentally activate Siri, so exercise caution. In summary, iOS 17 brings a wealth of new features and improvements to your iPhone, enhancing functionality, privacy, and personalization.

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