First announced in June 2023 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, iOS 17 has finished going through the many levels of testing, including public betas, and is now available for everyone who has a compatible iPhone. Models from iPhone SE (2nd generation or later) and models from iPhone XR, which was released in 2018, and later devices will all support iOS 17.
IPadOS 17 with specific changes to the tablet’s interface is also available for iPad (6th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation and later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and later).
WatchOS 10 is available for the Apple Watch Series 4 onwardiphions - though all features may not work on all watches, depending on the hardware they may require. Watch SE and Watch Ultra also support the upgraded system.
For anyone who has turned on Automatic Updates, prompts on the device will guide the user to agree to the update and in some cases back up the data before completing the update. For those who turned this option off, all it requires is to go to Settings, General, and Software Update.
At this point, it is safe to upgrade to the new systems, but for the cautious and security conscious, waiting a couple of days to check if any major problems crop up for a large number of users is not a bad option.
Anyone who upgrades their devices will immediately be presented with extensive feature guides and can pick and choose any new capabilities they would like to explore and get instructions on how to enable and use fresh features.
There are India-specific features for Apple’s devices with the upgrades. With iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 there’s now a more convenient bilingual Siri experience, so users can interact with Siri using a mix of English and Hindi. Users can also combine English with Telegu, Punjabi, Kannada, or Marathi. This experience includes asking Siri for help with setting an alarm or timer, sending messages, making calls, playing music, checking the weather, and looking up directions.
There are some transliteration keyboards for major Indian languages as well with iOS, iPadOS, macOS. IOS 17 brings new transliteration keyboards across major Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.These keyboards can be useful for bilingual users who move between English and another language while talking to their contacts. These follow the release of keyboards for Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, and Gujarati introduced in iOS 16.4, Bengali and Marathi introduced in iOS 16. There are also now built-in dictionary in Punjabi so users can get definitions of words and phrases from a variety of sources.
The dual-SIM experience has been improved with iOS 17. Users can see Messages sorted by their primary as well as secondary sim to be able to sort personal messages from work messages. They can also set different ringtones for each SIM, to understand if their iPhone is ringing because someone is calling a work phone number or personal phone number. If a user misses a call from a number that is not yet saved to their device, they can choose to call this number back from either SIM card.
There are a few India-specific features under what Apple terms ‘quality of life’ . For instance users can sign into their Apple ID using a phone number instead of an email address. Users can now see a more extended call history in Recents within the Phone app, including phone and FaceTime calls, as well as calls received on WhatsApp. Also on the communication front messages can be filtered by parameters such as unread, known senders, and unknown senders on iPad, in addition to the iPhone.
There are several hundred changes brought in with the new system upgrades. Among the more interesting features that aren’t limited to India is iOS 17 is a change made to AirDrop. Now, you merely have to bring your iPhone close to someone else's to share a Contact Poster, photos, videos or start \ a shared activity using Share Play - depending on what you choose. This ‘Name Drop’ feature may specifically interest business users at meetings and conferences. The feature hasn’t been unknown as it existed in some form with ‘Bump’ and on Android through third party apps and other means.
If you’re a light sleeper, try the Standby mode for the iPhone. With this, the device placed in landscape mode and charging with the MagSafe charger will turn its display into a night clock and calendar. You can see notifications and activities from whatever widgets you consider important. Everything is optional, so you’re free to turn it all off or customise to your liking. A night mode warms the light from the display, but of course some users are bothered by the slightest bit of light.
Feature collections will be explored in upcoming articles.