iOS 17 Features & Best-Kept Secrets


IOS 17 features and updates

Apple has always been the master of innovation, keeping tech enthusiasts on their toes with every software release. At this year’s WWDC, the Cupertino-based tech giant pulled back the curtains on iOS 17, revealing a plethora of features designed to enhance the user experience. But beyond the mainstream highlights lies a trove of hidden gems, subtly tucked away yet destined to redefine how users interact with their devices.

Many of these unsung features cater to the modern-day user’s needs, exemplifying Apple’s acute attention to detail. From private browsing enhancements safeguarded with Face ID authentication in Safari to the smart grocery list in Reminders that auto-sorts items by category, the functionality elevations are both diverse and user-centric.

As iOS users worldwide prepare to delve into this new update, they can expect a blend of intuitive design, sophisticated functionality, and the classic Apple charm. Hidden treasures await those willing to dig a little deeper, offering surprises that transform the everyday mobile experience.

Related: iPhone 14 Pro Max Features and Specs

15 iOS 17 Features and Secrets

During Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple highlighted the major features of iOS 17. However, they left out a few gems that could be game-changers for some users. In this deep dive, we explore 15 hidden treasures that iOS 17 has in its vault.

1. Enhanced Private Browsing

iOS 17 features - Private Browsing

Apple took private browsing up a notch. Now, your private sessions in Safari will be guarded by Face ID authentication. So, the next time you switch to private browsing, Face ID jumps into action, ensuring your online escapades remain yours alone.

So if you go into Safari and you have a regular browsing session going on and then you swipe over to private, you’ll see here that you now need to unlock your private. Browsing session using face ID.

2. Search Engine Flexibility

iOS 17 features - Search Engine Flexibility

Within iOS 17, there’s an option to set a different search engine for private browsing. While I lean towards Google for my regular needs, privacy enthusiasts can opt for DuckDuckGo or others while keeping their regular sessions unchanged.

3. Swift App Reorganization

Ever reorganized your home screen only to regret it moments later? iOS 17 offers a quick fix. Just give your phone a vigorous shake, and presto! Your apps revert to their previous positions. This feature brings to mind the old “shake to undo” text functionality.

Instead of having to re select all of those apps and then kind of move. You can actually just shake your phone, really, really hard. And it’ll undo just like you used to be able to shake your phone to undo text. So that’s a cool feature.

4. Smart Grocery Lists

Within the Reminders app, there’s now a ‘smart grocery list’ feature. Label your list as ‘grocery,’ and the app will categorize your items – dairy, produce, meats, and more, streamlining your next grocery run.

It will now sort those into different categories like dairy and produce and meat and bread and cereal. All of those will be smartly categorized so you don’t have to do that, making your shopping trip a lot easier.

5. Autofill Overhaul

iOS 17 features - Autofill Overhaul

Forget manually copying two-factor authentication codes sent via email. Just as it does for SMS, iOS 17 now fills them in automatically from your emails. You don’t have to go and look for that and switch apps. A small, but impactful quality of life improvement!

6. Verification Code Cleanup

Declutter your message and email history with the new cleanup option. Once activated, it automatically removes those pesky one-time verification codes, keeping your lists clean.

7. Photo Cropping Refined

Got an old, embarrassing photo you can’t resist zooming into? Now, after you pinch to zoom, a quick tap will crop it, saving your edit instantly. Automatically cropping photos inside of iOS 17 has never been easier.

So, let’s say you have this ridiculous photo of yourself from. When you were a kid, your parents decided to dress you up in some weird sailor outfit. Let’s just move on from that fact and say you want to crop in because you just can’t get enough of looking at this old photo and you really we want to zoom in there and get it perfectly cropped.

All you do is pinch to zoom and you’ll see here in the upper right corner and option to crop. Just hit crop then, hit done and you’ll automatically have that photo cropped and it’s super easy to do now and yeah you’ll have these ridiculous photos of yourself cropped.

8. Spotlight Enhancements

iOS 17 hidden secrets - toggle on

Spotlight now supports quick toggles. A search for something as simple as ‘alarm’ presents toggles for your alarms, enabling rapid adjustments without diving deep into settings.

If you search for alarm, you’ll have a bunch of toggles for various alarms, that you have set, and you can toggle them on or off or for me, I like to use it for always on display. Sometimes I don’t want it always on because, you know, it eats up batteries or whatever, the case may be, it’s just a much faster.

9. Visual Look-Up in Photo

Unsure about your dog’s breed? The Photos app might help! Tap on the visual look-up and it might just recognize and suggest potential breeds.

So let’s say you’re looking at a picture of your dog and you don’t know what breed it is. Perhaps maybe the photos app can help you click on that visual look up. Click on the dog tag and it’ll actually show you a couple of breeds that your iPhone thinks it might be. And this is actually pretty spot-on because we definitely know that this dog has some beagle in her.

10. Customizable Stickers

In iOS 17 you can now make your own stickers and add effects or if it’s a live photo it’ll be animated which is pretty cool. Yes! Create your own stickers, add effects, or animate live photos. These can be added to conversations, adding a personalized touch to your messages.

11. Messages App Overhaul

While iOS 17 redefined the message apps’ look, users can long-press and rearrange their frequently used message apps for greater convenience.

iOS 17 has cleaned up messages quite a bit mostly just taking the messages apps and putting them in this list format but if you want to rearrange those you can actually just long press and move them around wherever you want so go ahead and rearrange kind of top used messages apps and make it customized even more to your liking.

12. Shared Air Tags

iOS 17 shared airTags

To avoid alarming notifications about unknown Air Tags moving with you, iOS 17 allows you to share your Air Tag details with trusted contacts.

13. Camera’s Level Tool

Ensure your shots are flawlessly horizontal with the built-in level tool, found under the camera settings.

14. Shazam Dynamic Island

On the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, activating Shazam in the control center shifts it to the dynamic Island. This provides more comprehensive song details and directs users to Apple Music.

15. Screen Distance Alert

Protect your eyes by enabling the screen distance feature. It will nudge you if you’re holding your phone too close, a neat addition for those concerned about eye health.

That wraps up our deep dive into the lesser-known facets of iOS 17. If you’ve discovered a hidden gem we’ve missed, drop a comment. Thanks for joining us, and stay tuned for more insights!

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