After about a month of beta testing, iOS 17.1 is expected to be released to the general public next week. The update includes a number of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. Head below for a full summary of what’s new…
iOS 17.1 release date
While Apple has not confirmed a release date for iOS 17.1, the update is widely expected to be released on Tuesday, October 24. French organizers revealed this date last week.
Why do regulators in France know the iOS 17.1 release date? Well, one of the changes in the update addresses French regulators’ concerns about the radiation levels of the iPhone 12. French authorities have determined that the iPhone 12 no longer passes radiation exposure testing limits.
In iOS 17.1, Apple made changes to how the iPhone 12 handles out-of-body cases. Essentially, the iPhone 12 would have previously increased the allowed power when an out-of-body condition is detected, for example while sitting at a table. iOS 17.1 removes this behavior to comply with the French testing protocol.
What’s new in iOS 17.1?
For those of us outside France, iOS 17.1 includes a bunch of other new features and changes.
New AirDrop features
First, the update adds a new AIrDrop feature that allows online transfers to continue when you’re out of range from the other device. This feature was announced at WWDC in June, but was not included in the first version of iOS 17 last month. There’s also a new toggle in Settings that lets you choose to use cellular data to complete AirDrop transfers, in addition to Wi-Fi.
Upgrades to Apple Music
iOS 17.1 also makes a bunch of changes to Apple Music:
- You can now “Favorite songs, albums and playlists”. There are new filter options in the Music app to easily display your favorites in your library.
- Apple has added a library of artwork that you can use to customize your playlists. You can find these new options by clicking on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the playlist and choosing Edit.
- At the bottom of your playlists, there’s a new area of ”Song Suggestions” that Apple will intelligently introduce to “match the vibe of your playlist.”
Apple has added new options to Standby Mode, the feature that turns your iPhone into a smart display when charging and in landscape orientation. In the Settings app, you’ll find a new ‘Display’ option under the Standby menu. There are new toggles here to turn the screen off automatically, after 20 seconds, or not at all.
The initial release of iOS 17 didn’t offer this level of granular control in standby. The new ‘Never’ option means you can now make sure your StandBy tools are always visible.
However, these changes to StandBy are only available on devices with an always-on display, which includes the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
New features for Apple Wallet
For iPhone users in the UK, iOS 17.1 adds a new Connected Cards feature that brings up a user’s current account balance from their bank, as well as a history of deposits and payments. In the UK, this feature is powered by the Open Banking API and supported by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Monzo and Starling.
In the US, there is no equivalent to the Open Banking API. However, Apple has partnered directly with Discover to show users their card balance and transaction history. As of now, there is no indication when Apple will expand this feature to more banks in the US.
New features for mixing images on the lock screen
iOS 17.1 addresses a long-standing complaint about the Photo Shuffle option on the iPhone lock screen.
The Photo Shuffle option first appeared with iOS 16 and it shuffles the photos in your photo library and randomly selects images for the wallpaper. The initial implementation of this feature allowed you to mix images of people, nature, or pets, but with no options to adjust it.
However, in iOS 17.1, Apple has added a new option that lets you choose a specific album to use for the Photo Shuffle feature on the Lock screen.
Changes to the action button
For iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, iOS 17.1 also includes improvements to the new Action button. The update adds a new feature that uses the iPhone 15 Pro’s proximity sensor to detect when your iPhone is in your pocket to prevent accidental activations.
This means that you will have to hold the action button a little longer to start the action if the phone is in your pocket.
Lamp indicator on the dynamic island
When iOS 17 launched, iPhone 15 Pro users were the lucky recipients of a new feature that uses the dynamic island to show you when your flashlight is enabled.
Shockingly, there is no reason for this feature to be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro. And with iOS 17.1, iPhone 14 Pro users will also see the new flashlight indicator in their Dynamic Island. innovation!
Bug fixes in iOS 17.1
In addition to these new features, iOS 17.1 also fixes a slew of bugs and performance issues that have been plaguing some iPhone users over the past month. Here’s what Apple says has been fixed:
- Support home key for locks issue
- Improved reliability of screen time settings that are synced across devices.
- Fixes an issue that could cause an important location privacy setting to reset when you move or pair your Apple Watch for the first time
- Resolves an issue where incoming callers’ names may not appear when you’re on another call
- Addresses an issue where custom and purchased ringtones may not appear as options for your text tone
- Fixes an issue that could cause the keyboard to become less responsive
- Crash detection improvements (all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models)
- Fixes an issue that could cause the image to remain displayed
What new features are you looking forward to trying out with iOS 17.1? Let us know in the comments below.
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