The 5 best features coming to your iPhone in the imminent iOS 17.2 update

iOS 17 key features press image
(Image credit: Apple)

The iOS 17.2 has been in beta for around a month, and it’s expected to land in finished form in mid-December, so there’s not long to wait for some new software goodies.

Thanks to those betas we also have a good idea of what to expect from this update, and while it won’t be anywhere near as big as iOS 17 was or as iOS 18 is likely to be, there’s quite a lot coming.

Below, we’ve highlighted the five best features that – based on the betas – you can expect in iOS 17.2, though it’s worth noting that there’s a small chance some of these features won’t emerge, or will be left until a later update.

1. The Journal app

Apple Journal

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The headline feature of iOS 17.2 is definitely the Journal app. This is a whole new app, which Apple announced as part of iOS 17, but which is only now set to land.

This app will – as you might expect – let you keep a journal, by adding text, images, videos, and audio.

Plenty of third-party apps already do this kind of thing, but Apple’s Journal app can also make suggestions of journal entries, based on photos you’ve taken, locations you’ve been to, and other activities that the phone recognizes.

However, you can control which data it can use to make suggestions, so you can tailor it to your liking, or disable suggestions altogether.

2. A new option for the Action button

iPhone 15 Pro review Action button macro handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

If you have an iPhone 15 Pro or an iPhone 15 Pro Max then you’ll find the Action button gets a bit more useful with iOS 17.2, as a new ‘Translate’ option is set to be added.

This allows you to live translate conversations from one language to another with just the press of a button, so it could be extremely useful when you’re abroad.

3. Collaborative playlists

Apple Music interface on iOS 17

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

A collaborative playlists feature is coming to Apple Music, meaning that you’ll be able to share playlists with friends and allow them to add their own tracks.

Invited friends will also be able to remove tracks, but you can control who has access. This is a feature Spotify has had for a while, so it's much needed.

4. iMessage contact verification

An image showing iMessage contact key verification

(Image credit: Apple)

This is a bit niche but could be extremely useful for some people. The iOS 17.2 beta includes a code that can be displayed to verify you’re talking to the person you think you are in iMessage.

Apple claims this feature is designed to help those who face "extraordinary digital threats," such as government employees and journalists. But in a world where phishing attempts are commonplace it could potentially benefit anyone.

5. New navigation tools in the App Store

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The App Store also looks set to get a tweak with iOS 17.2, in order to make navigating it easier.

Once the update rolls out, you should see a new navigation bar at the top of the ‘Apps’ and ‘Games’ tabs, allowing you to scroll through categories like entertainment, education, music, and more (in the case of the apps tab), or things like racing, casual, and puzzle, in the case of games.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.