iOS 17

iOS 17 is finally here!
Time to update your iPhone to iOS 17!

The latest iOS version

iOS 17 is the latest version of iOS, released on September 18, 2023. It was a smaller update, but there are still plenty of awesome features you can check out.

Top iOS 17 features

  • Contact Posters are a redesigned screen that shows up when you call someone. It’s really easy to set up if you’ve customized your Lock Screen before.
  • NameDrop is an easier way to give someone your contact information — just touch the top of your phones together.
  • Standby activates when your phone is charging and sitting horizontally. Your phone can be used like a smart display that you can set up on your night stand or desk.
  • When you get an incoming phone call, you can send it to voicemail and see a live transcription. At any point, you can choose to answer and take the call if it turns out to be important.
  • You can create a shared folder of passwords for friends and family, so you don’t have to keep texting someone the new Netflix password.

iOS 17.1

iOS 17.1 was released on October 25, 2023. It added a few minor features:

  • If you start to AirDrop a photo, video or file to someone else but your phones get out of range from each other, the transfer will continue remotely over the internet.
  • In Settings > StandBy, you can set StandBy to turn off automatically, after 20 seconds or never (if your phone has an always-on display).
  • You can mark not just a song, but an album or playlist in Apple Music and filter your library to show only your favorites.
  • When you’re editing an Apple Music playlist, you’ll see suggested songs at the bottom that you can add with one tap.
  • Older devices will have improved battery life compared to the initial version of iOS 17.

iOS 17.2

Journal app on iOS 17.2
The Journal app is finally here as a part of iOS 17.2.

iOS 17.2 was released on December 11, 2023. It brought with it some big features originally announced earlier in June that were but missing from the initial release. Check out our video on the top features to see them in action.

  • The new Journal app lets you document major life events, scrapbook your getaways and keep a personal diary.
  • You can reply to an iMessage with a sticker.
  • If you want a “private browsing mode” in Apple Music, you can set up a Focus mode that turns off Listening History. Songs you listen to with this Focus enabled won’t show up in your listening history or affect your recommendations.
  • You can record Spatial Videos that you’ll be able to play back in full 3D on a Vision Pro headset in the future. (On other devices, it’ll play just like an ordinary 2D video.)
  • A new playlist in Apple Music plays all the tracks you’ve marked as Favorites. Mark a song as a Favorite by tapping the star button from the Now Playing screen.
  • If you have a ticket saved in the Apple Wallet app, you can share it with someone else simply by holding your phones together.
  • The Translate feature can now be assigned to the iPhone 15 Pro Action button.
  • You can change the default alert sound for third-party apps that don’t have their own custom sound (like Snapchat).

iOS 17.3

iOS 17.3 was released on January 22, 2024 with a few new features.

  • Stolen Device Protection can protect your iPhone in the event that someone steals your phone after learning your passcode. If someone tries to use your iPhone passcode to make any changes to your Apple ID, they’ll need to authenticate with Face ID and wait an hour. This delay gives you time to sign into Find My on someone else’s device and put your iPhone into Lost Mode.
  • With collaborative playlists in Apple Music, you can invite another Apple Music subscriber to add songs with you. You can get help making a roadtrip or party playlist ahead of the event.
  • A new Unity Bloom wallpaper celebrates Black history. It comes with a matching Watch face and band.

iOS 17.4

No App Store needed: EU iPhone users can install apps directly from websites
iPhone sideloading just got much closer to reality.

iOS 17.4 released on March 5, 2024 with huge changes for the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act:

  • Third-party app marketplaces, also known as alternate app stores, will let other companies like Meta, Epic Games and AltStore to create their own app stores outside of Apple’s control. AltStore PAL is the first marketplace, where you can download the Delta game emulator and Clip clipboard manager.
  • Third-party payment apps can use NFC (near-field communication) for contactless payment, just like Apple Pay.
  • Other browsers like Chrome and Firefox can use their custom web engines.

Other features available worldwide:

iOS 17.5

iOS 17.5 released on May 13, 2024 with a few minor features:

  • Cross-platform tracking detection will notify you if a compatible Bluetooth-enabled tracking device has been following you, even if it’s not made by Apple nor made specifically for Find My.
  • The new Pride Radiance Lock Screen and Apple Watch face.
  • Quartiles, a new word game in Apple News+ where you build words out of their separate syllables.
  • Offline Mode lets Apple News+ subscribers read stories without an internet connection that have been downloaded in advance.

New emoji in 2024

All the new emoji in iOS 17.4 beta 1.
These are all the new emoji in iOS 17.4.

Update to iOS 17.4 to get the new emoji. The new emoji include a face shaking up and down, a face shaking left and right, a phoenix, a lime, a brown mushroom, a broken link, updated family icons and a set of people icons that are now facing right instead of left.

iOS 17 supported devices

iOS 17 runs on the iPhone XS and newer, dropping support for the iPhone X and iPhone 8.

  • iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max

iOS 17 Jailbreak

Jailbreaking an iPhone has gotten harder every year. The only jailbreak exploit for iOS 17 is known as palera1n, which only works on iOS devices with an A11 chip and older.

Unfortunately, Apple dropped support in iOS 17 for all iPhones with an A11 chip, the iPhone X and iPhone 8. As such, you can only jailbreak iOS 17 on the basic iPad (6th generation) and iPad (7th generation).

When does iOS 18 come out?

According to Apple, the next version of iOS will be announced on June 10 at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, WWDC24. The keynote will be live-streamed on YouTube and Apple’s website starting at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

That same day, it is due to be available in beta testing for app developers. Likely in July, a public beta will be available for those who want to try out the features early.

iOS 18 will undoubtedly be released to everyone in September.

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on iOS 17:

Use Live Voicemail and Silence Unknown Callers together for call-free bliss

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Talk After The Beep
Don’t want to miss those important calls about my Lightning cable wholesaling business.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Using two iOS 17 features in tandem gives you a great way to stop unknown callers on iPhone. The Live Voicemail feature pairs very well with Silence Unknown Callers. With both of these turned on, unwanted calls will be far less intrusive, but you will still be able to pick up the important calls as they come in.

Here’s how to use Live Voicemail and Silence Unknown Callers to avoid phone spam and other annoyances without missing crucial calls.

Apple details iOS 17.5 bug that resurfaced deleted photos

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iPhone 15 telephoto camera
Old photos that resurfaced on your iPhone due to a bug were not seen by anyone else.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple provided more details Thursday about a nasty iOS 17.5 bug that resurfaced old and deleted photos for some iPhone users. Since the software glitch resurfaced photos from as far back as 2010, some people theorized that iCloud Photos secretly stored their deleted images.

However, Apple shot down such theories in its explanation. (The company rolled out iOS 17.5.1 on Tuesday to patch the bug.)

Find electric car charging stations in Apple Maps

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Where Can I Plug In?
Find charging stations from Apple Maps.
Image: Ank Kumar/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple Maps makes it easy to find EV charging stations while you’re on the road to figure out where you can top up your electric car. Apple added some powerful new features in iOS 17 to simplify this sometimes-daunting process for EV owners. Now you can see electric car charger availability, charging speeds and connector types so you can find a way to juice up your vehicle.

Here’s how it works.

Siri’s ready for an AI upgrade [The CultCast]

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An image of the Siri logo with the words
When will Siri get that long-overdue brain transplant?
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: With the many AI-powered features reportedly coming in iOS 18, a Siri revamp sounds possible — and promising! We talk about OpenAI’s startlingly good GPT-4o demos and wonder if Siri will ever amaze us like that.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Who will be Apple’s next CEO? Cupertino reportedly has a couple familiar faces on its short list.
  • New features in iOS 17.5 are … OK. However, some of the accessibility features coming later this year — including Vision Pro-style eye tracking for iPhone — look pretty incredible.
  • Those rumors of future folding iPhones just won’t stop.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

How to download Apple Maps for offline use

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How to download maps in Apple Maps for offline use
You don't need an internet connection to use Apple Maps with iOS 17.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iOS 17 allows Apple Maps users to download maps for offline use and generate turn-by-turn directions with them. This can be a lifesaver when traveling in remote areas without a cellular connection.

It’s not complicated, but there are several steps to go through if you want to download Apple Maps of certain cities or regions. Here’s how to do it.

iOS 17.5 will simplify submitting your iPhone for repair

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iPhone 15 Pro Max with no case, held aloft defiantly
iOS 17.5 will introduce a handy 'Repair State' option.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

A new feature in iOS 17.5 will allow you to submit your iPhone for repair without turning off Find My and Activation Lock. Apple added a new Repair State mode in iOS 17.5 beta 4 for this.

Currently, you must turn off the security feature on your iPhone before submitting it for repair. Failure to do so could prevent Apple technicians from repairing your device.

How and why to use iPhone Stolen Device Protection

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How and why to use iPhone Stolen Device Protection
Activate Stolen Device Protection to make your iPhone less valuable to criminals.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPhone Stolen Device Protection offers increased safety for your accounts and financial information if someone steals your handset and its passcode.

Here’s how to activate the security feature that debuted in iOS 17.3, and — more importantly — why you should do it now.

iOS 17.5 beta 1: All the new features and changes

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iOS 17.5 beta
iOS 17.5 beta 1 is light on changes.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Following a lull of a few weeks, Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 17.5 to developers Tuesday. While iOS 17.4 was a big release, iOS 17.5 beta 1 packs relatively minor (albeit important) changes.

Below are all the changes we have spotted in the first iOS 17.5 beta.

How to tweak your iPhone’s Home Screen

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Edit Your Home Screen
It's easy to customize your iPhone's look by adding widgets and removing app icons you don’t want to see.
Image: Kristin Hardwick/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone doesn’t need to look like it came from 2012. You can easily swap out wallpapers and/or customize iPhone Home Screen layouts by adding widgets and folders (and by hiding unwanted apps from your view).

This guide will help set up your iPhone screen so it looks exactly how you want it to.

M3 MacBook Air benchmarks sound amazing, but what’s next? [The CultCast]

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M3 MacBook Air promo image with The CultCast logo (episode 637).
These new MacBook Airs sound like absolute screamers.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Surprise! Apple drops new MacBook Airs with M3 chips inside. The new laptops’ specs and first benchmarks make the performance boost sound quite impressive indeed. But what should we expect next for the MacBook, and when should we expect it?

Join us for a titillating conversation about the current state (and future) of Apple’s laptops.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple launched the M3 MacBook Airs with amazing specs, but nothing but a press release. Sounds like it’s about to do the same with new iPads. There’s a lot to look forward to if you’re a fan of Apple tablets.
  • An inside look at the canceled Apple car project offers fascinating details about crazy prototypes, dashed dreams and crushing indecision.
  • How cool would a MacBook with a folding 20-inch screen be?
  • The European Union demands a cool 1.8 billion euros from Apple over its dealings with Spotify. Sounds like a shakedown!
  • iOS 17.4 brings some useful new features to your iPhone, and Griffin tells us all about the best ones.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

How to autofill passwords, email addresses and more on iPhone

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Instantly Autofill Anywhere
No more futzing around, looking up a password or email to copy and paste.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

AutoFill on iPhone is supposed to help you out when you’re entering a password or typing in your email. When it doesn’t work, it can be incredibly frustrating — especially if you don’t know some complicated password offhand. The phone’s supposed to remember it so you don’t have to!

Now, in iOS 17, AutoFill has been put on steroids. The new AutoFill is much more expansive than the old, and unlike previous versions, works anywhere you can input text, including third-party browsers. To autofill passwords, credit cards, contacts and more, you no longer have to dig through Settings > Passwords or through the Contacts app to pull out the information.

You can even autofill scanned text from documents, signs and more using the camera. Here’s how it’s done.

How to read auto-generated transcripts in Apple Podcasts

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Apple Podcasts transcripts
Every episode on Apple Podcasts now has a written transcript, ready for you to read.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

It just became a lot easier to read along with a podcast, or pull an interesting quote out of one. The Apple Podcasts app now automatically generates transcripts for series and episodes.

Here’s how to find and read these transcripts in the iPhone Podcasts app.

Try these exciting iOS 17.4 features on your iPhone now

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iOS 17.4 release notes
iOS 17.4 is here with several major changes and features.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Apple just dropped iOS 17.4, bringing a plethora of new features — some of which fundamentally change how the iPhone works.

The biggest point update to iOS 17, iOS 17.4 comes almost six months after the operating system’s initial release. It enables support for third-party app stores, browsers and payment apps on the iPhone. The bummer? These major changes are only coming to the European Union. Still, there are a lot of new iOS 17.4 features that will enhance the experience of every iPhone user.

How to make a shared, collaborative Apple Music Playlist

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Playlists With Your Friends
Come together.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A hot new feature in iOS 17.3 is Apple Music playlist collaboration. In advance of a party, road trip or any kind of themed event, you and others organizing the music can build a playlist together.

This isn’t to be confused with a similar feature, SharePlay, which lets people in the same room add songs to a live queue. SharePlay is more ephemeral; it lets others nearby play songs in the car or to a Bluetooth speaker without passing around your unlocked phone.

A shared Apple Music playlist is saved and can be replayed at any time. To find out everything you need to know about Apple Music playlist collaboration, keep reading or watch our quick how-to video

iOS 17.4 beta 4: All the new features and changes

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iOS 17.4 logo
iOS 17.4 beta 4 surprisingly packs some major changes.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple recently seeded the fourth beta of iOS 17.4. Despite this late into the beta cycle, iOS 17.4 beta 4 packs several notable changes.

Below are all the changes we have come across in the latest iOS 17.4 beta along with an archive of all the changes in the previous beta builds.

Shopping online with Apple Cash is about to get a whole lot easier

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Shopping online with Apple Cash is about to get a whole lot easier
Apple Wallet will soon be able to turn Apple Cash into a virtual debit card.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple Cash will soon give shoppers everything they need to make purchases online. Starting with iOS 17.4, a debit card number can be created for the financial service, along with the usual associated details.

This will be a boon for those who depend on the digital payment system, especially teenagers.

Vision Pro reviews: The good, the bad, the ugly, the insane! [The CultCast]

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Apple Vision Pro reviews on The CultCast episode 632. In the image, a man wears one of the new headsets.
The reviews are in!
Photo: Apple

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: A new round of Apple Vision Pro reviews gives us greater insight into what to expect from the high-priced headset. Is it utterly mind-blowing? Clunky and weird? So addictive that we’re doomed to a flat life in the boring 2D world when we take it off?

Sounds like all of the above!

Also on The CultCast:

  • A rundown of new features coming soon to iOS 17.
  • A respected analyst says iPhone can’t compete without these two key features … but at least one of them is nowhere in sight!
  • Is that an unreleased iPad in a Vision Pro cover story?
  • We’re giving away two rugged and waterproof Apple Watch bands from Lululook for all you sporty types.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

First iOS 17.4 beta brings new emoji plus huge changes for EU

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iOS 17.4 logo
iOS 17.4 will bring changes, but you'll have to live in Europe to get most of them.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 17.4 to developers Thursday, offering a first look at new emoji coming soon to iPhone. For Europeans, the update will be a major one, as it will allow users to sideload apps (among other big changes).

Also on Thursday came the initial betas of iPadOS 17.4 and tvOS 17.4. There’s no sign yet of macOS 14.4 beta 1, however.

Apple opens iPhone tap-to-pay to third parties in EU

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Hold Near Reader payment sheet for third-party NFC tap-to-pay implementation on iPhone in the EU.
Soon, third-party developers can offer tap-to-pay options utilizing the iPhone's NFC chip ... but only in the European Union.
Image: Cult of Mac

To comply with EU mandates, Apple will open the iPhone’s NFC payment chip to third parties, the company said Thursday. Starting in March, users in the European Economic Area will be able to utilize tap-to-pay services other than Apple Pay when making purchases.

The new payment option, part of sweeping changes forced on the iPhone and iOS by the EU’s Digital Markets Act, could cut into Apple’s services revenue. And the company warns that it could put users at risk.

What to try first in iOS 17.3

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iOS 17.3
iOS 17.3 introduces a major new security feature for iPhones.
Image: Cult of Mac

iOS 17.3, the third major release of iOS 17, arrived Monday. It packs several new features, one of which is Stolen Device Protection. It also brings the much-delayed Apple Music playlist collaboration.

Once you install iOS 17.3 on your iPhone, check out the new features you must try below.

How to leave a FaceTime voicemail

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Leave A Message After The Beep
More like “videomail” or “videomessage.”
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can send a FaceTime voicemail to someone if they don’t answer when you need to video chat. It’s better than leaving a regular voicemail, because it’s video — you can relay a message quickly or show something off on camera.

For instance, if your dog or your human child is doing something cute, or if you want to get a second opinion on an outfit, you might want to show someone. If they don’t answer your FaceTime call, you can record a video to send them to watch later.

Here’s how FaceTime voicemail works.

How to set up your new iPhone the right way

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Set Up Your New iPhone: We can get your new iPhone set up easily — no need to phone it in.
We can get your new iPhone set up easily — no need to phone it in.
Image: Apple

How do you set up your new iPhone the fastest way possible? The iPhone setup process gets easier every year. So easy, in fact, that there are only a few things you need to do to move from your old iPhone to a new one. You can even directly transfer your data from an Android phone. Setting up a new iPhone from scratch isn’t much harder — you just have a few extra steps you need to go through.

There are still a few tricks that will help things run smoothly, though.  Let’s see how to set up your new iPhone the right way.

iOS and macOS updates delete mystery bugs

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iOS 17.2.1 fixes mystery iPhone bugs
Take a couple minutes and install iOS 17.2.1. Your iPhone will be free of some bugs.
Image: Cult of Mac

iPhone users can now install iOS 17.2.1. And macOS Sonoma 14.2.1 is out as well. These are minor bug fix updates, though. The changes are so small Apple didn’t bother to describe them.

These are the only updates introduced Tuesday. There’s no iPadOS version, nor one for Apple Watch. And no new betas, either.

Hands-on with the 10 best new features in iOS 17.2

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iOS 17 promotion artwork with a sticky note that says
A bunch of new features are coming in this big update to Apple’s latest.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 17 brought dozens of great features and changes, but the latest 17.2 update adds even more.

The headline feature is the new Journal app — other new tweaks come to iMessage stickers, NameDrop and Apple Music. If you have a new iPhone 15 Pro, you can record Spatial Videos and use the Translate app directly from the Action button. You can also customize more notification sounds and StandBy.

Here are the ten best features in 17.2.

iOS 17.3 beta 1: All the features and changes

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Stolen Device Protection in iOS 17.3 beta
Your iPhone can better protect itself from data thieves with a new iOS 17.3 feature.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The first beta of iOS 17.3 is now available. It comes a couple of days after Apple released the stable iOS 17.2 update with plenty of new features to the public.

iOS 17.3 beta 1 does not pack many changes but brings an important new security feature to iPhones. Below are all the changes we have spotted in iOS 17.3 beta 1.