We recently reported that iOS 17 will be a bigger iPhone update than we first thought, with Apple set to improve its core apps with several “nice to have” features. Now, we’ve got a better idea of which apps are in line for a makeover, and what those “nice to have” features might be.
According to the same Weibo user who leaked the existence of the yellow iPhone 14 ahead of time, iOS 17 will bring changes to the iPhone lock screen, Control Center, App Library and Apple Music. CarPlay, Siri and Messages are also set for significant updates, per previous rumors regarding Apple’s next software overhaul.
It’s particularly surprising to hear that further improvements could be heading to your iPhone's lock screen, since Apple only introduced personalized iOS lock screens with iOS 16 (and we weren’t expecting additional customization options so soon). Specifically, the Weibo user in question reports that iOS 17 will let you customize lock screen font sizes, as well as share your custom lock screen designs with other iPhone users – presumably in the same way that Apple Watch faces can be shared between Apple Watch owners.
As for the Control Center, iOS 17 is expected to bring major UI changes to the helpful shortcut page, while custom categories and other organizational features are reportedly bound for your iPhone’s App Library.
Improvements on the agenda for Apple Music with iOS 17 include the ability to view song lyrics directly on your phone's lock screen, with Apple also set to place emphasis on reducing the amount of text in the Apple Music app, in favor of new images and graphics.
And finally, the aforementioned Weibo user reports that iOS 17 will overhaul your iPhone’s flashlight brightness slider, swapping the three preconfigured settings for a volume-style slider (though, in truth, has anyone ever actually used that feature?).
A not-so-little iOS update
News of these rumored iOS 17 improvements follows reports that Apple’s next software update will finally introduce app sideloading on iPhones – allowing you to install apps from sources outside of the official App Store – as well as bring major changes to Siri.
According to recent leaks, iOS 17 could shift Siri's on-screen interface away from the bottom of the iPhone screen and up into the Dynamic Island on compatible devices (which, at present, is the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max).
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also reports that you may soon only need to say “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri” when activating Apple’s personal assistant, which would bring the latter in line with Amazon’s Alexa.
In other words, several fairly significant changes are on the horizon with iOS 17 – though leakers are divided over which iPhones will be compatible with the upcoming update. Some, for instance, report that iOS 17 will drop support for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, while others have counterclaimed that iOS 17 will be compatible with all iPhones capable of running iOS 16.
At this stage, then, there's little certainty around which iPhones will be supported by iOS 17 – but we're sure to find out at WWDC 2023 in June.