iOS 17 – new features for your iPhone | release date

iOS 16 still feels like new, but Apple is already busy with iOS 17. It will be a long time before this new major update appears for your iPhone. Nevertheless, a few things are already known about the new operating system. Here’s what you need to know about iOS 17 right now.

iOS 17 concept

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Announcement at WWDC

iOS 17 will be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC for short. This is Apple’s annual conference for software developers. Apple always kicks off WWDC with a keynote that includes a sneak preview showing the most important new features. WWDC kicks off on Monday, June 5, which is also the day iOS 17 is announced.

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iOS 17 beta to test the software

Immediately after the WWDC keynote, the first iOS 17 beta will appear. A beta is a test version of the software. Enthusiasts can already try out the update. There are undoubtedly errors in that, and it is the intention that testers report them to Apple. Apple then fixes these errors, so that the final version contains as few errors as possible. More than ten beta versions are often required.

Anyone with a suitable iPhone can download the iOS 17 beta this summer. That’s nice because you get to know all the new features first. But keep in mind that there may be teething problems.

iOS 17 release date: when can you update

After a whole summer of testing, the official release finally follows and everyone can download iOS 17. Usually, during the announcement of the new iPhone in early September, Apple also tells you when the official iOS 17 release date is. We also expect the new iOS to appear sometime in mid-September 2023.

iOS 17 price

iOS updates are always free. If you have an iPhone that’s still supported, the update won’t cost you a dime — and your iPhone will feel like new again.

iOS 17 new features

With a new operating system, your iPhone gets all kinds of new functions and improvements. With iOS 16, these included the completely redesigned lock screen with widgets, the Shared iCloud Photo Library and much more. iOS 17 is still a bit of a guess.

The most concrete rumor concerns the iOS 17 control panel. That has looked the same for years, but would now undergo major changes with a new design and improved customizability. We also know through a leaker of MacRumors that new features such as interactive widgets, additional functions for the Dynamic Island and a better search function will be added in iOS 17. Performance would also be taken care of.

What else we can expect from iOS 17 is not yet clear. We think that the rumor mill will soon start in earnest – for now we mainly hope for the following:

  • Some tricks of the iPad. We’d like to see some iPadOS stuff on the iPhone as well. Split screen, for example, to use two apps side by side. Calling up a Quick note by swiping in from a screen corner also seems like a great iPhone function to us.
  • More possibilities for the dynamic island. The iPhone 14 has a Dynamic Island and more iPhones may get this. Time for some extra options!

You can read which wishes we have in our iOS 17 wishlist. Although we are not the only ones with such good ideas. For example, you can see some of the above functions in the following iOS 17 concept video:

Incidentally, it is quite possible that iOS 17 is a relatively minor update. We have seen this more often in recent years, that the iOS updates with even numbers are large updates, and those with odd numbers are somewhat smaller. For example, iOS 14 had widgets, iOS 16 had a completely new lock screen. And iOS 13 and iOS 15 stood out for… Do you remember? Apple would also put a lot of work into the new VR glasses that are under development, so that iOS 17 is given less priority.

iOS 17 Sideloading: Alternative App Store

iPhone sideloading

Until now, as an iPhone user, you can only purchase apps through Apple’s own App Store, but alternative App Stores are expected to appear in the future. Downloading apps from outside the App Store is called “sideloading.” It’s not Apple’s own choice, but they’re forced to by a new EU law. Sideloading may already be available in iOS 17.

For which iPhones?

When Apple releases a major new update, it often means that the curtain falls on a few older iPhones. You can then no longer update it. You can continue to use the devices as you do now, but no new functions will be added.

iOS 16 concerned the iPhone 6s, iPhone SE (first generation) and iPhone 7. It could very well be that their direct successors will no longer receive iOS 17. Those are the iPhone X and iPhone 8 – these devices appeared at the same time in 2017 and have the same chip. But don’t worry: there are also years when Apple doesn’t retire any iPhones, and some rumors indicate that these old devices are simply being updated.

These are the devices that will at least receive iOS 17 support:

iOS 17 is installed by default on the new iPhone from 2023, the iPhone 15.

And the iPad?

Perhaps while reading this page you think: I miss the iPad. And that’s right. The iPad has had its own operating system, iPadOS, for several years now. iPadOS 17 is expected to have a lot of overlap with iOS 17. But because of the extra large screen and accessories such as the Apple Pencil, the iPad has more options and therefore also extra new functions.

Sometimes it also happens that certain new iOS functions only appear on the iPad at a later stage. Placing widgets criss-cross on your home screen, for example, was only possible on the iPad a year later than on the iPhone. We wouldn’t be surprised if iPadOS 17 finally brings iOS 16’s biggest feature to the iPad: the customizable lock screen.

What is iOS?

iOS was once short for ‘iPhone operating system’. It is the operating system for the iPhone (and the iPod touch). iOS is, as it were, the whole of the basic functions of the iPhone, plus the associated apps. Every year, Apple releases a major update for iOS, giving your iPhone all kinds of fun new functions and improvements.

Stay informed

In the coming months we expect the necessary rumors about iOS 17. Do you want to stay informed of the latest developments? Then subscribe to our weekly newsletter with iPhone news and useful iPhone tips:

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