Apple released iOS 17 to the public today, and there are hundreds of new features and changes to learn about. Some of these options require certain settings to work, which is why we’ve written this guide to guide you through what you should do after installing iOS 17.
Set your standby screen
When you charge an iPhone running iOS 17 in portrait and landscape orientation, a new standby screen will appear. Standby serves as a home hub for displaying clear information that makes your iPhone more useful when it’s not in active use.
Standby mode is most useful on iPhone 14 Pro models with an always-on display, but is available on all iPhones running iOS 17.
There are a total of three standby screens that you can swipe between when the phone is in the respective standby position. The first screen displays widgets (including interactive widgets), the second displays photos from the photo library, and the third is a large clock that shows the time.
You’ll want to customize your two widget packs on the widget screen to make it more useful, and you can also customize how the time and photos you see are displayed. Customization is done by switching to the correct screen and long pressing to access the customization options.
Standby mode can show you incoming notifications, live activities and Siri queries in full screen. When you use StandBy with different MagSafe chargers in separate locations, you can customize your phone to remember which screen configuration you prefer based on location. For example, you may prefer widgets in the office or the clock screen when you have an iPhone on your nightstand.
StandBy can be a bit complicated if you are not familiar with it, so we recommend it see our standby guide to see the full range of what you can do with it.
Lock screen and home screen widgets are interactive in iOS 17, which makes widgets much more useful. You can do things like tick a reminder or activate your home device right from the widget without opening the app.
Both Apple and third-party apps may use new interactive features, so you may want to reset your widget settings now that some widgets are more useful.
Lock screen widgets can be customized by long-pressing on the lock screen, selecting Lock Screen, and then tapping “Customize”. From there, select Lock screen and then tap on the widget box to select widget options.
On the home screen, long press, tap the “+” button in the upper left corner and select the widget you want to add.
Customize your contact poster
In iOS 17, there is a customizable contact poster that people will see when you call, FaceTime, or text them. You can customize it with a photo, Memoji, Animoji or initials and choose the colors and fonts you prefer.
When you install iOS 17, you’ll be prompted to create a contact poster, but you can tweak it at any time in the Contacts app. Just open Contacts, tap “My Card” and then tap “Edit” in the upper right corner to enter the editing interface.
From there, you can choose a photo, choose a text color, add a filter, and more. You can have multiple contact posters to switch between and you can create a contact photo that is different from your contact poster.
The contact’s selected poster and photo will be shared with others when you call or message them, but there are some settings you can use to limit access. You can choose to share your photo and poster automatically with all your contacts, or you can let your iPhone get permission from you first. Sharing of names and photos can also be completely disabled if you prefer.
Make sure live voicemail is turned on (US and Canada only)
Live Voicemail is a new feature that lets you see a transcript of a voicemail as it’s left, so you can pick up if it’s an important call. To make sure Live Voicemail is enabled, open the Settings app, tap Phone, scroll down to Live Voicemail, and turn it on.
With this option turned on, when someone starts leaving a voice message, you’ll see a transcript of what they have to say right on the lock screen. You can ignore it or answer the phone. During the beta testing process, the Live Voicemail wording was a bit confusing for callers, but Apple has since addressed that issue.
If live voicemail is bothering you, turning it off will disable it and your voicemail will return to normal.
Create your own stickers
In iOS 16, Apple added the Remove Background Object tool, which allows you to remove the primary object from any image. In iOS 17, you can change the subject of a picture to a sticker when using this feature.
For this to work, select any photo with the main theme. Short tap and hold on the subject of the image and select “Add Sticker” in the text popup.
From there, you can choose the effect of the sticker, such as adding a fluffy look including a white border, adding a glitter effect, and more. Some stickers animate when pulled from a live photo, and the stickers you create can be used across the entire operating system.
With iOS 17, Apple also merged emojis and stickers into one, so stickers work everywhere you can use emojis.
Set up new Safari profiles
In iOS 17, Apple added the Profile feature, which is designed to let you separate your browsing for different use cases. For example, you can create a “Work” and a “Personal” profile so that all your work browsing is separated from your personal browsing.
Each profile has separate cookies, browsing history, extensions and website data. For example, you can turn off cookies and pop-ups in one profile and leave them on for another profile. Profiles also have separate Favorites and Bookmark Groups.
To set up your individual profiles, open the Settings app, select Safari, tap New Profile, and choose an icon, name, and background color.
Turn on Anti-Tracking
URLs in iOS 17 can be stripped of any tracking information appended to the end of the URL, so websites can’t track your browsing using URL identifiers. This feature is automatically enabled for private browsing in iOS 17 but can be turned on for all browsing.
To turn it on, open the Settings app and go to Safari. Tap on Advanced and then on “Advanced tracking and fingerprint protection”. From there, switch to “All Browsing”. The setting will ensure that URLs opened in Safari remove any tracking information at the end of the URL.
Share your iCloud Keychain passwords
iOS 17 lets you securely share passwords and passkeys stored in iCloud Keychain with friends and family. Through the sharing feature, multiple people can access passwords for media accounts, tools, accounts, and more.
Passwords can be shared by opening the Passwords section of the Settings app and tapping “Getting Started” under the Share passwords with family banner. Alternatively, you can tap the “+” button to create a new shared group. You can have several separate groups to share passwords with different people.
Name your pets in photos
In the Photos app, the People album is now the Pets and People album because the iPhone can recognize dogs and cats. Once you’ve let your iPhone charge for a while, head over to the Pets & People album and you’ll be able to identify your pets and other animals whose photos you have by adding a name just like you would people.
You can view additional photos and add more, watch a slideshow, and more.
Apple added mood tracking to the Health app in iOS 17 so you can track your mental well-being over time. To access it, open the Health app, go to Browse and tap Mental Wellbeing. Select Log under State of Mind and you can choose your mood
You can set the mood for the current time or the overall mood for the whole day and select factors that may have affected your mood, such as work or a relationship. You can see how your mood changes from week to week and what affects how you feel.
You can set alerts to remind you to record your mood, and if you have an Apple Watch, you can record your mood from your wrist.
AirTags can be shared with family members, so if your partner or your child borrows an AirTag item, they will no longer receive alerts about an unknown item traveling with them. This also applies to items that have a Find integration.
To share a device, open the Find app and select the item label. Select an AirTag or item and tap Share This AirTag. From there you can select the contact you want to share the AirTag with.
Try the new features of AirPods Pro 2
AirPods Pro 2 have a few new features in iOS 17 that you’ll want to check out. Adaptive Sound combines active noise cancellation and transparency into an all-in-one mode that adjusts the volume of your playback content based on what’s around you and your interactions throughout the day.
With Conversation Awareness, AirPods Pro 2 can detect when someone is talking to you, turn down media volume and reduce background noise. Personalized volume will also adjust the sound of content being played based on personal preferences and the sounds around you.
Automatic device switching is also faster, and if you press the stem of AirPods Pro 2 during a call, you can mute and unmute. Find out more about the new AirPods Pro 2 features in our guide.
More about iOS 17
To learn more about all the new features that have been added to iOS 17, check out our dedicated iOS 17 roundup.