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iOS 17 “Passive” Features that Add a LOT of Value

iOS 17 was released a few weeks ago.  iOS 17.1, an important and anticipated update, was released on 25-Oct-2023, and if you haven’t downloaded it already, you need to stop what you’re doing and update your iDevice.  The 17.x.x series offers several different cool features, though, that make it worth the update worthwhile even for those older devices noted below:

iOS 17 compatibility is limited to the following devices:

  • iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max (natively supported, released with iOS 17)
  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max,
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone SE (2nd & 3rd generations)

While all of the new OS’ features won’t be available on every legacy device – some are hardware dependent – the OS offers

  • Swipe to reply on iMessage: I love chats, but sometimes they can get a bit long, especially if you’re in a group chat and there’s a LOT of chatter.  iMessage now lets you swipe sideways on a text bubble to leave a direct reply so that your response doesn’t get lost in the feed, making little to no sense.  It will still show up where and when it was received, but now, it will be directly attached to the message you’re responding to.
  • Improved adaptive autocorrect: iOS has a transformer language mode.  With its implementation, your iPhone will learn your typing and language habits.  This is a nice feature, as changing autocorrected words BACK can be a real pain.  Now, with the new language model, you won’t have to.
  • Auto-removing one-time passcodes: Online security is sometimes an important inconvenience, but it is important nonetheless.  If you use SMS-based codes as part of your TFA/MFA regimen, it’s possible to have a boatload of text messages in iMessage, clogging up your message list. iOS 17.x will now autodelete the message when you autofill a texted confirmation code, keeping your message list tidy.
  • No more “Hey Siri” and extended conversations:  You no longer have to preface your interactions with Siri with “Hey, Siri!”  You can now just start the interaction with, “Siri…”  However, I have found that while this is a nice convenience, it doesn’t always work for me.  (Though while rewatching the first season of Discovery, every time Michael Burnham said, “Sarak…,” Siri would answer, “Yes..?”  Your mileage may vary…
  • Leveler in the Camera app:  Zooming into a shot with the maximum zoom can cause a lot of shake, and in the end, some of your photos may not look level.  The new camera system in iOS 17 includes an automatic level so that your shots always look correct and aren’t slightly askew. This one is going to be a huge plus to lots of folks.
  • Live activities in StandBy ModeStandby Mode is a really cool feature in iOS 17. It turns your iPhone into a smart display when it’s connected to power and turned sideways. Power can be applied via a MagSafe charger or a cable, but the device must be locked and connected to power. StandBy Mode can also use the Dynamic Island to display Live Activities.
  • Offline maps in Apple Maps:  Apple Maps can now download sections of maps for offline navigation. This is especially important for areas where there’s little to no cell service.  You can still navigate to your destination without any wireless connection.  It’s pretty cool when you’re up in the mountains or out in the middle of nowhere.
  • Interactive widgets:  Apple introduced home screen widgets with iOS 14 in 2020. With iOS 17, you can interact with those widgets without launching their native app.

What do you think of iOS 17?  Why don’t you leave a comment below, and let us know what you think?

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