Apple has released the first public beta versions of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. They include new features: StandBy mode for iPhone, interactive widgets, improved auto-correction, AirDrop’s NameDrop feature, and more.
Today, July 12, 2023, Apple released the first public beta versions of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, making the new software available to the general public for the first time since the WWDC Developers Conference in June. Developers have already received three betas, and the first public beta offers the same features as the third developer beta.
Public beta testers who subscribe to Apple’s beta testing program can download the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 updates by opening the Settings app, going to the General section, selecting the Software Update section, and turning on the “iOS 17 Public Beta“.
iOS 17 introduces a new “StandBy” feature for the iPhone, allowing it to be used as an information hub when it’s laying flat and plugged into a charger. StandBy mode shows the time, Live Activities banners, incoming notifications, and lots of widgets.
Widgets on the lock screen and home screen are now interactive, meaning you can perform actions like controlling a smart light or mark a reminder without opening the app. Auto-correction is smarter, and errors are now easier to fix with a single tap.
AirDrop has got a new NameDrop feature for quickly sharing contact information with a nearby person, and the Phone app now lets you customize “contact posters” that let you choose what people see when you call them.
The “Live Voicemail” feature shows the voicemail someone leaves right on your lock screen so you can pick up the phone if it’s important, and the Messages app has a new look and a “Check-In” feature that aims to help you reach your destination safely.
FaceTime now supports video messaging so you can leave a video voicemail if someone misses a call, plus you can use it on your Apple TV. Safari received a closed private browsing window and a password sharing feature, as well as improved tracking prevention. The Maps app now works offline, the Photos app can recognize your pets, and the Visual Look Up feature works with food, symbols, videos, and more.
A new mood tracking feature is available in the Health app, and Apple is also planning to add a diary app later this year.