Apple’s upcoming iOS 17 software update promises fresh upgrades to Messages, set to roll out this autumn
Scheduled for some significant enhancements, Apple’s Messages will come with a host of new features as part of the iOS 17 software update for iPhone, which will be available for user testing only post its release (unless one is part of the developer program).
In this fall’s iOS 17 update, Messages will undergo substantial transformations, adding functionalities such as converting images into stickers, transcribing voice notes, sharing your travel progress with friends and family, among other features.
The announcement about the iOS 17 Messages update was part of the keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference held at the company’s base in Cupertino, California. This annual event, a platform for developers to get a glimpse of the forthcoming updates in desktop and mobile software, sometimes also introduces new hardware. At the event, Apple debuted its first mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro.
With iOS 17, Messages will allow users to convert their photos into stickers for text exchanges, besides the standard emojis that can also be turned into stickers. Users can personalize these stickers with various effects — such as shiny, puffy, comic, and outline — and store them in a new drawer on the keyboard for easy access, as stated in an Apple press release. These stickers will be available system-wide, including third-party apps.
To transform a photo into a sticker, users simply touch and hold an object in the image, style it with various effects, outline it, or even create animated Live Stickers with Live Photos. These stickers can be included in the Messages using the bubble from the Tapback menu.
Messages Search, Check In Features, and More
Also on the anvil is an improved search functionality. Users will be able to apply extra filters in their Messages search to locate specific conversations faster. Moreover, if there’s an extensive group chat history, users can utilize the catch-up arrow to find the most recent part of the conversation.
The upcoming iOS 17 Messages will also have the ability to transcribe received voice memos, providing a solution for those with time constraints. Another noteworthy feature enables tracking friends’ locations in text conversations. The new location sharing feature, Check In, allows users to share their journey progress with others. If one’s journey home is delayed, for instance, Check In will send updates to the chosen contact, including device’s location, battery status, and cellular service status. As Apple stated, Check In will be fully encrypted from end to end, ensuring only the involved parties have access to the location details.
Developers can experience iOS 17 starting today, while the public can test the beta version in a month. The list of iPhones compatible with the update will be announced.
Additional iOS 17 Updates
Apart from Messages, iOS 17 also introduces Live Voicemail, enabling users to view messages being recorded. This can help distinguish between spam and critical calls from unknown numbers.
iOS 17’s FaceTime update includes audio and video messages, allowing users to leave voicemail-like messages.
A new feature, NameDrop, enables users to share contacts by simply bringing two iPhones or an iPhone and an Apple Watch in close proximity, transferring contact details from one device to another.
The WWDC event began with the unveiling of a 15-inch MacBook Air and details about its latest desktop software, MacOS 14 Sonoma. Furthermore, Apple showcased its most advanced Mac chip and upgraded its Mac Pro to M2 Ultra Silicon. Upgrades for Watch OS 10 were also announced.
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iOS 17 Hands-On: Top 5 Features! [Video]
Video uploaded by Marques Brownlee on July 14, 2023