The next version of iOS for iPhone is already available in beta for developers. I was able to try it for several days. This update already has some nice surprises in store.
New versions of iOS and Android follow one another year after year, and it is sometimes difficult to be enthusiastic about the new features presented. It is often repeated that the systems are mature and that we no longer know the revolutions of yesteryear. It is therefore without particular expectations or excitement that I installed iOS 17 in beta on the iPhone 14 Pro to test the new features ” for work“. Conclusion: nice surprises and a version that I want to install on my personal iPhone.
iOS 17’s new virtual keyboard is abang
We start with the least visual novelty that is and yet it is one of those that will change your daily life with your iPhone. Apple had promised an overhaul of the autocorrection engine and the result is there, even in French. It’s a real pleasure to discover a self-correction system finally at the level of what competitors like SwiftKey offer. Farewell “but” who becomes “But“. Yes, you were not the only person to have this fundamental problem in the French language.
The new engine also better understands the meaning of a sentence to offer relevant corrections. It shows you this by underlining in blue up to several words back in your sentence to create a coherent segment. The virtual keyboard is something we use everywhere on the iPhone, to do research, communicate with our loved ones or share on social networks.
Having such a substantial change on such a fundamental brick of your smartphone necessarily changes the situation. Everything is not yet perfect. We can still note corrections next to the plate. Nothing more painful, especially when you go back manually to correct the autocorrector and it autocorrects your correction. You follow ?
Too close to the eyes and too far from the heart
The other great new feature of iOS 17 available in this beta is the control of the distance at which you hold your iPhone when you read or watch a video. For this, the device uses the TrueDepth camera (Face ID) and assesses the distance between your eyes and the screen.
This is where I discovered that I was visibly holding the iPhone too close to my eyes on a regular basis. The system warns you with an image that takes up the entire display and asks you to step back. Until you do, the message remains grayed out and you cannot leave the page. It’s a bit aggressive as a method, especially since it doesn’t pause the video you were watching. In other words, you miss a few seconds of image.
For those who do not want an iPhone that dictates a display distance, this function is an option that can be deactivated. Go to the section “screen timeto set these options.
A fun new sticker system
Whether in iOS or in the other updates planned by Apple this year for macOS, tvOS or watchOS, communication between people seems to be at the heart of the firm’s concerns. On this beta, this already takes the form of the new stickers in iMessage.
They are very simple to create since it reuses the excellent intelligent clipping system of iOS 16. You can then share them with your contacts in iMessage. It’s a shame that this is limited to Apple’s app and it’s not really possible to use the stickers elsewhere, on Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, or whatever.
Note that this is also where we touch a bit on Apple’s new aesthetic style. The firm has reworked the extension access menu for iMessage. Now, there is a list system with first applications from Apple and then applications from other developers. The appearance contrasts with the rest of what is presented in iOS, we have a smoked glass effect and a list with imposing elements. Either this will be reworked by the commercial release of iOS 17 to make the appearance more harmonious, or it is a first stone before a broader redesign of iOS.
A facelift on contacts
Your photos and those of your friends will take up more space on iOS 17. You can now set up a profile page on your iPhone, easily shareable by AirDrop. The illustration goes through an avatar or a photo of you in portrait mode and takes a bit of the style of the lock screen options of iOS 16.
You can also set these options for your contacts. When they call you, iOS 17 displays the photo all over the screen and it looks much better than previous versions. Again a harmless change, but welcome to modernize the experience.
There are still things missing
We wanted here to give a first feedback on the new features of iOS 17, but it is above all a first beta of the system. It still lacks several of the functions announced by Apple such as the arrival of the Journal application, to keep a diary or the real-time transcription of voice messages. StandBy, which should offer a new horizontal display, is also available to absent subscribers.
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