iOS 17 announced – new Journal app, revamped Messages, StandBy mode, NameDrop and more

Apple today announced iOS 17 for iPhone at WWDC 2023 alongside iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, tvOS 17, and macOS Sonoma. The software update features a brand-new Journal app, StandBy view, redesigned Messages, and a new NameDrop feature with AirDrop as well as improvements for Siri, keyboard, stickers, and more.

iOS 17

iOS 17 features

“With iOS 17, we’ve made iPhone more personal and intuitive by deeply considering the features we all rely on every day,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Phone, FaceTime, and Messages are central to how we communicate, and this release is packed with updates we think our users are going to love. We’ve also reimagined AirDrop with new ways to share, autocorrect gets even better, and we’re introducing all-new experiences with Journal and StandBy, plus so much more. We can’t wait for everyone to try it.”

Here is a quick look at all the new iOS 17 announcements from WWDC 2023.

Contact Posters and Live Voicemail

iOS 17 introduces personalized Contact Posters, allowing users to set custom information that others can see when they receive a call. This feature, available in both the Phone and Contacts apps, adds a personal touch to interactions and is reminiscent of customizing the Lock Screen.

Contact Posters Contact Posters

The update also introduces Live Voicemail, a new feature that gives users the ability to see real-time transcription as a caller leaves a voicemail. This provides users with the option to pick up if they deem the voicemail to be important. Note that spam calls will not appear as Live Voicemail, instead, iPhone will automatically decline them. Live Voicemail is processed on-device and is entirely secure.

FaceTime gets audio and video reactions

With iOS 17, users can send voice and video messages via FaceTime to share special moments or messages with contacts who are unavailable at the moment. These messages can be enjoyed at a later time, adding a new dimension to FaceTime interactions.


Moreover, FaceTime calls become more lively and animated with the introduction of Reactions. Users can express their emotions using a variety of interactive effects such as hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain, and more. These effects can be activated effortlessly through simple gestures, enhancing the visual experience during video calls. Additionally, third-party video calling apps can leverage these effects to provide their users with an even more immersive calling experience.

In an exciting update to Apple TV 4K, FaceTime now extends its reach to the largest screen in the home. Through the power of Continuity Camera, users can initiate video calls directly from their Apple TV or seamlessly transfer an ongoing call from their iPhone to the television. This means that users can now enjoy conversations with friends and family on the big screen, making it a shared experience for everyone present in the room. With the inclusion of Center Stage, the framing of the video call is automatically adjusted, ensuring that users remain perfectly positioned even as they move around the room.


The Messages app receives several notable enhancements. Users can now enjoy a more precise search experience with narrower terms for accurate results.

  • Swipe to reply makes it even easier to respond to specific message bubbles.
  • Audio Messages are transcribed, making it effortless to read voice content. 
  • Location sharing is now in line with conversations for seamless coordination.
  • new Check In feature enables users to notify their friends and family when they arrive safely.

iOS 17


iOS 17 introduces NameDrop, a convenient way to share phone numbers and email addresses between nearby iPhones. Sharing media has also been redesigned, allowing long transfers to continue over the internet. Additionally, the SharePlay API now integrates with AirDrop, enabling a seamless sharing experience during shared media sessions.



The keyboard in iOS 17 leverages a “transformer language model” to improve predictions and provide more accurate autocorrect suggestions. The keyboard also learns from user input to understand the context and personalize predictions accordingly. A dictation upgrade further enhances the typing experience.


The new Journal app in iOS 17 is designed to cultivate reflection and gratitude among iPhone users through the power of journaling. By leveraging on-device machine learning, Journal offers personalized suggestions sourced from recent activities like photos, workouts, and more, making it effortless to begin an entry.


Scheduled notifications aid in establishing a consistent journaling habit. With strong privacy measures like app locking, on-device processing, and end-to-end encryption, user entries remain secure. Additionally, developers can utilize the Journaling Suggestions API to enhance their own apps with journaling prompts.

Standby mode

iOS 17 introduces a new full-screen experience called StandBy, designed to display information in landscape mode. Users can personalize Standby to show data like clocks, photos, widgets, weather, Home controls, and even third-party widgets. Standby also supports Live Activities, providing dynamic and interactive content. Siri seamlessly integrates with Standby, featuring a special landscape user interface.

iOS 17


With iOS 17, Siri no longer requires”Hey Siri” for voice activation. It can also carry out back-to-back commands in succession without requiring users to reactivate it.

Additional features

  • Safari in iOS 17 offers enhanced protection for Private Browsing, safeguarding users from trackers and unauthorized device access. Advanced tracking and fingerprinting protections further prevent websites from tracking or identifying users. Private Browsing now automatically locks when inactive, enabling users to keep tabs open even when away from their devices.
  • Passwords and passkeys can be securely shared with trusted contacts, who can add and edit them through iCloud Keychain’s end-to-end encryption.
  • The Health app introduces new mental health features, including mood logging, identification of contributing factors, and access to depression and anxiety assessments and resources. Additionally, the Screen Distance feature encourages users to maintain a safe viewing distance to reduce eye strain and minimize the risk of myopia.
  • Maps now supports offline maps, allowing users to download specific areas for turn-by-turn navigation and other functions while offline. It also provides information on trails in U.S. parks and real-time charging availability for electric vehicle drivers.
  • AirTag can now be shared with up to five people, enabling them to locate items through Find My. Collaborative Playlists in Apple Music simplify music sharing with friends, while AirPlay’s on-device intelligence improves content sharing and works with supported TVs in select hotels.
  • AirPods receive new features like Adaptive Audio, Personalized Volume, and Conversation Awareness for an enhanced audio experience. The Home app expands activity history viewing, adds new features for Matter-compatible locks, and introduces a categorized grocery list in Reminders.
  • Visual Look Up allows identification of subjects in paused video frames, Siri can be activated with a simple voice command, and Photos album recognizes favorite people, cats, and dogs using on-device machine learning.
  • Privacy updates include Communication Safety expansions and the Sensitive Content Warning feature. Accessibility enhancements encompass Assistive Access, Live Speech, Personal Voice, and Point and Speak, aiding users with cognitive disabilities and visual impairments.


iOS 17 will be made available in the fall alongside the announcement of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. The first developer beta of iOS 17 has been released for developers and a public beta will become available in July.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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