iOS 17: When you can update your iPhone in the UK

The biggest software update for iPhones in a year arrives on Monday September 18 and includes enhancements for contacts, voicemail, FaceTime, Messages, Autocorrect and more.

Read on to find out when you can get iOS 17, if it works with your iPhone, and the biggest changes you can expect.

What time is iOS 17 out in the UK?

Although Apple hasn’t officially confirmed the exact time iOS 17 will be available to download, we have a fairly good idea based on past releases.

Apple typically drops iOS 17 at 10am Pacific time in the US, which is 6pm in the UK. There has been the odd exception to this rule but Apple mostly sticks to the same routine.

How to download iOS 17

Once it’s out, you’ll be able to grab iOS 17 by heading into settings on your iPhone > general > software update. Next, tap “install now” to download iOS 17, and you’re good to go.

You can also turn on automatic updates via settings > general > software update. Now, tap automatic updates, and toggle on the two options on the page: “download iOS updates” and “install iOS updates”.

Just make sure your iPhone has at least 50 per cent battery life otherwise it won’t download the update until you plug it in to a power source.

iOS 17 features: What are the key updates?

Apple’s biggest iOS 17 features include updates to contacts, voicemail, FaceTime, Messages, Autocorrect, Airdrop file-sharing and the hands-free iPhone experience.

Here are the key improvements you need to know about.

Contact Posters

You’ll soon be able to set custom contact wallpapers featuring photos or Memoji that take over your iPhone screen when someone you know calls you. The new posters will even work with third-party chat apps.

Contact posters on iOS 17 will take over your iPhone screen when someone you know calls

/ Apple

Live Voicemail

Apple is using its speech-to-text technology to transcribe your voicemail messages in real-time. This way, you can decide whether you want to answer while the caller is still talking to your handset. Spam calls will be instantly denied, and your conversations will be handled on the device, keeping them private, according to Apple.

FaceTime messages

With iOS 17, you can leave a FaceTime Audio or video message when someone doesn’t answer your call. Plus, you’ll be able to use FaceTime on your television thanks to an update to Apple TV 4K, the set-top box that lets you stream services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Check-In messages

The check-in feature will share your location, battery level, and phone signal with your chosen contact

/ Apple

As part of a flurry of enhancements to Messages (including photos that turn into stickers, a new menu, and improved search functionality), Apple is introducing a handy check-in feature. With it, you can notify a friend or loved one when you reach your destination.

If for some reason you stop on the way, the feature will share additional info with your chosen contact, such as your location, battery level and phone signal level.

According to Apple, all the info will be end-to-end encrypted.

AirDrop makes sharing even easier

Apple’s AirDrop file-sharing function will let you share contacts with another iPhone or Apple Watch by bringing your devices close together. You’ll also be able to share content, listen to music, watch a movie, or play a game the same way.

Autocorrect recognises swear words

Autocorrect is getting a hefty upgrade with iOS 17, thanks to a new machine-learning language model for word prediction. It’s not quite SiriGPT, but a cool AI-powered feature nonetheless.

For potty-mouthed users, autocorrect will even be able to recognise foul language. No more typing “ducking” and looking like a fool in your group chats.

Standby turns your charging iPhone into a smart screen

Standby mode will turn your iPhone into a clock or photo frame while it’s charging

/ Apple

Apple is trying to get you to use your iPhone even when it’s charging by turning it into a display or photo frame. In Standby mode, you’ll be able to prop up your phone or stick it on a stand to view things like the time, date, weather, your fave photos, and what’s playing on Apple Music. You’ll even be able to talk to Siri and take incoming calls.

The feature will be persistent on the iPhone 14 Pro, courtesy of its always-on display, while everyone else can tap their device’s screen to activate it.

Apple wants to lift your mood with its iPhone Journal app

Apple is hoping you’ll start jotting down your daily thoughts using its new Journal app, which will offer suggestions to get you writing based on your photos, contacts, places you visit and workouts. Other apps will also be able to nudge you to update your diary by tapping into Apple’s software.

Where is the iPhone end call button?

This is the new look phone call screen on iOS 17

/ Apple

By now, iPhone fans are probably so familiar with the location of the red icon that they probably don’t even think when thumbing it. But the option will soon shift from its central position at the bottom of the screen to the right, and closer to other controls.

Apple has also moved other buttons around: the mute and speaker icons are now swapped, as have FaceTime and Keypad. And it looks like the feature allowing you to search for contacts has merged with the add call option.

Turn your photos into animated stickers

If you’ve amassed a trove of snaps of your pets and pals, you can now turn them into meme-able stickers to use in Messages. Just long press on the subject in a photo to highlight it and bring up the options menu. Now choose “Add sticker” to transfer the subject into the sticker section, where you can further customise the cutout image with effects. The subjects you pull from live photos will even have the option of animating.

Other iOS 17 features

Beyond the main attractions, iOS 17 will also offer an exhaustive range of extra features including a refreshed Health app, offline maps, the ability to share AirTags with up to five other people, collaborative Apple Music playlists and more intuitive audio on AirPods.

Which devices can get iOS 17?

Now for the bad news. Apple says that iOS 17 won’t be coming to the iPhone X – something we’ve known for a little while now.

You can see the full list of devices that support iOS 17 in the image below. Alongside the iPhone X, other notable devices that will miss out on the new update include iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, all three of which came out in 2017.

Apple says the 2017 iPhone X won’t support its iOS 17 software update

/ Apple

If that wasn’t bad enough, some older iPhones that are eligible for iOS 17 will still miss out on a few of its features.

Gesture-based reactions with augmented-reality effects in FaceTime will require an iPhone 12 or newer, for example.

The same goes for some autocorrect improvements to the keyboard and in-line autocomplete suggestions.

Finally, there’s a new accessibility feature called Point and Speak that’s meant to help people who are blind or have low vision read text in their surroundings, but that’s limited to the Pro models of the iPhone 12, 13, and 14.

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