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iOS 17, What’s Coming

If your texts are not blue, one, I am sorry for your group chats; two, this update is more or less about what you could potentially have if you join one of the largest cults in the world, the Apple products user ecosystem.

That time of the year is coming where our phone battery just so happens to not have as much juice, or maybe your phone service starts getting marginally slower, and this often signals the upcoming release of a new iPhone. I won’t speculate on the design or performance of the upcoming iPhone 15. However, there is a beta for the new software/operating system, iOS 17.  So, let’s take a closer look at some of the notable new features.

Let’s start with the social side of things.

There are stickers and a substantial update to FaceTime. By pressing and holding your finger on the main subject of a photo, you can create a sticker using Apple’s lift-subject-from-background feature. Snapchat first made this feature mainstream, and just like Snapchat’s, Apple’s feature does not have to be used on a whole person (eyeballs emoji). One new aspect of this feature is its compatibility with live photos. I equate it as making your own personal GIF. You can then place these stickers on other images, texts, emails, and even documents if you would like.

Another exciting update relates to FaceTime. Somebody missed your FaceTime call? Now you can leave a video message (those late-night calls to an ex-partner are about to turn up a notch). If someone does answer, though, you can now make certain hand gestures to create augmented reality gestures during the call. Some of the effects released so far are hearts, confetti, and fireworks.

Now to some more practical features.

StandBy mode is the star of the show, but I also like the update to AirDrop in the form of sharing contacts called, NameDrop. StandBy is a feature that turns your phone into an informative alarm clock when the phone is charging on its side. You can use familiar widgets such as the weather app, world clock, photo album, or, my favorite, the stocks app. ​During sleep, the phone will automatically dim the screen and display the time in a darker red hue. A neat aspect is also you can even make your live activities full screen, such as when my Uber Eats or a Lyft is going to show up.

​Another practical feature worth mentioning is the ability to share virtual contact cards. You can now easily AirDrop your contact with any other iPhone user while ensuring the correct spelling of your name and email, and you can even add a personalized picture. This feature can also be used via Apple Watch and iPad as long as you are in the general vicinity.

Those were a few of the many updates Apple is making to the iOS 17 to keep us sucked into its product ecosystem. I have little doubt they will continue to keep us hook, line, and anchored for years to come.

August 2023

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