IOS 17: An In-Depth Review

Payton Costenbader
Staff Writer

Apple has gone above and beyond to generate an update that ensures each iPhone is efficient and user-friendly for everyone in the cell phone market. Improvements have been shown through upgraded safety features, additional accessibility software, and general user-friendliness advancements. The IOS 17 update, compatible with iPhone SE (second generation) and all devices released after, became available on September 18, 2023. While many have downloaded the update and begun working with the advanced operating system, the significant changes must be highlighted. This discussion follows.

Safety and privacy upgrades were among the most prevalent within the IOS 17 update. Apple Check-In is a new feature that notifies selected people when you arrive or leave locations. Along with this feature, the Home application has added the ability to view lock activity within a home if locks are supported by Apple smart devices. This would allow users granted access to view what doors have been locked and when this activity takes place. These safety features are great for busy families, allowing parents to have peace of mind knowing who is at home and which points of access to their home are secure.

A shortcut has been added to iMessage that allows users to access their most often sent items, such as audio messages, photos, stickers, and, most importantly, the theme of safety and location-sharing services. This shortcut is identified by a small plus sign within iMessage. Quick access to safety features increases the number of people likely to utilize this resource and improves location communication among family and friends. With more people using these services, it is creating a larger community of people who can be notified in the case of an emergency.

Location service safety on the iPhone extends to Apple accessories, Apple Maps, and other tools regarding safety. Find My has been enhanced to allow accessories, such as Airtags, to be findable by up to five people. Once again, increasing the number of people who can view location can be helpful in a wide range of situations. Apple Maps has been updated to allow offline access to previously downloaded routes. This feature gives added comfort when on unknown roads for situations in which mobile data would not be available. To provide peace of mind to those driving electric cars, Apple has added the ability to track real-time charging station availability and show upcoming locations of recharge stations. So far, this update has been focused on improving the quality of life of Apple’s customers.

There have been multiple updates that increase privacy within applications on Apple devices. Communication Safety, a privacy setting that allows children to filter out inappropriate messages, has been upgraded to extend beyond iMessage. Airdrop, Facetime Messages, Contact Posters, and third-party apps are now included in this feature. The blur effect can also be enabled in settings to blur explicit content. This allows users to filter what they would like to view or when they would like to open that content. Additional protection within third-party apps, such as selective access to photos and hidden calendar events, has also been added. That is, when you add an event to a calendar from a third-party app, that app cannot access your previously scheduled obligations within the Calendar app. A new app, similar to the Notes app, has been added. This application is a locked Journal app that is now available to iPhone users to keep information private.

Accessibility has been dramatically improved with the iOS17 update. Multiple additions have been made to Assistive Access to help those with cognitive disabilities. For individuals with hearing loss, voicemails and audio messages are now transcribed. Those with sight impairment can now enjoy Point and Speak, which provides an auditory description of items that have text labels. Personal Voice has been included to allow people to create a personal voice to utilize in calls by Live Speech. A more general update to increase accessibility is the addition of Visual Lookup, which is the ability to search for visually related content on Safari through the iPhone Camera app. Adding these services makes the iPhone equitable for those who require accommodations.

Contact sharing is one of the more talked about features of the new iOS 17 updates. (Photo courtesy of Apple)

Other upgrades have been added to create a more user-friendly device. Call updates include customizing what other people see when you ring their device. You can now record a video to leave a voicemail when a Facetime call is missed, and Facetime can be answered on Apple TV. The most talked about addition with this update is that you can now exchange contact information via airdrop. Placing two iPhones next to each other will allow them to find and exchange information. This extends to Apple Music, in which SharePlay can be used to exchange songs and playlists.

There have been significant updates to make searching for content faster. Safari has been updated to yield more accurate search results. It is also now possible to create profiles within Safari, keeping work and personal life separate. Within iMessage, you can combine filters to find a text faster. For example, search the word “address” combined with the contact’s name, “mom” to find the exact text you’re looking for with the right contact. Another feature that makes it easier to find messages is the Catch-Up Arrow. This button on iMessage will take you to the last unread (by you) text in the conversation, allowing you to quickly catch yourself up to respond. All these additions to the operating system can be utilized to make everyone’s experience on their device much more efficient and enjoyable.

Upon Reviewing these significant changes that Apple has made within the iOS17 update, these changes were put in place to create a more efficient society. Apple has listened to customer feedback and curated an update to fit that demand. The other changes were in fields that assist in daily life, such as the accessibility features that now allow all individuals to have the resources they need for an equitable experience on the iPhone. Apple created this update to benefit the lives of those who support their company, and I foresee it being successful in all ways it strives to be.

Contact Payton Costenbader at

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