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iOS 17 Review: StandBy Mode Changed My Relationship With My iPhone


An iPhone with the number 17 on the screen next to the Apple logo

The look ahead to iOS 17 is nearly over.

Avishek Das/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures

Whether or not you are upgrading to one of many new iPhone 15 fashions or holding onto a 5-year-old iPhone XS, you possibly can obtain iOS 17 on Monday, Sept. 18. Apple launched the newest iPhone working system on the firm’s Worldwide Builders Convention in June earlier than releasing beta variations of the software program. 

I have been testing beta variations of iOS 17 on a more moderen iPhone 14 Professional and an older iPhone XR for the previous two months to see how the newest OS will have an effect on most individuals with suitable gadgets. The OS brings a number of new and helpful options to your iPhone, particularly in Messages, which could make you surprise why these features weren’t there within the first place. Some apps, like Shortcuts, are much less daunting than they had been in earlier iOS variations. 

Screen of different iOS 17 updates

Apple introduced iOS 17 at WWDC 2023 in June.


iOS 17 picks up visually the place iOS 16 left off. Contact Posters in iOS 17 brings visuals to contacts much like these iOS 16 dropped at the lock display screen. However I discovered Contact Posters extra enjoyable than helpful. The biggest visible change is StandBy mode, which turns your iPhone right into a mini hub stuffed with widgets, images and customizable clocks.

iOS 17 will work on iPhone XS and newer fashions. However whereas the brand new software program makes experiences seamless and fewer burdensome on older and newer iPhones alike, some options actually shine on newer fashions, just like the iPhone 14 Professional. That does not imply it is best to keep away from iOS 17 when you’ve got an older iPhone — you may nonetheless expertise about 90% of iOS 17’s advantages. StandBy mode, for instance, labored on my XR, however with the show’s sleep timer turned off, I’ve to lock my display screen to ensure that it to work. As soon as in StandBy mode, the show goes to sleep a short while later.

Now let’s get into a few of my favourite iOS 17 options.

StandBy mode is a standout

When Apple introduced StandBy mode at WWDC, I used to be skeptical. My spouse and I haven’t got a sensible show, just like the Amazon Echo Present, or another sort of supplementary hub in our house, and we have been simply wonderful — and sure, in the event you come by later, I will in all probability be yelling concerning the climate. However StandBy mode is my favourite new iPhone function in years and it is not even shut. 

Certain, you possibly can say StandBy mode makes your iPhone into an costly bedside clock, however in the event you simply use it as a clock, you are lacking out on a lot performance. Interactive widgets on my display screen made it simple to examine the climate, learn the newest headlines and far more. I may additionally change music enjoying by linked sensible audio system with out fishing my iPhone out of my pocket. 


Watch this: All the things Apple Introduced at Its iPhone 15 Occasion

Notifications additionally confirmed up on my display screen, and I may simply preview them with out unlocking my iPhone. So after I obtained a notification from an app like Ring, I may shortly examine if it is the mail particular person delivering a package deal or only a automotive driving down the highway. 

StandBy mode even began to enhance my relationship with my iPhone. Earlier than iOS 17, if I obtained up from my desk to seize a snack or go to the toilet, I would be certain my iPhone was in my pocket — and if it wasn’t I would instantly go into detective mode to search out it and put it again the place it belongs, my front-right pocket. 

Since I began utilizing StandBy mode, I commonly depart my iPhone behind on its charging stand whereas I make one other cup of espresso or seize the mail. Once I discover it is not in my pocket, I’d shrug and assume, “It is on the charging stand. I will seize it later,” and people situations are getting extra frequent. And I’ve welcomed this modification. Disconnecting from our gadgets may have main well being advantages, like decreased nervousness and despair, so whether or not Apple meant it to or not, StandBy mode may assist enhance your psychological well being. I definitely really feel extra relaxed.

The iPhone on a MagSafe charger in StandBy mode

When the iPhone is on a MagSafe charger and in a horizontal place, StandBy mode kicks in.

John Kim/CNET

However StandBy mode has room to enhance. At present there are a restricted variety of widgets that can be utilized with StandBy mode, and e mail widgets, like Mail, are sorely lacking. With the ability to shortly examine your e mail, or any social media app, from StandBy mode would elevate the usefulness of this function. I am not seeing extra widgets within the iOS 17 launch candidate, however a Mail widget nonetheless is likely to be included within the last model. If it is not, Apple ought to embrace it in an replace quickly.

StandBy mode additionally works greatest on iPhones with always-on shows, just like the iPhone 14 Professional. It should work on different iOS 17 suitable iPhones, just like the iPhone XR, however solely till your display screen goes to sleep.

Messages upgrades past autocorrect

Sure, autocorrect will now be taught out of your messages so it will not appropriate you all of the “ducking” time. Is that this cool? Yeah. Am I immature? Additionally, sure. The cursing in my texts now flows with out interruption or confusion. However extra so, autocorrect has improved general to raised perceive what you imply. It is also not as desirous to appropriate issues like acronyms or slang.

Messages additionally will get a bunch of different new options that make staying involved with others simple and easy, together with an autocorrect undo perform. “However wait, did not you simply say autocorrect will higher perceive what I imply and never appropriate me on a regular basis?” Sure, expensive reader, glad to see you are paying consideration, however autocorrect nonetheless will get it mistaken generally — identical right here, autocorrect. When it does make a correction, Messages will underline the corrected phrase. In the event you faucet the phrase, you may be given the choice to undo the correction, reverting it again to what you initially typed. 

The keyboard in Messages with the message sometimes autocorrect gets it wrong, and that's ok in the text field

I may revert this correction, however autocorrect is correct right here.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

One other improve is a catch-up arrow in group chats. I fall asleep comparatively early — round 8:30 p.m. — and generally, after I get up, a bunch chat with my household or pals has 30 new messages. As a substitute of scrolling as much as discover the beginning of the messages, there is a new arrow that can take me to the primary message within the dialog that I have never learn. This has saved me a number of confusion about why my buddy group cannot meet up.

The app bar has been changed with a drawer. Subsequent to your message subject, there is a plus signal button that you simply use to drag up iMessage apps like your Digicam, Memoji and others. You possibly can rearrange these, too, so apps that you simply use extra, just like the #pictures app, may be simply accessible. This can be a small however useful change. Earlier than iOS 17, generally the app bar would disappear on me, and I would should swipe my display screen up or all the way down to convey it again. Now all of the apps are in the identical easy-to-find place.

Create your personal stickers for Messages

Digital stickers of a dog in iOS 17

I imply, how may you not share that face?

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

With iOS 16, Apple launched the power to elevate a photograph’s topic from the background, providing you with (principally) clean-looking cutout photos. With iOS 17, Apple allows you to use these cutouts to create your personal stickers. You possibly can add completely different results to your stickers, like a white define or a holographic filter, to make your stickers standout. And you may make animated stickers from Dwell images. 

As a proud pup father or mother, I make and ship extra stickers of my canine than I would prefer to admit. However I will gladly share a small pattern of the stickers of Cinnamon Toast Crunch — sure, that is her title. Are these stickers helpful? Not likely, however I am having enjoyable with them.

iOS 17 can routinely delete verification code messages

Two-factor verification messages are an effective way to enhance safety when logging into an account or service. You already know what actually annoys me about them although? All of the random messages and emails that litter my inboxes. However that is now not an issue.

With iOS 17, your Messages and Mail app can routinely delete two-factor verification codes as soon as the code has been used to autofill its meant subject. I really like protecting all my inboxes clear and tidy, and this new function is sort of a digital Roomba that eliminates these pointless messages as quickly as they’re used.

Shortcuts enhancements

Some of the new Shortcuts shown on the Shortcuts homepage

These are a number of the attainable Shortcuts you see whenever you open the app.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

Confession time: I by no means used Shortcuts on my iPhone earlier than. Setting them up confused and pissed off me. The Shortcuts homepage intimidated me too, so I satisfied myself that Shortcuts weren’t value it. However due to iOS 17, I modified my perspective and have already built-in a number of into my on a regular basis life. 

For starters, Apple modified the Shortcuts homepage to indicate a handful of premade ones, like creating a brand new observe in Notes, you can simply add to your homepage with an extended press. The brand new structure is not as daunting, and may make it simpler for others to see what Shortcuts can do.

The digital camera stage is a game-changer

Once I take images or file movies for social media, I fear that they are not going to look straight. Earlier than iOS 17, I would attempt to line the grip up with a straight line in body, but when I used to be out in nature I would just strive my greatest. 

The level in the Camera app is yellow when the photo is straight

The digital camera stage is a small new function, however I find it irresistible.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

In iOS 17, the Digicam app has an onscreen stage so you possibly can straighten your movies and photos. The extent comes throughout the middle of your display screen as a skinny white line nevertheless it turns yellow when it is stage. It is helped me take straight images, and I additionally used it to double-check whether or not an image body on my wall was stage when hanging it. 

Grocery lists in Reminders 

I really like grocery procuring. I like strolling the aisles, discovering my objects and seeing all of the individuals and what they’ve picked up. However what I do not like is forgetting an merchandise on one aspect of the shop after I’ve walked all the way in which throughout and picked up all the things else I want. 

Fortunately, Reminders has a brand new function that allows you to create a grocery listing separated into sections with headers like Produce, Breads & Cereals and Home items. The app routinely creates these sections as you add objects and types them into the suitable classes. The app even acknowledges sure model names, like Dr Pepper and Ritz, and types them appropriately, too. 

iOS 17 options not out there at launch

The largest iOS 17 function that is not included at launch that I am enthusiastic about is the Journal app. Apple introduced the app at WWDC in June, saying it will be capable of provide you with strategies about what to journal about, preserve your entries personal and extra. Nevertheless, Apple stated the Journal app would launch later this yr. 

iOS 17 journal app

An early have a look at the Journal app from WWDC.


Collaborative Playlists in Apple Music collaborations aren’t out there with iOS 17 but both. This function is claimed to let individuals invite family and friends to edit playlists or react to sure tracks on the playlist. There is not any phrase on when this function shall be out there but.

Apple had additionally introduced that AirDrop will be capable of end a file switch when gadgets transfer out of vary of one another on iOS 17. Nevertheless, we’re nonetheless ready for phrase on when this shall be out there.

The ultimate phrase on iOS 17

The most recent iOS model brings a number of useful enhancements to your iPhone, even when you do not have the most recent mannequin. Not all of the modifications are huge and flashy, like StandBy mode, however most really feel significant.

Just a few phrases of warning for when the brand new working system arrives: Earlier than you replace your iPhone to iOS 17, it is best to again up your iPhone as a precaution. And whereas it is likely to be tempting to obtain iOS 17 as quickly as attainable, you would possibly need to wait a day or two to see if different individuals are having issues with their iPhones, and so your machine downloads the replace sooner. 

For extra Apple information, here is all the things Apple introduced at its Wonderlust occasion this week that introduced us the iPhone 15 lineup and extra.

Verify Out Apple’s New iPhone 15 and Professional Lineup and Their Options

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