- IOS 17 brings updates to FaceTime, Messages, and the phone app to change how you call, text, and view information.
- A new StandBy mode turns the iPhone lock screen into a mini hub similar to the Amazon Echo Show.
- Contact Posters aim to make contact cards more eye-catching and can be customized and shared between iPhones.
When the iPhone is on a MagSafe charger and in a horizontal position, StandBy mode kicks in. One of the biggest additions in iOS 17 is for when your iPhone isn’t in your hand. When your iPhone is on its side while MagSafe charging, you get a new full screen experience with glanceable information. The feature is called Standby and mimics what many smart home devices can do, such as the Amazon Echo Show.
The new screen shows the time, photos, widgets and Live Activities; nearly all of which can be personalized. It’s a bit of a cross between the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display and nightstand mode on the Apple Watch. When you swipe to the side on the Standby screen, you can look at your favorite photos or moments. iOS 17 will also automatically shuffle images to find the one that takes the best advantage of the screen.
Standby can also show glanceable widgets. For example, you can see the weather, your Apple Home smart controls or your favorite third-party widget. With support for live activities, you can also see the score of sporting events or the status of a food delivery. One of the more curious features is that Standby can remember your preferred view “setup” for each place you charge via MagSafe.
iOS 17 brings a new Apple app called Journal that creates personalized suggestions to inspire writing. These suggestions are curated from information on your iPhone, like photos, location, music and workouts. Journal gives you the option to select a moment, like “morning visit, Ocean Beach,” and start writing. You can also schedule notifications to remind you to write and get new prompts. You can flag important moments so that you can reflect on them later.
Live Voicemail lets you preview a transcription in real time as a voicemail is being recorded. Another new talent iOS 17 has involves your voicemail. When someone calls you and leaves a message, you’ll see a live transcription in real time as they speak. The new service is called Live Voicemail and it kind of feels like the days of answering machines, when my dad would screen a call. For Live Voicemail, you’ll see the voicemail right on your screen so you can decide whether to step out and take the call. The feature is powered by your iPhone’s neural engine in order to preserve your privacy. Live Voicemail seems identical to Call Screen on Google Pixel phones which isn’t a bad thing.
iOS 17 will let you record a video message in FaceTime. It’s a heavily requested feature that will ensure you can document and share important moments, even if someone misses your call.