iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 are here with useful new features | Cult of Mac

iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 are here with useful new features


iOS 17.1 release notes
iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1 are here with several big and small changes.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 17.1, the first major point release of iOS 17, is here. It drops just over a month after iOS 17 arrived.

Alongside iOS 17.1, Apple is also releasing iPadOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 to the public today. Below is a look at some of the top new features in the OSes.

The main highlight of iOS 17.1 is that it brings many of the features Apple initially promised with iOS 17 to your iPhone. And for Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 owners, the watchOS 10.1 update adds the new double-tap gesture.

AirDrop over the Internet

First announced at WWDC23, iOS 17.1 allows AirDrop transfers over the Internet to continue. This will enable you to walk away from an ongoing AirDrop transfer and not worry about it failing.

You can prevent AirDrop transfers from using mobile Internet. Simply disable the Use Cellular Data toggle from the AirDrop settings.

Do note that AirDrop transfers will take longer to complete over the Internet, which could be an issue when sharing large files.

StandBy mode

Apple is adding some new customization options for StandBy mode in iOS 17.1. You can set your phone’s display to turn off automatically, after 20 seconds, or never. Other handy new additions include disabling Night Mode and Motion to Wake.

iOS 17.1 beta 2 introduces StandBy mode customizations.
iOS 17.1 enables some customizations for StandBy mode.
Photo: Rajesh

Dynamic Island improvements

iOS 17.1 adds the flashlight indicator to the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 series. In iOS 17, this indicator was only available on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

Tweaked Action button behavior

iOS 17.1 tweaks the Action button behavior and adds pocket mode functionality to it. This ensures that when your iPhone 15 Pro is in your pocket, the Action button won’t trigger certain tasks that don’t make sense, like opening the camera app or enabling the flashlight.

The change is mainly to ensure accidental keypresses don’t drain your iPhone’s battery.

Favorites in Apple Music

The updated Apple Music app in iOS 17.1 makes it easy to favorite songs, albums, or playlists with a new star icon. As you keep favoriting items, Apple Music will generate a Favorite Songs playlist based on your selection.

It is now easier than ever to favorite songs in Apple Music on iOS 17.1.
It is now easier than ever to favorite songs in Apple Music on iOS 17.1.
Photo: Rajesh

Connected Cards

iOS 17.1 introduces a new Connected Cards feature for iPhone users in the UK. Using the Wallet app, you can check your account balance and recent transaction history in supported banks like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Monzo, and Starling.

Enhanced Photo Shuffle on Lock Screen

The Lock Screen’s Photo Shuffle option is improving in iOS 17.1. You can specify an album from which the photos will be used on the Lock Screen instead of the feature shuffling through your entire photo library.

While small, iOS 17.1 fixes a bug that could cause the iOS keyboard to be less responsive. It also introduced optimizations for the Car Crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 series.

iOS 17.1 release notes

Below are Apple’s full release notes for iOS 17.1:

• Content continues to transfer over the internet when you step out of AirDrop range.

• New options to control when the display turns off (iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max).

• Favorites expanded to include songs, albums and playlists, and you can filter to display your favorites in the library.
• New cover art collection offers designs that change colors to reflect the music in your playlist.
• Song suggestions appear at the bottom of every playlist, making it easy to add music that matches the vibe of your playlist.

This update also includes the following improvements and bug fixes:

• Option to choose a specific album to use with Photo Shuffle on the Lock Screen.
• Home key support for Matter locks.
• Improved reliability of Screen Time settings syncing across devices.
• Fixes an issue that may cause the Significant Location privacy setting to reset when transferring an Apple Watch or pairing it for the first time.
• Resolves an issue where the names of incoming callers may not appear when you are on another call.
• Addresses an issue where custom and purchased ringtones may not appear as options for your text tone.
• Fixes an issue that may cause the keyboard to be less responsive.
• Crash detection optimizations (all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models).
• Fixes an issue that may cause display image persistence.

NameDrop comes to Apple Watch

watchOS 10.1 expands NameDrop availability to Apple Watch, allowing you to seamlessly transfer your contact card from an iPhone to an Apple Watch with a tap.

Double-tap gesture

watchOS 10.1 adds support for the new double-tap gesture on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. The Cupertino giant showcased this feature while unveiling the new smartwatches at its iPhone event in September this year.

This feature allows the Apple Watch wearer to perform a double-tap gesture to mimic the primary button function, which could be to pick up calls, etc.

Update your devices

You can grab the iOS 17.1 or iPadOS 17.1 update on your iPhone by navigating to Settings > General > Software update. After that, you can update your Apple Watch to watchOS 10.1.


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