In the world of technology, the iPhone has become more than just a phone. However, at its core, it is still a device meant to make calls and send text messages. At the WWDC 2023 event, Apple showcased some significant updates to these essential features with its new iOS 17.
Starting with the Phone app, Apple announced the Live Voicemail feature, which allows users to see voicemail being transcribed in real-time. This feature is similar to call screening, but the transcription shows up on the iPhone screen as the caller is leaving their message. Users can choose to pick up the call while seeing the transcription come through, once they confirm it’s not spam or a telemarketer.
Another new feature coming to the Phone app is Contact Posters, which completely redesigns how a user’s contacts will show up on their phone. Contact Posters provide a full-screen, personalized, customizable design that users can create for individuals on their contact list. Fonts, photos, background colors, and more can all be changed around for each contact in your list.
Moving on to the Messages app, it is also getting some new features. Audio transcriptions for audio messages are now available in the Messages app. Audio messages have become popular over the years, and this latest update will likely increase usage with those who may not have been sold before. Messages will now transcribe audio messages in plain text for moments where users can’t listen to the audio.
Messages’ new catch-up feature will help keep users up-to-date with group chats when they’ve been away. Opening a group chat in iOS 17 will bring users to the last message they saw, not the most recent, so they can “catch-up” on what they missed. Additionally, Messages will have new search filters in iOS 17 to make it easier to find old messages that users might be looking for. There’s also a new menu design in messages, so users can easily find their most used and favorite Message apps and widgets.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature coming to Messages is Live Stickers. Using this feature, users can choose a live photo in Messages, and it will automatically remove the photo’s background and turn this looping moving image into a Messages sticker that can be used right from the Stickers library any time.
There’s also a new important safety feature coming to Messages called Check-in. This feature will track a user’s location to let friends and family know if they’ve arrived home or the location they’re headed to. If a user suddenly stops progressing to their location, Check-in will automatically let friends and family know that too.
Moving on to FaceTime and Airdrop, these apps have also received some significant updates. With iOS 17, FaceTime can now leave video messages with callers who don’t pick up their FaceTime call. Airdrop can now share files between two users who simply place their iPhones in close proximity to each other. If large files, like a big photo album or video file, are being shared, Airdrop will continue to transfer the files even if one of the iPhones moves out of range. Share activity apps can also automatically link up via Airdrop now too. And a new Namedrop feature is coming alongside Airdrop, which allows users to share specific contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses.
In conclusion, Apple’s new iOS 17 has brought some significant updates to the core features of the iPhone. The Phone app has received Live Voicemail and Contact Posters features, while the Messages app has received Audio Transcriptions, Catch-up, Search Filters, Live Stickers, and Check-in features. FaceTime and Airdrop have also received some significant updates. These new features will undoubtedly enhance the user experience and make the iPhone even more versatile than it already is.