Apple’s iOS 17 Is Out Bringing You Live Voicemail, Contact Posters And A Lot More

By Pamela Connellan
on 7 June 2023

Apple has just announced the release of iOS 17 – it’s yearly software update for iPhone – and it comes with some major updates including Live Voicemail, Contact Posters, upgrades to AirDrop, more text input and new experiences with Journal and StandBy.

Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi says: “Phone, FaceTime, and Messages are central to how we communicate, and this release is packed with updates we think our users are going to love. We’ve also reimagined AirDrop with new ways to share, autocorrect gets even better, and we’re introducing all-new experiences with Journal and StandBy.”

The Phone app gets a big update with personalised Contact Posters so you can customise the way you appear when you call someone. This brings a completely new look to incoming calls – you can choose treatments for your photos or Memoji, as well as eye-catching typography and font colours. Contact Posters will also be available for third-party calling apps.

Live Voicemail is a new feature which allows you to see real-time transcription as someone leaves you a voicemail and you can even pick up while the caller is leaving the message. Calls identified as spam by carriers won’t appear as Live Voicemail, and will be instantly declined. Live Voicemail transcription is handled on-device and so it’s private.

FaceTime Call Feature in iOS 17: Apple Phone

FaceTime adds audio and video messages, reactions and extends to Apple TV

With iOS, FaceTime now supports audio and video messages so when someone is called who’s not available, they can be left a message on video as well as audio.

FaceTime calls also get more expressive with Reactions such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain etc. The new effects can be activated via simple gestures, and third-party video calling apps can take advantage of them as well.

Another update is the fact FaceTime now extends to the biggest screen in the home and users can initiate a video call directly from Apple TV – or start the call on iPhone and then hand it off to Apple TV, so they can see friends and family on their television. With Centre Stage, users will have the right framing even as they move around the room.

Engaging Chat with Creative Stickers

A fresh look and updates to messages

Messages gets some significant updates with iOS 17, including an all-new stickers experience with new emoji stickers and the ability to create Live Stickers by lifting subjects from photos. You can also add effects to Live Stickers which bring them to life, and a new drawer in the keyboard puts all of your stickers in one place for easier access across iOS.

There are also new Messages features including an expandable menu which can be accessed with a tap on the screen to display iMessage apps and this gives Messages a sleeker look. Search gets more powerful with search filters, making it possible to start a search and add additional filters to narrow down the results and find exactly what you’re looking for. A new catch-up arrow indicates where the person left off in the conversation, and to reply inline, you just swipe on a text bubble. If you share your location, it will update in real time right in the conversation. When sending an audio message, it’s transcribed automatically so you can read it in the moment or listen later.

Messages also introduces Check In, a feature which lets you notify a family member or friend that you’ve made it to your destination safely. After a user initiates a Check In, their friend or family member will automatically be notified as soon as the user arrives. If they’re not making progress toward their destination, useful information will be temporarily shared with the selected contact, such as the device’s location, battery level, and cell service status.

iOS AirDrop
AirDrop makes it easy to share a file, a phone number or share photos.

Easier sharing with AirDrop and NameDrop

AirDrop makes it easy to share a file with a colleague or send photos to a friend in seconds, and with iOS 17, AirDrop gets new ways to share. NameDrop allows you to easily share contact information by simply bringing your iPhones together, or by bringing an iPhone and Apple Watch together. With the same gesture, users can also share content or start SharePlay to listen to music, watch a movie, or play a game while in close proximity between iPhone devices.

Improvements to Autocorrect and Dictation bring more input

Autocorrect receives a comprehensive update with a transformer language model – an on-device machine learning language model for word prediction — which improves the experience and accuracy for users every time they type. It also receives a refreshed design to better support typing, and sentence-level autocorrections can fix more types of grammatical mistakes. You will now receive predictive text recommendations inline as they type, so adding entire words or completing sentences is as easy as tapping the space bar, making text entry faster than ever. Dictation leverages a new speech recognition model to make it even more accurate.

StandBy displays glanceable information while iPhone is charging

iOS 17 introduces StandBy, giving you a full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to be viewed from a distance when iPhone is on its side and charging. StandBy is great on a nightstand, kitchen counter, or desk, and can be personalised to display favourite photos etc. With support for Live Activities, Siri, incoming calls, and larger notifications, StandBy makes iPhone helpful when viewed at a distance. When charging with MagSafe, StandBy remembers your preferred view. you can bring up StandBy by tapping the screen.

You can appreciate life’s moments with Journal

Journal is a new app which helps iPhone users reflect and practice gratitude through journaling, which has been shown to improve wellbeing. Using machine learning, personalised suggestions can be provided to help inspire a user’s journal entry. Suggestions are curated from recent activity, including photos, people, places, workouts etc, making it easier to start a journal entry. Plus scheduled notifications can help build a journaling habit.

With the ability to lock the app, the use of on-device processing, and end-to-end encryption, Journal is built to protect your privacy and ensure no one — including Apple — can access your entries.

Real-Time Transcribed Message on Voicemail

Additional features in iOS 17 include:

  • Safari adds more protection for Private Browsing, both from trackers as a user browses, and from people who might have access to a user’s device. Advanced tracking and fingerprinting protections go even further to help prevent websites from tracking or identifying a user’s device. Private Browsing now locks when not in use, allowing a user to keep tabs open even when stepping away from the device.
  • For more secure password and passkeys sharing, users can share passwords with a group of trusted contacts. Everyone in the group can add and edit passwords to keep them up to date. Since sharing is through iCloud Keychain, it’s end-to-end encrypted.
  • The Health app offers new mental health features. Users can log their daily moods and momentary emotions; see what might be contributing to their state of mind; and easily access depression and anxiety assessments often used in clinics, plus resources available in their region. Additionally, increasing the distance the device is viewed from can help children lower their risk of myopia and gives adult users the opportunity to reduce digital eyestrain. Screen Distance in Screen Time uses the TrueDepth camera to encourage users to move their device farther away after holding it closer than 30 centimetres from their face for an extended period of time.
  • Maps adds offline maps, so users can download a specific area and access turn-by-turn navigation, see their estimated time of arrival, find places in Maps, and more while offline.
  • AirTag can be shared with up to five other people, allowing friends and family to keep track of an item in Find My. Everyone in a group will be able to see an item’s location, play a sound, and use Precision Finding to help pinpoint the location of a shared AirTag when nearby. This also works with other Find My network accessories.
  • Apple Music introduces Collaborative Playlists which make listening to music with friends easier and SharePlay in the car allows all passengers to contribute to what’s playing. Listeners can control the music from their own devices, even if they don’t have an Apple Music subscription.
  • Sharing content using AirPlay is easier with on-device intelligence now learning a user’s preferences. AirPlay will also work with supported televisions in hotels, allowing users to watch their favourite content on the TV when travelling. Built with a foundation of privacy and security, this capability will be available before the end of the year in select hotels, starting with brands from IHG Hotels & Resorts.
  • AirPods receive powerful new features, including Adaptive Audio, Personalised Volume, and Conversation Awareness, that redefine the personal audio experience. Plus, improvements to Automatic Switching and call controls make AirPods even easier to use.
  • The Home app adds the ability for users to view up to 30 days of activity history across door locks, garage doors, alarm systems, and contact sensors. Additionally, two popular HomeKit lock features — tap to unlock and PIN codes — are now available for Matter-compatible locks, providing even more ways to connect the home.
  • Reminders features a grocery list that automatically groups added items into categories to make shopping easier. Users can change how the items are grouped and the list remembers their preferences.
  • Visual Look Up is now available in paused video frames. Users can identify food, storefronts, signs, and symbols, and lift individual subjects from photos and videos.
  • Siri can be activated by simply saying “Siri.” Once activated, users can issue multiple commands in succession without needing to reactivate the assistant.
  • In Photos, the People album uses on-device machine learning to recognise more photos of a user’s favourite people, as well as cats and dogs.
  • Privacy updates include the expansion of Communication Safety beyond Messages to help keep kids safe when sending and receiving content via AirDrop, Contact Posters, a FaceTime message, and when using the Photos picker to choose content to send. It also expands to cover video content in addition to still images. A new feature, Sensitive Content Warning, helps adult users avoid seeing unwanted nude images and videos. As with Communication Safety, all image and video processing for Sensitive Content Warning occurs on-device, so Apple does not get access to the content.
  • Accessibility updates include Assistive Access, a customisable interface which helps users with cognitive disabilities use iPhone with greater ease and independence; Live Speech, which gives nonspeaking users the option to type and have their words spoken in person, or on phone and FaceTime calls; Personal Voice, which gives users at risk of speech loss the option to create a voice that sounds like theirs; and Point and Speak, which helps users who are blind or have low vision read text on physical objects by pointing.

Availability: The developer beta of iOS 17 is available to Apple Developer Program members now and a public beta will be available next month. For more information, visit Some features may not be available in all regions, all languages, or on all devices.

About Apple: Apple made its mark on personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 and today the company produces the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — provide experiences across all Apple devices and services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud.

For more from Women Love Tech about Apple, visit here.


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