iOS 17: Features, release date, beta, supported devices, and more

iOS 17 is Apple‘s current operating system for its iPhone models. Announced during the WWDC 2023 keynote, the Cupertino firm focused on three main features: communication, intelligence, and new experiences. Here’s everything you need to know about this operating system that powers the iPhone 15 lineup.

If you’re looking for information on Apple’s upcoming iPhone operating system, BGR has a guide for iOS 18 and the unannounced iPhone 16.


iOS 17 is full of new features for iPhone users. BGR has compiled the most important ones here for you.

Phone, Messages, and FaceTime

iOS 17's new personalized Contact Poster feature.iOS 17’s new Contact Poster feature. Image source: Apple Inc.

For the first time since iOS 7, Apple revamped the Phone app. It brings personalized Contact Posters, which provide a new way for users to express themselves by customizing how they appear, bringing a completely new look to incoming calls. They can choose treatments for photos or Memoji and eye-catching typography and font colors.

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After customizing your contact info, you can share it with NameDrop. It allows users to easily share contact information by simply bringing their iPhones together. This is the same gesture to start SharePlay to listen to music, watch a movie, or play a game.

NameDrop iOS 17Image source: Apple Inc.

With Live Voicemail, you can see real-time transcription when someone leaves a voicemail. Calls identified as spam by carriers won’t appear as Live Voicemail and will be instantly declined.

For FaceTime, when users call someone who is unavailable, they can share a message in audio or video that can be enjoyed later. In addition, the app adds Reactions such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, and more.

Messages app, for example, lets you create Live Stickers, and a new drawer in the keyboard puts all of a user’s stickers in one place for easier access across iOS. An expandable menu can be accessed with a simple tap to display iMessage apps. In addition, a new catch-up arrow indicates where the user last left off in the conversation, and replying inline is as simple as swiping on a text bubble.

Check-In is one of Apple’s most important security features ever made

iOS 17's new Check In security feature in Messages.iOS 17’s new Check In security feature in Messages. Image source: Apple Inc.

Although this is a Messages feature, Check In deserves its own subheadline. This is an important feature when a user wants to notify a family member or friend that they have made it to their destination safely.

After a user initiates a Check In, their friend or family member will automatically be notified as soon as the user arrives. If they are not making progress toward their destination, useful information will be temporarily shared with the selected contact, such as the device’s location, battery level, and cell service status. Any information shared is end-to-end encrypted.

Autocorrection and Dictation are more intelligent than ever

Dictation iOS 17

Apple says Autocorrect received a comprehensive update with a transformer language model for word prediction. It also received a refreshed design to better support typing, and sentence-level autocorrections can fix more types of grammatical mistakes.

Users can receive predictive text recommendations inline as they type, so adding entire words or completing sentences is as easy as tapping the space bar, making text entry faster than ever. Dictation also has a new speech recognition model to make it even more accurate.

Siri now understands bilingual queries on your iPhone

During the beta phase of iOS 17, Apple added one of the most interesting features users could have ever asked for Siri: support for bilingual queries starting with select Indic languages.

That said, users can ask questions to Siri by mixing English and Hindi. People can also mix English with Telegu, Punjabi, Kannada, or Marathi.

There’s no AI here, but there are already rumors Apple could introduce an AI Siri assistant as soon as iOS 18.

Apple Music offers new tweaks

iPhone 14 Pro Max and Beats Studio Buds+ earbudsiPhone 14 Pro Max and Beats Studio Buds+ earbuds Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple Music has also added a few new things with iOS 17. For example, with this operating system, Apple Music users can use SharePlay to control the music in the car through CarPlay, so everyone can play their favorite songs and contribute to what’s playing.

In addition, animated covers no longer appear solely on the artist’s album page but also on the music player. After years of this Android-only feature, Apple has added crossfade support between songs on iOS. Crossfade smoothly transitions between tracks, so the music never stops. In addition, you can finally see all the credits in a song.

Apple Music on iOS 17 also lets users invite friends to join a playlist, so anyone can add, reorder, and remove songs. Users can also use emojis to react to the song choices in Now Playing.

StandBy offers glanceable information while the iPhone is charging

StandBy is one of the new features coming in iOS 17.StandBy is one of the new features coming in iOS 17. Image source: Apple

StandBy is a new function that gives users a full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to be viewed from a distance when the iPhone is on its side and charging.

With support for Live Activities, Siri, incoming calls, and larger notifications, StandBy makes the iPhone even more useful when viewed at a distance.

When charging with MagSafe, StandBy remembers a user’s preferred view. It is easy to bring up StandBy anytime by tapping the screen, and on iPhone 14 Pro with the Always-On display, it is always available.

There are even more features available

  • Transliteration support on iOS for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam, now supporting 10 indic languages;
  • Users can sign into Apple ID using their phone number instead of an email ID;
  • New built-in Punjabi dictionary;
  • The ability to see up to 2,000 calls in the call history section, including FaceTime and WhatsApp calls;
  • Apple Fitness+ lets you build custom plans with the workouts, trainers, and songs you like the most;
  • iOS 17 finally lets you download offline maps on Apple Maps.

Health app expands mental health awareness

Image source: José Adorno for BGR

The Health app on iOS 17 lets you log your state of mind by scrolling through engaging visuals to help you select how you’re feeling at that moment and during the day overall. In the Health app, it’s also possible to see your state of mind and how it could correlate with lifestyle factors.

With a new Mental Wellbeing section on the Health app, you can even log how anxious or depressed you feel. This will help you understand if you need to pursue medical help or not.

All of this data combines with a new Apple Watch Series 6 (and later), Apple Watch SE 2, or Apple Watch Ultra tracker available with watchOS 10 that identifies how much time you spend in daylight thanks to its ambient light sensor.

Journal app is finally here

iOS 17.2 beta Journal appImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Another feature that Apple announced as a “new experience” is a Journal app. Using on-device machine learning, it will display personalized suggestions that can inspire a user’s journal entry.

Suggestions are intelligently curated from recent activity, including photos, people, places, workouts, and more, making it easy to start a journal entry, and scheduled notifications can help build a journaling habit. Here are three reasons why you should start journaling today.

Also, it’s important to note that not every iOS 17 feature is available to all compatible iPhone models.

New emojis

Upcoming iOS 17 emojisImage source: Emojipedia

Every major iOS update offers new emojis. For example, Apple released 20+ emojis for iOS 16 with iOS 16.4. In 2023, Unicode previewed the 100+ new emojis that are now available with iOS 17.4. According to an Emojipedia blog post, there are 108 new emojis when you include skin tone modifiers and gender variants. They’re now available with Unicode’s Emoji 15.1 update.

The list includes a Lime, a head shaking vertically, a phoenix bird (Moltres, for Pokémon fans), and four new gender-neutral family emojis intended to be represented via silhouettes.

AirPods Pro 2 features available with iOS 17

Apple AirPods Pro MainAirPods Pro 2nd-generation and case. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

With iOS 17 available, Apple also upgraded AirPods Pro 2 with several new features alongside a firmware update. Here they are:

Adaptive Audio: AirPods Pro 2 offers Adaptive Audio, which Apple says “dynamically blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation together based on the conditions of a user’s environment to deliver the best experience at the moment.”

Conversation Awareness: Another feature that comes alongside Adaptive Audio is conversation awareness. AirPods Pro 2 owners can easily start a conversation while listening to a song. This function reduces background noise and amplifies the voice of the person in front of you.

Mute or unmute: When on a phone call, pressing the stern sensor of your AirPods Pro 2 will mute/unmute your voice. Previously, pressing the stern would hang up the call.

Automatic Switching: The company states that the “connection time between a user’s Apple devices is significantly faster and more reliable.”

Personalized Volume: This feature relies on machine learning so your AirPods Pro 2 can “understand conditions and listening preferences over time to automatically fine-tune the media experience” and protect your ears in the long run.

Just Siri: Users are able to only say “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri.”

Exclusive iOS 17 features for EU users after the Digital Markets Act

iPhone sideloading app storeImage source: Apple Inc.

With the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, Apple and other big techs had to comply with a new ruling. That said, Cupertino had to open up the iPhone for sideloading and other changes starting with iOS 17.4.

This change added exclusive features for EU users. Here are the new functions that only people in Europe and developers with apps published in the region can get:

  • Marketplaces – or alternative app stores: App developers in the EU can choose to offer their apps in alternative app stores as long as they meet Apple’s criteria for customer experience, support, and fraud prevention, among other changes.
  • Notarization for iOS apps: A baseline review that applies to all apps, regardless of their distribution channel, focused on platform integrity and protecting users. Notarization involves a combination of automated checks and human review. 
  • Default browser options: EU users can choose a new default browser from a list of the most downloaded browsers on iOS devices just after they update to iOS 17.4.
  • NFC third-party access: Banks and third-party payment services can be offered for European iPhones.
  • More access: Developers can ask for additional hardware and software features for Apple.

With iOS 17.5, Apple added a few other exclusive features:

  • Download apps from the web: Web Distribution will let authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website owned by the developer.
  • Block web apps: You can allow app installations from the web in Screen Time settings and the Content & Privacy Restrictions tab.

Apple has added an indicator under each app showing where it was installed from with the version, developer, and app store origin.

Accessibility features confirmed before WWDC 2023

Apple iOS 17 accessibility features May 2023Apple iOS 17 accessibility features May 2023 Image source: Apple

In a press release prior to WWDC, Apple announced “new features for cognitive accessibility, along with Live Speech, and Point and Speak in Magnifier.” These will be available “later this year,” which means they will be released alongside iOS 17.

One of the most interesting features is Personal Voice, a new feature that allows users to recreate their voice by recording around 15 minutes of audio. Apple says that the feature was made to assist those who may be at risk of losing their voice.

Personal Voice works with Live Voice, another feature announced. Live Voice allows users to type what they want to say and then have that spoken for them on a phone or FaceTime call. If you use Personal Voice, the person on the other end of the call will hear your actual voice, even though you simply typed a response.

The company also revealed Assistive Access, which introduces a customized experience for the Phone FaceTime, Messages, Camera, Photos, and Music apps. Apple says that the feature offers a “distinct interface with high contrast buttons and large text labels, as well as tools to help trusted supporters tailor the experience for the individual they support. For example, for users who prefer communicating visually, Messages includes an emoji-only keyboard and the option to record a video message to share with loved ones.

iOS 17 delayed features

Apple Music iOS 17Image source: Apple Inc.

As of the iOS 17.3 release, Apple has no more delayed iOS 17 features. Here, you can see when Apple added each of them.

Major software updates

iOS 17.1 features

Apple Music iOS 17.1 beta 1Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple released iOS 17.1 on October 25. These are the features available with this operating system update:

  • Apple Music Playlist Suggestions: When adding a song to a playlist, Apple Music now suggests a few songs based on the music available on the list.
  • Apple Music Favorite Songs: Apple Music also lets you favorite songs, albums, playlists, and artists. Your favorite music is automatically added to your Library and improves your recommendations.
  • Apple Music Playlist Covers: The service lets you create custom playlist covers. Apple offers eight different options.
  • AirDrop with Cellular Data: Teased during the WWDC 2023 keynote, you can now continue to send and receive content when Wi-Fi is unavailable during AirDrop.
  • NameDrop for Apple Watch: With iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1, Apple is finally enabling NameDrop from iPhone to Apple Watch. With that, you can seamlessly exchange contact information with others.
  • Flashlight Indicator on Dynamic Island: Previously limited to iPhone 15 Pro models, the flashlight indicator on Dynamic Island is also available for iPhone 14 Pro and all iPhone 15 models.
  • StandBy Mode tweaks: The StandBy Mode now has some customization options. Users can choose to turn it off automatically, after 20 seconds, or never.

Apple later released iOS 17.1.1 and iOS 17.1.2.

iOS 17.2 features

iOS 17.2 beta 2 enables Spatial Video recording for Apple Vision ProImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple released iOS 17.2 on December 11. These are the features available with the operating system update:

  • Journal app is here: Using on-device machine learning, it displays personalized suggestions that can inspire a user’s journal entry. Apple says that suggestions are intelligently curated from recent activity, including photos, people, places, workouts, and more, making it easy to start a journal entry, and scheduled notifications can help build a journaling habit.
  • Apple Fitness+ Audio Focus: It gives users the ability to prioritize the volume of the music or the trainers’ voices during an Apple Fitness+ workout.
  • iMessage Contact Key Verification: Contact key verification allows you to manually verify who you are messaging with by comparing contact verification codes in person or over the phone. Conversations with people who have contact key verification turned on also receive automatic advanced protections to help prevent even very sophisticated attackers from impersonating anyone in a conversation.
  • React to a message with any sticker: With iOS 17.2, you can react with any sticker or memoji to a message. Just long-press a text, select Add Sticker, and choose one.
  • Catch-up arrow: A catch-up arrow is again available in the Messages app so you can easily go to the last message you saw;
  • Spatial video: With iOS 17.2, iPhone 15 Pro users can record Spatial Videos, which can be seen in the upcoming Apple Vision Pro;
  • Siri support for privately accessing and logging Health app data using your voice;
  • Enhanced AutoFill identifies fields in PDFs and other forms;
  • Qi2 support: Besides the iPhone 15 models, Qi2 support will be available for all iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models.

You can learn more about iOS 17.2 here. Apple later released iOS 17.2.1.

iOS 17.3 features

Apple Music Collaborative playlists iOS 17.2Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple released iOS 17.3 on January 22. These are the features available with the operating system update:

  • Stolen Device Protection: This new layer of protection helps you keep your data safe if your iPhone is stolen. Face ID authentication is required for viewing passwords or passkeys, turning off Lost Mode, erasing all contents, and more.
  • Apple Music Collaborative Playlists:  Invite friends to collaborate on playlists. They will be able to add, reorder, and remove songs.
  • React to Collaborative Playlists: Unavailable with the iOS 17.2 beta, iOS 17.3 beta adds the ability to react with an emoji to a song someone added to a collaborative playlist.
  • Journal app settings: With the new testing version, Apple is adding more options to the Journal app settings, such as enabling media and Apple Music suggestions, cellular data usage, and more.
  • AirPlay hotel support lets you stream content directly to the TV in your room in select hotels
  •  AppleCare & Warranty in Settings shows your coverage for all devices signed in with your Apple ID
  • Crash detection optimizations (all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models)

You can learn more about iOS 17.3 here. Apple later released iOS 17.3.1.

iOS 17.4 features

iOS 17.4 new emojisImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple released iOS 17.4 on March 5. These are the features available with the operating system update:

  • Gaming app changes: Streaming game apps are available on the App Store globally, which includes Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce NOW, offering games inside their own apps.
  • Messaging with Siri: Siri can read incoming messages in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and more.
  • Home tab: Apple Music and Podcasts’ Listen Now tab is now called Home.
  • Podcasts Transcripts: The Podcasts app now offers transcripts for every podcast episode.
  • New emojis: 28 new emojis are available with iOS 17.4. You can discover them here.
  • Stolen Device Protection changes: Apple has added an option that a double authentication can always be required instead of only unfamiliar locations.
  • iPhone 15 battery lasts longer: Apple says that the iPhone 15 can hold at least 1,000 complete cycles with up to 80% of total battery life, compared to 500 cycles of its predecessors. In addition, there’s a new Battery setting that shows the cycle count of your iPhone, when the battery was manufactured, and when it was first used.
  • New iMessage protocol: iMessage is also being upgraded with iOS 17.4 with a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol that improves end-to-end secure messaging. You can learn more about it here.

There are even more changes for European users, as Apple now allows iPhone sideloading.

You can learn more about iOS 17.4 here. Apple later released iOS 17.4.1.

iOS 17.5 features

iOS 17.5 beta changesImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Apple released iOS 17.5 on May 13. These are the features available with the operating system update:

  • Podcasts widget change: The Podcasts widget has a new dynamic color that changes depending on what you’re listening to.
  • Tracking Notifications: Cross-platform tracking detection delivers notifications to users if a compatible Bluetooth tracker they do not own is moving with them, regardless of what operating system the device is paired with.
  • New privacy option: You can allow app installations from the web in Screen Time settings and the Content & Privacy Restrictions tab.
  • Apple Universal Link for eSIM install: This new feature offers a link instead of a QR code to activate an eSIM on your iPhone.
  • Pride wallpapers: To celebrate Pride 2024, Apple brings “bold, symbolic color to Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad. Signaling hope, strength, and fellowship to LGBTQ+ communities, the beams of light glow against a dark background and stack on top of each other to represent the everlasting impact of LGBTQ+ activism and its role in illuminating the path to greater equality for future generations.”
  • Apple News+: For Apple News+ (or Apple One subscribers), users can have a new offline mode that gives access to the Today feed and News+ tab even when they don’t have an internet connection.
  • Quartiles and Scoreboards: One of the possible iOS 17.5 more popular features could be Quartiles, a new and original daily word game for Apple News+. You can see new player data for Crossword, Mini Crossword, and Quartiles with a Scoreboard, including stats and streaks.

You can learn more about iOS 17.5 here. Apple later released iOS 17.5.1.

iOS 17 release date

After previewing iOS 17 during the WWDC 2023 keynote on June 5, 2023, Apple released the first beta for developers to try out the new features. On July 12, a public beta was made available to users.

After the iPhone 15 event wrapped up, Apple announced that iOS 17 would be available as a free update on September 18.

Official iOS 17 download

iOS 17

iOS 17 has been available to all users since September 18th. Developers and public beta testers can continue to enroll in the beta program to try upcoming features.

Can I download iOS 17 beta version? What about the public beta?

If you are a developer, yes, you can download the iOS 17 developer beta version as long as you are registered on Apple’s Developer Program. BGR made a how-to process for downloading the iOS 17 beta.

A public test version launched on July 12. Just like previous years, you must enroll in the Apple Beta Software Program to agree to the terms and conditions; then you can try the public beta versions. BGR offers a step-by-step process for downloading iOS 17 public beta.

Supported devices

iPhone modelsImage source: José Adorno for BGR

With iOS 16, Apple was pretty radical about dropping support for old iPhones, meaning no more iPod touch could run the latest iOS version. In addition, only 2017 iPhone models or newer could update to iOS 16.

iOS 17 kept ditching old phones. This time, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X models aren’t supported by this new operating system. Here are all the iPhones that can run this OS:

  • iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen)
  • iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd gen)
  • iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max


BGR published an in-depth review of iOS 17. Here’s what we think about this operating system update:

With its latest operating system update for its most famous device, iOS 17 doesn’t reinvent the wheel but adds some nice-to-have features that you might think it’s worth updating your iPhone as soon as possible.

Messages, Health, and privacy changes are among the best new features available to this operating system.


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