Highlights of Apple iOS 17 Revealed in Public Beta

Including updates to Maps, Messages, FaceTime and more.

Tech & Gadgets
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Apple has released the public beta of iOS 17, giving the average users a chance to try out new features before the official release later this year.

While the updated iOS doesn’t bring with it any overly significant changes, there are several notable improvements to app functionality and utility. Among probably the most important is the revamp of the Messages app, as it’s now set to offer a more advanced search functionality and improved audio message handling.

One completely new addition being introduced through iOS 17 is the “StandBy” app, which enables the ability to display full-screen widgets while an iPhone is charging — potentially replacing traditional alarm clocks as one example shows in the gallery above. The feature is not just limited to a clock though, the choice of what widget to display is up to the user and could include weather forecasts, reminders, or more.

Other updates include the ability to download offline maps through the Maps app, useful for areas with minimal or no cellular connectivity. FaceTime is also receiving a few upgrades, including the ability to leave voicemails through the app, transcribe said voicemails and improved location-sharing in Messages.

Connectivity functions have been slightly updated as well, including the ability to AirDrop by placing two iPhones together and revamped password sharing. While iOS 17 certainly seems to be better than 16, as users had hoped, the star of the show, the highly anticipated Journal app was not included in the public beta test. That being said, it is expected to be included as a default app once iOS 17 is fully released.

For a full list of updates see the official Apple iOS 17 preview on its website.

In related tech news, iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will reportedly be offered in a new green colorway.

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