iOS 17 release: 10 things you need to know about Apple's latest iPhone software

New iPhone operating system will be available as free update on September 18

Apple chief executive Tim Cook talks about new features of iOS 17 at the Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California. Bloomberg
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Apple unveiled iOS 17, its latest operating system for iPhones, at the Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple Park in Cupertino, California in June.

The new software, which aims to make the iPhone a “more personal and intuitive” experience, is set to be released on Monday, September 18.

The National explores some of the top features of iOS 17. However, Apple Hub confirmed on X, formely Twitter, that not all of the features will be available at launch.

What time will iOS 17 be released?

The new software will be released at 10am Pacific Time, which is 9pm in the UAE.

The developer preview of iOS 17 was made available to Apple developer programme members at in July.

A public beta has been made available to iOS users at

Contact Posters

In the new phone app, iPhone users can now customise how they appear when they call someone else.

The feature brings a new look to incoming calls, and users can choose customised photos, typography and font colours. These "Contact Posters" will also be available for third-party calling apps.

Live Voicemail

The new feature allows users to see real-time transcription as someone leaves a voicemail. If the voicemail is important, they can also pick up while the caller is leaving their message.

Calls identified as spam by carriers will not appear as live voicemail, and will instead be instantly dropped.

Using neural engine technology, live voicemail transcription is handled on-device and remains entirely private, Apple said.

Introducing NameDrop

Using NameDrop, the new operating system will let users share contact information simply by bringing their iPhones together, or by bringing an iPhone and Apple Watch together.

With the same gesture, users can also share content or start SharePlay to listen to music, watch a movie or play a game while in close proximity to other iPhones.

Enhanced Autocorrect to improve users’ experience

Autocorrect has received a machine-learning update that will enhance word prediction. It aims to improve the experience and accuracy for users every time they type.

Users will now receive predictive text recommendations inline as they type, so adding entire words or completing sentences will be as easy as tapping the space bar.

All-new Journal app

Apple has introduced a new app called Journal that is designed to help iPhone users reflect and practise gratitude.

Using on-device machine learning, personalised suggestions can be provided to inspire a user’s journal entry, Apple said.

“Suggestions are intelligently curated from recent activity, including photos, people, places, workouts and more, making it easy to start a journal entry, and scheduled notifications can help build a journaling habit,” the company said.

The Journal App however will not be made available at launch, and users will have to wait for it to be introduced.

Adding more mass to AirTag

AirTag can be shared with up to five other people, allowing friends and family to keep track of an item in the Find My application.

Users can form a group and everyone in it will be able to see an item’s location, play a sound, and use a precision finding feature to help pinpoint the location of a shared AirTag when nearby.

New StandBy feature

StandBy feature offers users a full-screen experience, displaying useful information that can be viewed on iPhone from a distance.

It is perfect on a nightstand, kitchen counter or desk, and can be personalised to display a range of beautiful clock styles or photos.

More features coming to Home app

The Home app adds the ability for users to view up to 30 days of activity history across door locks, garage doors, alarm systems and contact sensors.

Users can view up to four cameras simultaneously and new categories such as lights, security and climate are now at the top of the home tab, giving users instant access to them.

Check In - let family know you’ve arrived

iOS 17 has introduced a new feature, Check In, which will let users notify a family member or friend that they have made it to their destination safely.

After a user initiates a Check In, their friend or family member will automatically be notified as soon as the user arrives.

“If they are not making progress towards their destination, useful information will be temporarily shared with the selected contact, such as the device’s location, battery level and cell service status,” Apple said.

Updated: September 18, 2023, 7:30 AM