iOS 17: News and Anticipated Price (Free), Release Date, Features & Other Rumors

You can't get iOS 17 yet, but here's when we think it'll come out and what features to expect

iOS 17 is expected to be released to the public this Fall, replacing iOS 16 as the latest iPhone operating system. It is not yet known what specific features will be included in the update, but speculation includes the possibility of more lock screen widgets, access to third-party app stores, and significant improvements to iMessage. No official announcements have been made by Apple at this time.

When Will iOS 17 Be Released?

Apple's yearly iOS release history indicates we can expect another major update this year. Considering that the company usually drops these updates in September, that's the most likely release date month for iOS 17.

Watch for all the initial details, and the first beta version, to appear at the Apple WWDC 2023, likely in June. During this phase, you'll be able to use iOS 17 before it's widely available. You'll just need to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program (it's free).

After the beta stage, and in line with the iPhone 15 release, iOS 17 will be available for public use, but only if your phone is compatible (there's a list below). It'll install automatically, or you can check for iOS updates manually via Settings > General > Software Update.

Lifewire's Release Date Estimate

Look for iOS 17 in September 2023. iOS 16 was officially rolled out on the second Monday of the month, but iOS 15 showed up on the final Friday of September. With the month being the only reliable trend, we can't say this early what day Apple will release this upgraded version.

iOS 17 Price

iOS updates are free. If your phone is compatible with this update, you'll be able to install it at no cost.

iOS 17 Features

Every major iOS update brings lots of changes. We saw this with iOS 16 and its wealth of new features, like lock screen customizations, the ability to unsend messages, Health app medication tracking, SharePlay in Messages, and Safety Check.

We'd love for iOS 17 to continue this trend of new ideas and also improve on existing ones. Some basic changes that could show up include better offline Siri usage, additional accessibility enhancements, general stability and notification management improvements, additional collaboration features, new Dynamic Island uses, and minor updates to stock apps like Mail, Safari, Messages, and Weather.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, however, thinks that iOS 17 might have "fewer major changes than originally planned" because Apple is instead honing in on xrOS‌ for their upcoming extended reality headset.

We'll know a lot more as leaks surface closer to the unveiling event, and even more when the beta version arrives. Here's what we're hearing so far:

  • More lock screen widgets: When you customize your iPhone lock screen with widgets, you're limited to using four small ones and two large ones. We hope to see iOS 17 expand this a bit so more of the screen can be used for widgets if you so choose.
  • Interactive widgets: Widgets provide information at a glance, which is definitely more useful than having to open an app to see that same information. We hope to see iOS 17 improve on this and allow full interactions. Think scrolling through emails, marking things off a to-do list, etc., without ever opening the parent app.
  • Split screen: The iPhone supports multitasking in the form of Fast App Switching, but it doesn't let you split apps across the screen like on the iPad. Of course, the reason for this is that the screen isn't as large as a tablet's, but some fans speculate we'll see such a feature in iOS 17.
  • Call recording: One feature request we've seen from some users is call recording. While there are already ways to record calls on an iPhone, having it built right into the Phone app would be great. However, we're not confident this will arrive because of the challenge of following call recording laws, which can vary between even specific regions within the same country.
  • Dual apps: This would let you "clone" an app so that two entirely separate profiles can exist for it. This would let you, for example, easily switch between two WhatsApp accounts—one for work stuff and one for personal use.
  • Third-party app stores: Mark Gurman says Apple plans to let users download apps in iOS 17 without using Apple's App Store. While you can already sideload apps in iOS, or jailbreak your phone, an Apple-approved method would no doubt be easier and safer. Gurman says the availability of alternative app stores is "aimed at complying with strict European Union requirements coming in 2024."
  • Shorter Siri phrase: Gurman says Apple is working on a way to drop the "Hey" part of Siri's typical listen phrase, so it'll start listening to simply “Siri.”
  • VR app: We know the Apple VR headset is coming this year, so iOS 17 will likely introduce a companion app for the headset.
  • iMessage redesign: AppleInsider picked up a rumor that Apple is working on a version of iMessage that supports chat rooms and AR features, likely built for the VR headset.

Concept Central shows off some of those ideas and others in this video:

iOS 17 Supported Devices

The latest iPhone models from the last several years will probably be compatible, but we won't know for sure which devices will run iOS 17 until Apple provides those details.

For reference, iOS 16 works on all the following, so iOS 17 will drop for nearly all the same models:

  • iPhone Pro Max (11 and newer)
  • iPhone Pro (11 and newer)
  • iPhone (11 and newer)
  • iPhone mini (12 and newer)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation and newer)
  • iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max

iOS 16 also works on iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X, but since those phones came out in 2017 and the company doesn't usually continue to provide OS updates to devices that old, they might not be eligible for iOS 17.

The Latest News About iOS 17

You can get more smartphone news from Lifewire. Here are some stories about iOS 17 specifically:

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