Monthly Tech Tip: iOS 17 is Now Available

Here’s How To Use Your iPhone’s New Features

If you use an iPhone, it may have already updated to the latest iOS 17, but if you don’t want to wait, you can force the big upgrade now by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Software Update


After iOS 17 is installed, here are some of the new things you can do:

  • Use voice commands by saying, “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri.”
  • When charging and positioned horizontally, StandBy mode activates an always-on information screen. Think of it like a smart clock radio from the old days. It can show photos, a calendar, weather, and lots of other customizable data from widgets, including the time.
  • Maps added an offline maps option, so you can explicitly download detailed information if you know you’ll be somewhere with spotty cell service.
  • AirTags can be shared so multiple people can join the search for missing stuff.
  • Autocorrect has been significantly enhanced with AI to provide grammar and spelling suggestions linked to your habits
  • AirDrop added NameDrop so you can exchange contact info with people you meet more easily.
  • Contact Posters lets you customize what people see on their screen when you call them.
  • Live Voicemail shows you a transcription of what the person leaving a message in real-time and lets you answer the call in the middle of the message. Note that this changes your voicemail announcement.
  • Messages look a little cleaner, with the “+” button used to show camera and photo options.
  • FaceTime lets you leave a video or audio message when someone misses your call.
  • Check In is a new safety feature that can let your friends know you’ve arrived at a destination or if your route has been interrupted.
  • Journal is a quick way to log notes, images, and moods when you like.
  • Over 24 new ringtones and text tones have been added. You can change your sounds in the Settings app under Sounds & Haptics. Note that some old sounds have been moved to the Classic category.

To see a candid demonstration of some of these features, check out this video on iOS 17 New Features from the Wall Street Journal.

Check out the Tips and Tricks section of our blog for more DIY technical know-how. Want some tips in a particular area? We love your requests, so feel encouraged to let us know what you want to see next month!