Apple will announce iOS 17 in about a month, and the details are leaking out at a furious rate. For those who can’t wait, here’s what we already know about the next major update to the iPhone operating system.
Expect a significant revamp the Control Center, along with tweaks to the Lock Screen, Wallet, Dynamic Island and more. And sideloading of apps, but not for everyone.
iOS 17 won’t be a huge update
While there are plenty of improvements coming, don’t get your hopes up for a dramatic revamp. Not even something as big as the lock screen changes from 2022. As Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman put it, iOS 17 will pack some “nice to have” features.
It’s not a specific change, but Apple developers are said to be putting a great deal of effort into enhancing general iPhone performance and making the code more stable while increasing battery life.
Unless you live in Europe. Then there is a specific, major change to look forward to.
Sideloading, but not for everyone
The days when iPhone applications could only come via the Apple Store are almost over… sort of. Apple is reportedly working to allow software to be installed from alternative sources, and this is expected to be included in iOS 17.
But there’s a major caveat to all this: it’s likely only for Europe. The change is happening to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, and Apple isn’t expected to make sideloading available for everyone. The company says the change will “cripple privacy and security,” but it has to follow the law.
Big changes to the Control Center
A prolific tipster of iOS 17 details who calls themself analyst941 on Twitter claims that, “The main UX feature other than performance and stability/battery is Control Center.”
However, exactly what the changes will be have not yet been revealed. This source has promised more details, though.
Tweaks to the Lock Screen and Wallet and Health apps
analyst941 appears to have a solid source on what’s coming in iOS 17, and has tidbits on many of the small changes coming.
That includes a new grid-based user interface for working with Lock Screens. iOS 16 brought in major changes to this feature, including the option to build a library of screens. The next version will supposedly allow users to view them in a new way and easily share them.
This is the new grid view for Wallpapers in iOS 17.
• All new Grid-view displays 9+ wallpapers at once.
• Delete wallpapers quickly within the grid-view.
• Rearrange the order of wallpapers in grid-view.
• Share or duplicate wallpapers by swiping up in single-view. pic.twitter.com/BUMugPKb1v
— 941 (@analyst941) April 29, 2023
The Wallet application will allegedly get revamped as well, including a new tab-based UI and search capacity.
This is the new home of the Wallet app in iOS 17.
• Swipe down to Search anywhere.
• Sorted tabs for everything.
• Apple Cash/Savings gets its own tab.
• New “All transactions” button.
• much more, not pictured
Sharing more info soon pic.twitter.com/mUjTjUUrps
— 941 (@analyst941) April 28, 2023
The Health app will reportedly get a face lift, too.
This is the iOS 17 Health app ‘favorites redesign,’ — there will obviously be VISUAL data inside the squares — I’m just too lazy to do all that. I’m sure you get the point.
Imagine colored graphs, tables, etc. filled with data inside each section. pic.twitter.com/qnoWdvD12I
— 941 (@analyst941) April 28, 2023
Other facets of iOS 17 are expected to get changes too, though we currently know little about these. That includes enhancements to the look of the Music app, with more graphics coming in to take the place of text.
And the App Library will supposedly allow users to create their own custom categories for applications.
There have been mentions of improvements to CarKey, the Flashlight app and more. Again, details on these are lacking.
New hardware brings new features
If Apple follows long-held habits, iOS 17 will launch just in time to debut on the iPhone 15. The handsets will bring some significant hardware changes that will be supported by software.
The most notable change will supposedly be the end of the Lightning port, with USB-C coming in its place. This will happen to all the 2023 models, and the two Pro versions might get faster Thunderbolt connectivity.
In addition, the non-Pro iPhone 15 models are allegedly getting the Dynamic Island. New features will be added to take advantage of the feature.
iOS 17 will be widely available
There have been claims that the next OS major update will not be available for the iPhone X and iPhone 8, both of which launched in 2017.
But other sources say that every model that runs iOS 16 will be able to install its replacement, too.
Stay tuned for WWDC23
Apple will showcase iOS 17 at WWDC23 on June 5. It will also use its annual developers conference to show off macOS 14, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and tvOS 17.
We already know a bit about some of these upgrades, too. New features are coming to Stage Manager for iPad, for example.
And Widgets will make a comeback on Apple Watch. watchOS seems to be getting the majority of Apple’s attention this year.