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iOS 17: Here are the key rumors about the new features for your iPhone

iOS 17
© DenPhotos, CQ Ma / Shutterstock.com, Montage: NextPit

Even though Apple is still adding new features to its months-old iOS 16, users are already waiting for its next update. iOS 17 is still unannounced, but there are already some hints on what to expect from the operating system, including some features and which iPhone models should receive the update.

iOS 17 rumored new features

While we wait for WWDC 2023, we can still count on leakers revealing future features in development for iOS 17. As with all rumors, take them with a pinch of salt.

Revamped Messages app

According to leaker Majin Bu, the Messages apps will receive a complete facelift in 2023. The iOS 17 app, at least according to the leaker, will feature a new home screen, video clips, chat rooms, and even support for chat features in AR, hinting at the AR glasses launching in 2023.

Apple Messages
This Apple Messages mockup presented doesn't really look like an Apple product, does it? / © MajinBuOfficial/Twitter

iOS 17 concept video

As always, fans are eager to create mock-up videos simulating their vision for how iOS 17 should look like. One of those was created by the Concept Central channel on YouTube, with a redesigned home screen, interactive widgets (finally?), a redesigned Control Center, and more features for the Dynamic Island.

As with most concept videos, this one for iOS 17 is probably not representative of the official version, but it is always an interesting guessing exercise. The video starts with a revamped lock screen, showing more details on pending notifications from more apps (and a notification counter).

Then the video turns to a feature Android users are long used to—since the first HTC devices, actually— interactive widgets. Instead of just showing dynamic content (an idea perfected by the late WindowsPhone/Mobile/whatever), widgets would be able to offer fine control over its contents.

Another welcome change would be a redesigned Control Center, with bigger icons, and a less cluttered interface. That suggestion would pair well with the increasing support for smart home controls, boosted by the HomeKit Matter standard.

What we want to see in iOS 17

Besides all the expected features, there is a whole lot of other stuff the community and even we editors want to see in iOS 17. My colleague Antoine Engels already mentioned a back tap option already found on many Android distributions, along with some of the split-screen features implemented in iPadOS, especially for multi-tasking on big-screen iPhones.

Other nice-to-have features we wish to see in iOS 17:

  • Improved battery widget for more connected devices (which can be checked on the Find My app...)
  • Better integration for notification interactions over the Apple ecosystem, macOS on Apple Watch, iPhone on macOS, etc.
  • Merging (what remains of) the iTunes app with Music.
  • Support for Wallet (IDs), Maps (cycling, real-time traffic, ), and other country-specific features in more markets.

XDA Developers compiled a list of other features that would be welcomed in the next iPhone operating system.

iOS 17 release date

iOS launches followed a rather predictable timeline in the past years, with some small changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The update and some of its highlight features are first presented during the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held in Apple's Cupertino HQ, usually in June. The announcement is immediately followed by a developer beta version.

During the following months, Apple releases a number of beta updates, culminating in the stable iOS 17 version, traditionally in September, which should launch simultaneously with the also unannounced "iPhone 15" reaching store shelves.

Past iOS release schedules

Version WWDC announcement Public beta Stable release
iOS 16 (2022) June 6 July 11 September 12
iOS 15 (2021) June 6 June 30 September 20
iOS 14 (2020) June 22 July 9 September 16
iOS 13 (2019) June 3 June 24 September 19
iOS 12 (2018) June 4 June 25 September 17

iOS 17 supported iPhone models

With iOS 16 currently supporting 11 different iPhone models (and their respective variants), and dropping support for three generations (using 2 different SoCs, the A9, and A10), Apple didn't give hints so far of dropping support for more phones in iOS 17, but its track record has been fairly inconsistent, sometimes going three generations without removing an iPhone from its supported list.

However, Apple has never dropped support for multiple SoCs in two iOS versions in a row, so it could either keep the current compatibility list starting with the iPhone 8 all the way up to the future iPhone 15, or at worst drop support for the A11 chip, which would mean removing the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. That last scenario would leave the XS/XR duo as the oldest supported iPhones in iOS 17.

Pending confirmation

Anyway, until Tim Cook and the other Apple executives take the stage during WWDC 2023, treat most of the information above as rumors. What are the features you are expecting in iOS 17? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Rubens Eishima

Rubens Eishima

Rubens has been working with tech journalism since 2008, with works published in Brazil, Spain, and Germany.

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