This excellent iOS 17 upgrade will change your life

iOS 17 brings tons of improvements, and this one is going to make my life much better

iOS 17
(Image credit: Apple)

There's a lot to love in iOS 17, but I think some of the best features are the ones people aren't really making a big fuss about. For example Check-in sounds a bit dull – it lets people know you've arrived somewhere – but it's actually a really clever and useful way to reassure you that your friends or kids haven't been abducted by killer clowns on the way home.

One of my favourite new features is an update to an app that's easy to take for granted: Reminders. Like iOS's Notes it's a lot more useful than you might expect, and in iOS 17 it gets two new features that will make everyday tasks considerably less annoying.

What's so great about Reminders in iOS 17?

The Reminders app in iOS 17 gets two important new features. It'll be able to use an interactive widget on your Lock Screen, so you'll be able to tick off items without unlocking your iPhone. And it'll automatically categorise your shopping list when you add items to it. 

Wait! Come back!

I know that shopping lists aren't exactly exciting. But this is genuinely brilliant, because it'll seriously shorten the amount of time I spend retracing my steps in the supermarket: instead of my current Shopping List Of Absolute Chaos, which has me zooming back and forth on the shop floor like a malfunctioning robot vacuum cleaner, it'll recognise common items and put them in the appropriate section. That means when I get to a particular section I'll see everything I need to grab from those shelves. 

I appreciate that this may be a bigger deal for me than it is for you. But the feature is available to any kind of list in Reminders, which means you'll be able to create much more complicated lists for things like projects, trips and so on. Factor in Siri Shortcuts and the location awareness that's already in the app and you've got a pretty impressive and useful productivity tool baked right into your iPhone.

These are the features I really love on my iPhone. They don't tend to grab the headlines, and they don't have the oomph of something like full-screen photos when your friends call. But collectively all of these little improvements amount to something big, saving time and effort and making life that little bit easier.  

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (