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All the best iPhone features you should know about

Apple released iOS 17 last September after announcing the iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2. The update includes plenty of new features and capabilities, such as improvements to the Messages app, a new Contact Poster, and StandBy, a feature that turns your iPhone into a smart display while charging.


Since then, Apple has released several updates, adding new features, fixing bugs and improving the overall iPhone experience. Below you’ll find details about every major iOS 17 update Apple has released since its launch last fall.


What’s new in iOS 17.5 beta so far?

There’s nothing obvious so far, but there are plenty of hints of what’s to come

The first developer preview of iOS 17.5 was released April 2, 2024. The update came alongside similar releases for the iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac and Apple Vision Pro.

After installing the first beta, we haven’t found any obvious new features yet, but code sleuths have been combing through the update and have found several key improvements that, if all goes well, will debut with the official release of iOS 17.5 when it’s ready for official release — likely within the next two months.


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Code in iOS 17.5 indicates EU users will have the option to sideload apps directly from a developer’s website and not a third-party store, a new Apple Pencil model is coming, and apparently, it has a squeeze gesture control, and, finally, there’s also code indicating Apple is poised to release new anti-stalking tools for item trackers. You can read more about each of these new features and more in our full coverage.

ios 17.4-2What arrived in iOS 17.4?

EU iPhone owners break free from the App Store, new emoji and more

Apple released iOS 17.4 on March 5, 2024, as the latest major update for the iPhone.

The update includes several new features and improvements, with the most notable change being one of the biggest ever for the App Store. Once iOS 17.4 is released, Apple will give iPhone owners who live in the European Union the option to install apps from third-party app stores in addition to Apple’s App Store.

We broke down the entire announcement if you want to know the finer details. Also included in iOS 17.4 are new emoji, a transcription feature for the Apple Podcasts app, improvements to Stolen Device Protection, and more. You can read through all the changes and new features here.


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how-to-use-iPhone-stolen-device-protection-pocket-lint-hillary-grigonis-2-2-1What arrived in iOS 17.3?

Turn on Stolen Device Protection right now

Apple released iOS 17.3 on Jan. 22, 2024.

The update included the typical bug fixes and performance improvements, along with a totally new feature called Stolen Device Protection. When enabled (which you definitely should have enabled), Stolen Device Protection will prevent would-be thieves from changing your iCloud account password, even if they watch and memorize you entering your phone’s passcode. Collaborative playlists for Apple Music, and the long awaited support for AirPlay in hotels was also enabled (although, no hotels officially support the feature quote yet.)

Main screen of Journal app iOS 17What arrived in iOS 17.2?

Improvements to Messages and a Journal app

Apple released iOS 17.2 on Dec. 11, 2023. The iPhone update included the previously announced Journal app, a new way to use emoji to reply to messages in the Messages app, a translation option for the Action Button on the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max, camera improvements and more. Read our full rundown of iOS 17.2 to get caught up.

namedrop-on-apple-watchWhat arrived in iOS 17.1?

It wasn’t a major update, but not all

iOS 17.1 made its debut on Oct. 25, 2023.


It introduced improvements to AirDrop, including the ability to continue transferring an item over the internet when you leave AirDrop range of the other person. The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 received more notable updates alongside the release of iOS 17.1, as well, which you can read all about here.

What did iOS 17 bring to the iPhone?

Plenty of new features to be found

iOS 17 was released shortly after Apple announced the iPhone 15 lineup. The update added several new tools, features, and enhancements to the iPhone lineup.

Some of those features include:


Oh, I almost forgot — there are a ton of hidden features, as well.

Updating your iPhone

Compatibility, preparation and how to install

If you haven’t updated to iOS 17 yet, there’s no time like the present. If you’re unsure if your iPhone is even compatible with the update, we have a complete list.

Once you’re ready to upgrade, make sure you backup your phone before taking the plunge. Future you will thank you if something goes wrong during the update.

With a fresh backup, it’s finally time to install iOS 17 on your iPhone. Follow our guide here for step-by-step instructions.

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