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Apple iOS 17: what is known so far

Apple iOS 17 arrives in less than a month at WWDC on June 5th. We've rounded up all the latest rumors about iOS 17.
Apple iOS 17

Apple iOS 17 arrives in less than a month at WWDC on June 5th. The new iOS version represents Apple’s biggest software update for the iPhone and is usually packed with new features and changes. We’ve rounded up all the latest rumors about new features and more in iOS 17.

When will Apple announce iOS 17?

Apple will announce iOS 17 at WWDC in June. WWDC is Apple’s annual developer conference where the company showcases the latest versions of its operating systems for the iPhone, iPad, MacBooks, Macs, Apple TV and Apple Watch. Apple has officially announced that WWDC 2023 will begin on June 5th with a special keynote focused on the latest announcements.

After Apple announced iOS 17 at WWDC in June, it will immediately release a beta version of the update for developers. Sometime in July it will release a public beta for all iPhone users to try. Then Apple will release iOS 17 to everyone sometime in September, usually alongside the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models.

New features in iOS 17

While Apple hardware products leak months or even years in advance, software leaks are less common. That’s because most hardware leaks come from Apple’s vast supply chain, rather than from inside Apple itself. The company is able to keep software leaks to a minimum, as few people at Apple are actually aware of the plans.

With that in mind, it suits Apple that iOS 17 is a relatively modest update in terms of new features. Instead, according to Bloomberg, the new operating system will take a back seat in favor of the upcoming AR/VR headset. The headset could also be announced at WWDC, marking Apple’s first major new hardware and software platform since the Apple Watch.

According to reports, iOS 17 is codenamed “Dawn” and is continuously developed and tested at Apple in the run-up to WWDC. Bloomberg says the update “may have fewer major changes than originally planned”. The focus is instead on the Reality Pro headset “along with iOS 16 snags.”

New Control Center design?

However, Bloomberg also expects that iOS 17 will cover some of the most frequently requested features by users. At least one rumor has it that one of Apple’s main areas of focus for iOS 17 development will be the new Control Center. The Control Center hasn’t seen any notable changes since iOS 11 and the introduction of the iPhone X.

The Control Center is currently accessed via Swype from the top right of the iPhone display down. It offers quick access to settings like Wi-Fi and Airplane mode, as well as Now Playing. But you can also customize the tiles to include the most commonly used settings.

Journaling app

According to the Wall Street Journal, iOS 17 will get a brand new journaling app that integrates data from other Apple apps like Find My. This reportedly includes a feature that detects a user’s physical proximity to other people to distinguish between friends outside of work and co-workers. Bloomberg has confirmed that the journaling app will include location-based features. It will serve as an “an extension of the company’s Find My service and other location features.”

Find My and Wallet app updates

Mark Gurman reports that both the Find My app and the Wallet app will receive updates this year. There aren’t many details here, but the Wallet app in particular will reportedly get “some user interface tweaks and enhancements.”

New features for the Health app

Apple is reportedly planning to support mood and emotion tracking features in the Health app for iOS 17. According to Bloomberg, these features allow users to log their mood, answer various questions about their day, and track how their answers change over time. Apple has ambitious plans for this feature in the future, including using “algorithms to determine a user’s mood via their speech, what words they’ve typed and other data on their devices.” The Health app will also reportedly offer support for treating vision problems this year. The health app will also be available on the iPad for the first time.

Sideloading and third-party app stores

Last but not least, Apple will reportedly also open the iPhone running iOS 17 to third-party app stores and thus sideloading in the European Union. The whole thing is a reaction to the Digital Markets Act, which formulates a number of new requirements for platform operators such as Apple. But Apple doesn’t plan to make this any easier than necessary.

Speculation suggests that Apple will likely charge developers for participating in the program and that they will use some sort of configuration profile-based process. The new sideloading and third-party app store features will only be available in the European Union, where the Digital Markets Act applies. Users in the US and other countries come away empty-handed.

Devices supported by iOS 17

There are two conflicting rumors about which devices will support iOS 17. However, both rumors come from usually reliable sources. The first rumor was that iOS 17 will drop support for the following devices:

Shortly after, another source chimed in, saying that all devices that support iOS 16 will also support iOS 17. This source quoted an anonymous tipster from Apple’s iOS development team.

Conclusion

The WWDC is just around the corner and so far Apple has been able to keep the leaks and rumors within limits. What new features would you like to see in iOS 17? Let us know in the comments.

Toni Hobrecht
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