What will iOS 17 be like?
In less than eight weeks, on Monday, June 5, Apple will unveil the software which will run the iPhone 15. That’s because iOS 17 will be revealed alongside iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS at the 2023 World Wide Developers Conference. Oh, and there might be talk of a new mixed reality headset with its own operating software.
Here’s what we know, or think we do, about the software which will run on future, and current iPhones.
Most years, though not all, the release of new iPhone software brings disappointment for some users. That’s because, usually, some handsets don’t gain access to the new OS. Where iOS 15 worked on every iPhone right back to the iPhone 6s and first iPhone SE, the current iOS 16 is only for iPhone 8 and more recent devices.
According to @analyst941, who describes themselves as an Apple software analyst, there’s good news: iOS 17 will work on all the handsets which can currently manage iOS 16. So, if you have an iPhone 8 or more recent, you’re good to go. The iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X all use the A11 Bionic chip and that will be supported, the leak says.
The main features, the same leaker claims, are “performance, efficiency, stability and long-term support for older devices.” That last bit is especially welcome as it suggests Apple’s determination to make iOS 17 work as well on the iPhone X as on the iPhone 15.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, meanwhile, has added that several of “users’ most requested features” are also to be included, which sounds like it’ll potentially be a widely appealing update. Gurman additionally says tune-ups will see a focus on squashing bugs and improving performance.
Widgets, that is, app icons which update and modify rather than just showing a logo, are highly useful and have been growing in number since they arrived in iOS 14. But they are still read-only, with little interactivity. It looks like iOS 17 will see widgets get much greater functionality, including buttons that respond to a single press, or switches, scrolling elements and sliders onscreen, for instance. This could be a game-changer.
According to Mark Gurman and @analyst941, the Control Center could be about to get a full revamp, offering the first major update to its design for more than five years. There could be more customization available to users, rearranging where items sit or offering greater detail in what can be done with them. Personally, I’d welcome an easier way to get to which wifi network I’m on with fewer button presses.
“Heavily improved search” is how @analyst941 describes this update. Again, that’s very welcome: current search capabilities are very good but there’s always that time you can’t remember a name or an address or some other searchable characteristic. Better search is always desirable.
Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro.
I’ll be honest, Dynamic Island bowled me over when it launched on the iPhone 14 Pro, and the promise of it spreading to all iPhone 15 models is exciting. But @analyst941 goes further, saying that in iOS 17, “Dynamic Island does way more”. Which is intriguing, to say the least.
There’ll also be more settings for the always-on display for the iPhones where that is found, and more Focus mode filters as well—this last may be one of the requested features Gurman mentions. We can look forward to changes to the camera app, a new layout in the Health app for favorites, improved accessibility settings and new CarKey and wallet implementations.
If that sounds like a lot, well, it is. Just wait until you hear how Apple reveals it. Roll on June 5.
What will iOS 17 be like?