5 cool new features I love in iOS 17

The next iPhone update has a whole load of features to make life much easier

iOS 17 shown on two iPhones on a white background
(Image credit: Apple)

As the dust settles on a jam-packed WWDC 2023 event, it's time to reflect on some of the new features coming to Apple devices. In particular, the iOS 17 update showed off a host of new goodies for iPhone users.

There was a lot to unpack from the event itself, with all-new features and useful updates to old ones, too. Here are five of the best which I'm really looking forward to.

1. Contact Posters

Contact posters is a new feature which allows users to set up a consistent appearance for their contact information. Users can select the photo, font and colour which appears when they make a call, allowing you to take full control of how you appear on another device.

The same functionality is used in the contact card, too. Plus, third-party calling apps will be able to integrate the functionality into their offerings, which should hopefully make it useful across different devices.

2. Check In

If you've ever had to walk home late at night, you'll know it can be a particularly unnerving experience. Check In is a new feature designed to help with that.

Within the Messages app, users can share a Check In tile with friends and family. The app will use your location data to determine roughly when you should arrive home, and automatically update the other party when you arrive safe.

If you aren't making progress towards your destination, the app will prompt you to add more time if needed. And, if you don't respond, the other person will be notified, getting access to critical information like your location, the route you took, your battery and signal level.

That should be really beneficial for users, who could enjoy better peace of mind. Should anything untoward happen, the shared data could provide crucial information about your whereabouts.

3. NameDrop and AirDrop updates

This section is going to cover a few cool features, but they all centre around a new way to share. Let's start with NameDrop, which is a new way to share your contact information with someone. 

Simply bring the two devices together, and tap share. Your contact poster will land on the other device, along with any selection of phone numbers and email addresses you've chosen to share. It even works with an iPhone and an Apple Watch.

The same idea can be used in AirDrop, too. Bring two devices together and AirDrop will pop up, allowing you to share with ease. Plus, if you start and AirDrop but have to leave, the full-sized file will continue to send via the internet, making it easier than ever to share large files.

4. StandBy

StandBy is a new feature which will allow your iPhone to display information when attached horizontally to a MagSafe stand. The display can show the time, a collection of photos, or even widget stacks, to bring useful information to the display.

It will even be able to tell which stand it's attached to and remember your preference. For example, when you stand it at your desk, you might prefer your schedule and a calendar to appear, but in the kitchen, the time and weather.

5. AirTag sharing

This one wasn't mentioned directly in the presentation, but it cropped up on the final image and in Apple's subsequent press release. Devices tracked with an AirTag can now be seen by up to five other people.

That's a great upgrade, which will allow multiple users to keep an eye on something in the Find My app. That will be really handy for shared items, where multiple users might need to find the same item. 

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.