The end of the year is usually the time when people reflect on what happened in the previous year, and the same goes for Apple software, especially iOS.
Since 2007, with the debut of the iPhone and iOS, there have been new software updates each year that bring big changes or small improvements, such as a redesign in iOS 7 or home screen widgets in iOS 14.
However, with iOS 16 bringing widgets to the lock screen, users seem to want to extend the existing features rather than the new ones for iOS 17.
With this in mind, we thought and came up with seven features of the iPhone platform that can benefit many users.
Home screen showing new features
This is something I hear a lot, “I didn’t know my iPhone could do that.” Working in an open office, I’ll notice iPhones updated to iOS 16 but still on the old lock screen, or others still running iOS 13 on the iPhone 11 Pro.
Apple believes that design should be invisible, that you should intuitively know that a feature will be available, ready to use, but that’s not how it works for everyone. A friend had no idea you could answer calls on your Mac via your iPhone, for example – a feature that’s been around since 2014.
Therefore, after updating to iOS 17, an additional start screen should appear. Like when you launch one of Apple’s apps and a screen appears showing what’s new. Instead, display this program when you get to the home screen and explain that the Tips app can help you try out these features.
The Tips app is a lesser-known Apple app, but for a new user it’s great – it’s just that the company doesn’t talk much about it and you most likely don’t know that you can go into the app and, as the image above shows, take a look at an overview of all the new features.
Let’s see how it will become more ubiquitous – perhaps a random tip will pop up on Dynamic Island during the first day of the iOS 17 update, or even an email showing what you can do.
Redesigned control center
This is something that was long overdue, but it is a difficult challenge to overcome. It first appeared in iOS 7 with a major redesign to a flat methodology, swiping up from the bottom of the iPhone to access some settings. It was later moved to the top right corner when the iPhone X and beyond use the swipe up gesture to go back to the home screen.
Nearly a decade later, the Control Center has deteriorated, largely due to the number of new features that have come out, which in turn has filled up the menus so much that it can be difficult to exit the screen when you try to swipe up.
Let’s see the redesign where we can change the size of the options, like the widgets on the home screen, and give third-party apps access to the Control Center.
And by the way, let’s also see how the Control Center is part of the multitasking menu on the iPad, instead of having its own section.
Stream iOS games to Twitch more easily
Apple made a big push for gaming at WWDC 2022, where it announced that Resident Evil Village would be coming to Mac and No Man’s Sky for Mac and iPad, but if you want to stream iPhone games via Twitch, you’re out of luck.
Granted, SharePlay allows users to stream what they’re doing in certain apps, but that’s done over a FaceTime call. Instead, let’s see a feature where you can press a button to load up your Twitch account and stream an Apple Arcade game.
Let’s also let you view the chat box of people watching your broadcast and track your subscriptions with notifications on another Apple device you may have.
We live in a time where many users own multiple Apple products, and while iCloud helps manage files on these devices, some details such as performance and battery life can only be found on certain Apple products.
For example, if you want to peek at your Move goal in the iPad Fitness widget, you can’t.
If you want to check the battery of all your devices, you are out of luck. The only way to know if they are low on power is to load the Find My app, go to Devices taband select each of your Apple products to see how charged the battery icon is for each one.
If one app can do it, surely a battery widget in iOS as well as macOS and iPadOS is possible.
The home screen in iOS has hardly changed since 2007, so when iOS 16 finally came with a redesign with widgets, it was great to see it. However, let’s see how this effort will expand even further in iOS 17.
Six widgets and the Live Activity widget on the lock screen aren’t enough for some – there are plenty of opportunities to see more widgets in more sizes and more places.
For example, time should be replaced with another widget, next to another row of widgets below the three that we can already select.
More widgets is always a good thing, so let’s see more of them and in more sizes.
Better picture-in-picture control
While the ability to watch a video anywhere on your device didn’t debut on the iPad until iOS 9, there have been hardly any improvements since then, with the exception of coming to iOS 14 in 2019.
However, the ability to better control videos, such as scrolling through the timeline and selecting other videos, has still not arrived, so they should come in iOS 17.
There’s also a hidden feature when using this on macOS – if you hold option while dragging the video, you can place it anywhere on the screen. Let’s see how this will also appear in iOS 17, so we have more control over its size and position.
Restore landscape mode
When I had the iPhone 8 Plus, I loved being able to rotate the phone horizontally and have the home screen rotate along with everything else.
The keyboard would have added features like punctuation keys and shortcuts like copy and paste text, and would use the extra length so some keys were wider, but this was removed on future models by the time of the 2018 release of the iPhone XS.
Almost every iPhone available today, from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, has the same or larger displays than the regular iPhone 8 Plus, thanks to the different design that covers all the screens. So let’s see how iOS 17 takes advantage of this and extends it to other apps as well, such as Apple Music and even the lock screen with some useful widgets.
Missing your wish?
We’re at a point with iOS where Apple has been pushing high feature demands for years – from custom keyboards to redesigned home screen widgets.
Here are seven things that can improve someone’s iPhone experience, but individuality is something Apple knows is important, which is why we can customize our redesigned lock screens in iOS 16 to make them our own.
Is there anything you think we missed in iOS 17? contact us (opens in a new tab) to tell us what you’d like to see in a future Apple release.