Apple’s iOS 17 is official

Apple’s iOS 17 is official, making its debut on WWDC 2023’s keynote stage. Highlights include redesigned contact cards and live voicemail.

Your contact book is getting an update with a new feature called posters, which turns contact information into flashy marquee-like images. There’s also a new live transcription feature for voicemail that lets you view a transcript of the message a caller is leaving in real time. You can choose to ride it out or pick up the call.

Some updates to messages include transcriptions of voice messages — similar to what the Pixel 7 series introduced — and a series of new features to help communicate your live location and status to someone you’re meeting up with. Stickers are getting an overhaul, with the ability to add any emoji or photo cutout as a “sticker” positioned on iMessages.

This version of iOS follows a meaningful update in iOS 16, which included a major lock screen overhaul, useful iMessage features like editing and unsend, and the time-sensitive Live Activities surfaced in the Dynamic Island. It was an update that centered on helping you do more with your phone while having to dive into apps less for simple tasks.

There was plenty to like about iOS 16, but it wasn’t exactly a seismic change. It presented some valuable quality-of-life upgrades but nothing that fundamentally changed how we use our phones. It also emphasized the divide between the iPhone 14 Pro and the regular iPhone 14 since only the Pro offers the always-on-display and Dynamic Island features that make the most use of the updates.

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