Even if you’re not planning to get the new iPhone 15, you can still get a ton of new features on
the iPhone you have now.
Apple is expected to release iOS 17 during its event on September 12th. It’s been available to
beta testers for the past few months and I’ve had the opportunity to get a sneak peek before it’s
ready for public release. As is the case with every new operating system, there are a bunch of
new features that come as a bit of a surprise. Features that leave you wondering “How did
Apple even think of that?”
One of the best features I think is something Android devices have been able to do for years.
Apple calls it “Name Drop”.
How many times do you want to share your contact information with someone and you have
to ask for their number and send them a text? Then they have to add your name to save in their
contacts. In iOS 17, it gets a whole lot easier.
All you’ll need to do is to bring your phones close together and tap. You’ll need to turn on
AirDrop on both phones by swiping down from the control center and holding the network block (the green antenna icon). You can keep it turned on, or you can turn it on for just 10 minutes.
Once both phones running iOS 17 are close together, tap the phones and choose what you
want to share. You can share contact information, photos, and videos.
“Point and Speak” is a new accessibility feature for anyone needing some help identifying a
product or reading a label. You’ll find it within the magnifying glass option that should be in the
control panel. If it isn’t, you can add it in settings. Simply aim your camera and point at what you
need help identifying and Siri will read what you’re pointing to. I tried it on two similar bottles of
pain killers and it successfully identified one as “Tylenol” and the other as “Excedrin”.
It would also be of help to anyone trying to make out the words on a microwave or oven control
panel. It isn’t perfect. It was pretty frustrating really but with other iPhone features it should get
better with updates.
I don’t use stickers but many people do to make texts more fun. They’re easier to use with the
iOS 17 update. Everything from memoji to emoji and stickers is shown in the same place when
you tap the + button on an iMessage. What’s really neat though is the ability to create your own
stickers. If you open any photo in an album and press down on the image, iOS 17 will pull the
subject out of the background and give you the option to use it as a sticker. I tried it with our cat
and created a pretty cool sticker with flair.
Car Play gets a new feature that allows anyone in the car and connect to Car Play over
Bluetooth to take over DJ duties. The phone playing music can turn the controls over to another
iPhone by letting them point the camera at a QR code. You want to listen to Jimmy Buffett but
the kids can quickly cue up Doja Cat. They’ll need your permission of course.
There are other features but these are the ones many people will enjoy the most. A few features
will not be ready for release day including a new Journaling app to use as a diary of daily photos
and memories. That’ll be great for new moms and dads