iOS 17 is now available to download on any iPhone newer than an iPhone XS, and alongside a hidden setting that will make your iPhone feel twice as fast, my favorite new feature of Apple's latest software update is the refreshed ringtone library.
Yes, you read that right: I’m excited about new ringtones (or rather, new alarm tones, since I keep my iPhone perennially locked in silent mode). iOS 17 adds a whopping 24 new alarm tones and 12 new text tones – props to 9to5Mac’s Ian Zelbo for flagging them all on X – and, quite frankly, they're so good, you’ll look forward to waking up in the morning.
Seriously, give them a listen via the post below. Arpeggio is an ‘80s synth track that wouldn’t sound out of place in an episode of Miami Vice. Unfold and Seedling seem plucked straight from the soundtrack of a Keira Knightley period drama. Chalet, Daybreak, and Departure are perfect lo-fi hits for an angsty Instagram reel.
Tuning in 🎵 Which new #iOS17 ringtone is your favorite? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/3oWaL2946bSeptember 22, 2023
Reflection remains the default ringtone, and you’ll find this and the rest of the classic iPhone tones in a separate ‘Classic’ category, but it’s refreshing to see Apple bring so many new sound options to the table with iOS 17.
In the age of titanium-clad smartphones (hello, iPhone 15 Pro Max), the humble ringtone might seem like a trivial feature, but for me and millions of other iPhone users around the world, they’re the first thing we hear when we get up in the morning (kudos to anyone who can sit through more than five seconds of Old Car Horn).
Apple clearly had your morning on its mind when developing other iOS 17 features, too. The new StandBy mode, for instance, turns your iPhone into a miniature smart display, complete with an alarm clock, calendar, weather widgets, and more. It essentially gives your iPhone something to do when you’re not using it.
You can also configure StandBy mode to display a digital photo album, or you can have it turn your iPhone into a simple bedside clock, without the widgets. In his iOS 17 review, TechRadar’s US Mobiles Editor, Philip Berne, said that he “especially like[s] that StandBy is well designed for bedside clock duties. It turns a deep red at night, and it won’t disturb your night vision.”
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.