iOS 17: From NameDrop To StandBy, 7 Must-Try Features


Every year, Apple hosts the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)  in California to showcase the updated versions of different operating systems that run on its devices. From macOS and watchOS to iPadOS and iOS, the event covers the new operating systems. This year too, Apple brought new variants of these different operating systems to WWDC, and iOS 17 was amongst them. And now, after highlighting all the new features that the new iOS was going to bring along at WWDC and months of beta testing that followed, Apple has rolled out iOS 17 to iPhone users.  

The software update will be available to iPhone XR and all the phones launched after it, as well as the second-generation iPhone SE or later.  

So if your iPhone falls in this range, and you have got your hands on iOS 17 (it is already available for all compatible phones — just go to Settings, and check Software Update under General), here are seven features you must try: 

StandBy: Glance And Go, While Charging

With iOS 17, Apple has introduced a StandBy mode, which makes the iPhone useful even when it is on charge (a time when we generally do not use it). StandBy is essentially a screen with some basic information which can be seen and processed at a glance from a distance. 

It is designed for the times when your iPhone is sitting idle and being charged. You have to activate the mode from Settings and also place your iPhone on its side (in landscape mode) for it to work. In default mode, it shows a large clock and calendar information, but you can also look at widgets, photographs and other clock faces by swiping right and left. The StandBy mode comes on automatically on iPhones with an always-on display, while in the case of the others, you just have to nudge the iPhone to see it. It even adjusts to night mode. Suddenly we want to charge our iPhones more often. Make it a regular feature, Apple, and not limited to charging scenarios. 

NameDrop: AirDrop For Contacts 

Apple never let users share media via Bluetooth on the iPhone for security reasons and later introduced AirDrop which was an iOS alternative for sharing media files from one Apple device to another. With iOS 17, Apple has introduced something similar to AirDrop but for sharing contact information, called NameDrop. 

It is a feature that allows you to share contact information by simply bringing two iPhones together. Apple has also introduced a new feature called Contact Posters which can also be shared along with name, phone number and email address while sharing the contact. 

Interactive Widgets: Don’t Just Look, Do More Without Opening Apps

Widgets have been present on iOS for a few years now but with iOS 17 Apple has added another layer of functionality to them.  Widgets are more interactive now and they will be accessible everywhere — Home Screen, Lock Screen, and even the new StandBy screen. Earlier,  Home Screen widgets did not offer much functionality but with iOS 17, users will be able to carry out actions from within the widgets without having to open the actual app. 

Messages: AI-ming For Better Words

The Messages app has also received quite a few new features with the iOS 17 update. You can now swipe right on any message. No, it’s not a dating thing. You can simply swipe right to send an inline reply to a message.  

The messages app gets a new and improved language model and better word predictions. With the help of machine learning the app will keep learning the language and pattern of the user and will keep improving word predictions and provide greater accuracy. 

This will also work with other third-party apps that make use of your keyboard. 

Siri: No Need To Say ‘Hey’ Anymore 

With new and updated software comes a new and updated Siri. The virtual assistant has become more powerful and interactive with iOS 17. It is also now even easier to summon Siri to get a task done. You do not have to say “Hey Siri” to wake up Siri anymore, but simply say “Siri,” and the virtual assistant will be at your service. 

This feature will work similarly on the iPad, Mac, HomePod and the latest AirPods Pro. To top this you will also be able to use Siri to carry out multiple commands in a single summon in succession and would not have to keep saying Hey Siri over and over again. Easy, hey? 

Offline Maps: Watch Out, Google Maps 

We all know that Google Maps is the OG navigation tool on any phone regardless of whether it is an iPhone or an Android. But Apple is trying to change that, one software update at a time. With the latest iOS update, Apple has added another layer of functionality to its Maps app. Apple has now added the ability to download maps on iPhone for offline use. 

This means users will now be able to download the map of a specific area in advance and will be able to use turn-by-turn navigation, find locations, get an estimated time of arrival and more, even if they do not have access to a cellular network or Wi-Fi. This will be thoroughly helpful on trips and places where one usually struggles to get good network reception. 

Live Voicemail: Read Live And Decide 

There are times when you are busy at home and get an office call. Deciding whether to attend the call or let it go to voicemail can be quite a dilemma. To find a solution to this problem, Apple has introduced a feature called Live voicemail with iOS 17.

This offers real-time transcription of a voicemail. This means while someone is leaving you a voicemail, you can choose to get a live transcription of what the caller is saying, and then decide whether to take the call if it is important or let it go to voicemail and respond later. As per Apple, the feature can also identify spam carrier calls and decline them instantly. 

For instance, you can play/ pause a song, get additional weather details, check off your reminder list when a task is complete and more. Apple will also be extending interactive widgets support to third-party apps which means once the apps get updated users will also be able to do much more with this feature.


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