If you own an iPhone that was produced within the previous five years, iOS 17 is currently available and ready to install. As usual, Apple has improved and added new capabilities to both its iOS apps and the mobile operating system.
Here, we’ll demonstrate what iOS 17 allows you to do in Messages that wasn’t previously possible. While some current functions have been reorganized and enhanced, there are a number of new features that you’re likely to find handy.
(RCS messaging is something we still lack and are unlikely to receive anytime soon. Any of your family members or friends who use Android will continue to show up as green bubbles and will be unable to use many of the new iOS 17 features.)
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The transcription of audio messages
The new automatic transcription option is helpful if you can’t listen to the audio messages you’re sent for any reason or just want to quickly peek at your computer to see what it’s all about.
On iOS 17, a voice message you receive will have a text transcription attached to it. You can read the transcription instead of pressing play if you like. There is no way to disable the functionality; the text is always connected.
Additionally, location sharing has been enhanced. You are no longer required to leave the Messages app and open Apple Maps or the Find My app in order to share your current location in real time.
- In a discussion, click the Plus (plus) button located to the left of the text input field.
- From the list of choices, select Location.
- By default, your location will be shared in real-time; to change this, tap Share and select Indefinitely, Until Day’s End, or For One Hour.
- Alternatively, you can share your location without providing any updates by tapping the pin button on the left and then selecting Send Pin.
Regardless of the location sharing option you choose, it will show up as an embedded message in the discussion. You can ask someone for their location or stop disclosing your own location by tapping on their name at the top of the conversation.
Check In with contacts
Check In, which enables you share an anticipated time of arrival with a trusted contact and can warn them if you don’t arrive at your destination as predicted, is my favorite new feature in Messages for iOS 17.
- In a discussion, click the Plus (plus) button next to the text input field.
- Select Check In from the menu of choices.
- You can choose between When I arrive and After a timer when you tap Edit to customize the Check In.
- Go for You get to select a location, a mode of transportation, and an anticipated journey time when I get there. The app will make contact with you if you don’t arrive by that ETA.
- As an alternative, pick Set the timer duration, and the check-in occurs when the predetermined amount of time has passed.
The check-in itself is only a quick question to see if everything is well. The person with whom you are conversing receives a message informing them that something might be wrong if you don’t reply to it within 15 minutes. If your phone is offline for a lengthy period of time, this message will also be delivered.
Your last known position, the battery life, and cell signal strength of your phone (and, if you have one, the Apple Watch) are all sent to your trusted contact along with this alert. When setting up the Check In, you have the option to change how much information is transmitted.
Search using several filters
The same search in Messages can now include several terms and criteria. To search for something (such a person or a term), drag down on the main discussion list and hit the search box at the top. You can add more filters after choosing one from the drop-down list of suggestions.
Instead of utilizing each of these criteria separately, you could search for links that reference a particular term or photographs that were supplied by a particular contact.
You’ve probably exited a group chat at some point, returned, and discovered that you have a backlog of messages to read. In order to view what you missed, there is now a small arrow on the right-hand side that leads you back to the place in the conversation where you last left off. Both one-on-one and group interactions can use it.
In iOS 17, replying to texts is also simpler: just slide to the right on a message to do so.
Apps in Messages
From Music to Photos, the numerous Messages mini-apps have been relocated behind a + (plus) button to the left of the text input field. The apps you use the most will appear when you tap it; press More to view the remaining apps.
If you want specific apps to always be within reach, you can tap and hold on one of these and drag it to a different location in the list.
Delete verification codes automatically
You may receive verification codes texted to your iPhone to assist you show you are who you say you are when signing in if you have enabled two-step verification on your most crucial accounts, which you really should do.
When you’re done with them, Messages can automatically erase them for added security and to keep your chat list uncluttered. Open iOS’s Settings and navigate to the area containing built-in app settings (behind the App Store and Wallet & Apple Pay). Enable the Clean Up Automatically option by selecting Passwords > Password Options.