iPadOS 17

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.

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 use long-overdue improvements to the Files app in iPadOS 17

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How to use long-overdue improvements to the Files app in iPadOS 17
There are new features in the iPad/iPhone Files app when accessing thumbdrives and SSDs.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Managing files on iPad has finally got a lot easier with new tools added to the Files app in iPadOS 17. It’s especially good for working with external drives, including basic capabilities like seeing see how much space remains on a thumb drive. And iPhone users can access them, too.

Here’s how to access all the new features in Apple’s Files app.

Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch get new features in OS upgrades

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MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, HomePod
All these have new operating system updates ... and most of them include new features.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

If you own an Apple computer of any shape or size, odds are it just got an operating system upgrade. Monday brought the public launch of macOS Sonoma 14.2, iPadOS 17.2, iOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2 and tvOS 17.2.

And these aren’t simple bug fixes. There’s new features.

Apple’s new Personal Voice feature rings clear in ‘The Lost Voice’ video

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Tristram Ingham 'The Lost Voice' video
Disability advocate Tristram Ingham prepares to record Apple’s “The Lost Voice" video.
Photo: Apple

The new Personal Voice feature in iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma can restore a person’s voice even after they lose it for any reason.

Apple demonstrated that quite well Thursday in an article and video featuring a disability advocate suffering facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

How and why to use an external webcam with your iPad

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External webcam with iPad How To
There are good reasons to use an external webcam with your iPad. Here's why and how.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A trick you might have missed with the release of iPadOS 17 is support for external USB-C webcams. As good as the front-facing camera in the iPad is, it’s now possible to plug in a separate one.

Here’s why you might be interested, and how to connect a webcam to your iPad with a USB-C port.

iOS 17.1 and watchOS 10.1 are here with useful new features

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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.

These iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 features won’t arrive till later this year

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The first iOS 17 public build will miss out on these features.
iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, but without these features.
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Apple finally released iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 to the public, but you won’t get to enjoy all the new features and enhancements immediately.

Certain features will be released in a future point release of the OS. Below is a look at all such iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 features that won’t be available at launch.

Don’t miss the best new features in iPadOS 17

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iPadOS 17 Home Screen
Interactive widgets are one of the highlights of iPadOS 17.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple just released iPadOS 17 to the public. There’s a lot to like, including a new customizable Lock screen, interactive widgets, a Health app, significant Stage Manager improvements and much more.

Here’s everything you can expect from loading the new version on your iPad.

What time will Apple release iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10 on September 18?

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iPhone with iOS 17 logo
iOS 17's first stable build is finally ready for public release.
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Apple is finally ready to release iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10 to the public. The stable build of these OSs will drop Monday for all compatible iPhones and iPads.

But exactly when will the iOS 17 update show up on your iPhone? After all, you might want to be the first in your group to install the new operating system and take advantage of new features like Standby. Find out the iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10’s release time in your area in our list below.

Apple pushes out final versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS [Updated]

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iOS 17 Coming Soon
Its final form is here. Its release is a little later.
Image: Ed Hardy/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac
Wonderlust 2023

Shortly after today’s announcements, Apple pushed out the release candidates for iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10. These operating systems will all be available on Monday, September 18.

macOS Sonoma has a later release date of September 26 and did not receive a release candidate today. Update: The macOS Sonoma release candidate is now out.

There are two important PSAs for developers: The release candidate of Xcode 15 does not support the visionOS SDK. App submissions for the new operating systems are now open, though.

This is when you can get iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and macOS Sonoma [Updated]

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iPhone with iOS 17 logo
iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10 are coming next week!
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Wonderlust bug

iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and macOS Sonoma finally have a release date. The OSes have been in beta testing since WWDC23 this year.

Apple announced the official release dates of the next major iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS releases at its ‘Wonderlust’ event.

iOS 17 beta 7: All the new features and changes

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iOS 17 preview
The fourth iOS 17 developer beta is here with some minor changes.
Photo: Apple

Apple continues beta testing iOS 17, with the seventh beta dropping on August 22nd. As the beta program has progressed, the company has made fewer and fewer user-facing changes to new builds.

It’s the same story with iOS 17 beta 7, which hardly packs any meaningful changes or improvements. Below is everything new in the latest iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 beta.

Hands on with Stage Manager improvements in iPadOS 17

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Hands on with Stage Manager improvements in iPadOS 17
With Stage Manager in iPadOS 17, you can arrange app windows however you like.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is making significant improvements to its Stage Manager multitasking system so iPads can work even more like Macs. The iPadOS 17 version offers additional freedom in window sizing and position.

I’ve been testing the update since Apple began releasing beta versions of iPadOS 17 in June. I already liked the original version of Stage Manager — but the new one is even better.

How to get the latest iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 public betas

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iOS 17 and iPadOS 17
Here's how to install the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 public betas on your iPhone or iPad.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

The second iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 public betas became available Monday so anyone who wants to start tinkering with the new features can try these well before the autumn release.

Among the more significant changes in iOS are personalized contact posters in the Phone app, home screen widgets go interactive, and autocorrect is smarter. iPadOS gets many of those same features, as well as signifi can’t Lock screen improvements.

Want to try the changes out for yourself? We’ll show you how.

Think twice before installing iOS 17 public beta

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iOS 17: Out of Focus
iOS 17 hasn’t quite come into focus yet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple just gave the general public access to the latest iOS 17 beta, but before you put it on your iPhone, the Cult of Mac staff has some warnings. We’ve used the betas for weeks, and while it’s gone well for some people, it’s been a dumpster fire for others.

Public betas for macOS Sonoma and iPadOS 17 are also available, and we also have comments for anyone thinking of putting those on their Mac or iPad.

Hands on with interactive widgets in iOS 17

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Hands on with interactive widgets in iOS 17
iOS 17 will include home screen widgets with buttons and other controls.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A long-requested feature is finally coming to iOS 17: interactive widgets. With these, you can control apps on the device directly from the convenience of the home screen.

iOS 17 is still in beta so not everyone has access to the new feature yet. I do, so here is what it’s like to use it on an iPhone (and iPad, too.)

These iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma features are not coming to older devices

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New contact posters, iMessage stickers and voicemail transcription
Certain new iOS 17 features will not come to all iPhones capable of running the new OS.
Photo: Apple

iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma are not big upgrades. However, they will bring plenty of little improvements that add up to a better experience on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Despite that, Apple dropped support for some older iPhones, iPads and Macs with its upcoming OS releases.

That’s only part of the disappointment equation, though. Several new features won’t work on older Apple gear, even though the devices can run the new operating systems.

Many of the new features in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 that won’t make it to older iPhones and iPads will go missing primarily because they are very resource-hungry. As for Macs, several macOS Sonoma features won’t come to Intel-based machines. This is sort of a given, since Apple switched to in-house chips that deliver better performance while maintaining ruthless power efficiency. The list of features not available on Intel Macs will only expand over time until Apple eventually drops support for them altogether.

Now that you the reasons for the omissions, here’s a rundown of new features in iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma that won’t work on older devices.

Hands on with iOS 17 Autocorrect and intelligent input improvements

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iOS 17 Keyboard settings
Entering text gets a bit easier, with fewer typos, in iOS 17.
Graphic: Apple
WWDC23

Apple is souping up the systems for entering text into iPhone with iOS 17. Autocorrect is getting enhanced with AI for fewer typos, as part of multiple improvements to what Apple calls “intelligent input.” And Dictation is getting a boost that promises more-accurate voice recognition, too.

I tested the changes in the first iOS 17 beta. Here’s how well they work … so far.

Apple makes downloading iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and other developer betas free

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iOS 17 preview
You can now download OS developer betas for free from Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple has made its OS developer beta builds free to download. You can now enroll in the Apple Developer Program for free.

This will allow you to download the latest iOS, iPadOS, or macOS beta for free. Previously, Apple made the download available for developers who paid the yearly $99 subscription fees.

How to install the iPadOS 17 Developer Beta

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iPadOS 17 showing a custom Lock Screen and widgets on the left.
iPadOS 17 brings many favorite features over from iOS.
Photo: Apple

How can you install the iPadOS 17 Developer Beta? While the release is months away, you might want to take it for a test drive or see how your apps work in the new release. Right now, you need to make sure you’re signed into your developer Apple ID and that you have developer betas turned on in the Settings app.

These days, the process is far easier. You no longer need to install a beta profile and reboot your tablet a bunch of times to get it working.

Apple gives the nitty-gritty details on new software features and Vision Pro

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A focus on Experiences, Hardware, Values, Tools and visionOS.
The Platforms State of the Union focused on experiences, hardware, values, tools and the new visionOS that powers the Vision Pro headset.
Photo: Apple
WWDC23

At today’s Platforms State of the Union, Apple went into more depth on the updates coming to their software: interactive widgets for iOS, iPadOS and now on the macOS desktop; big updates to watchOS; and the introduction of visionOS, the operating system that runs on Apple’s new Vision Pro.

There are loads of new features that developers will be able to take advantage of that Apple didn’t highlight in the main Keynote. Thus far, they’ve covered improvements to the in-app camera, a standard tips balloon, and an easier way to make animations in SwiftUI.