iOS 17.1: What’s new and when to expect it

Apple is gearing up to release iOS 17.1, the first major update to its latest operating system for iPhone and iPad devices. The update is expected to arrive next week, on October 24, according to a report by French regulators. iOS 17.1 will bring a number of new features and bug fixes to improve the user experience and address some issues that have been reported by users since the launch of iOS 17 in September.

New AirDrop feature

One of the most notable new features in iOS 17.1 is a new AirDrop feature that allows users to transfer files over the internet when they are out of range from the other device. This feature was announced at WWDC in June, but was not included in the initial release of iOS 17 last month.

iOS 17.1: What’s new and when to expect it
iOS 17.1: What’s new and when to expect it

With this feature, users can start an AirDrop transfer and then leave the vicinity of the other device without interrupting the process. The transfer will continue over Wi-Fi or cellular data, depending on the user’s preference. Users can enable or disable this option in Settings under AirDrop.

This feature will make AirDrop more convenient and reliable for users who want to share large files or multiple items with other Apple devices.

Improvements to Apple Music

iOS 17.1 will also make some improvements to Apple Music, Apple’s streaming music service. Users will be able to “favorite” songs, albums, and playlists by tapping on a heart icon in the Music app. This will allow users to easily access their favorite music in their library and get personalized recommendations from Apple Music.

Users will also be able to customize their playlists with a library of artwork that Apple has added to the Music app. Users can choose from various images and colors to give their playlists a unique look and feel. Users can access this option by tapping on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of a playlist and choosing “Edit”.

Additionally, iOS 17.1 will introduce a new feature called “Song suggestions” that will appear at the bottom of users’ playlists. This feature will use artificial intelligence to suggest songs that match the vibe of the playlist and help users discover new music.

Changes to StandBy mode

StandBy mode is a feature that turns an iPhone into a smart display when it is charging and in landscape orientation. It was introduced in iOS 17 as part of the Focus mode feature that allows users to customize their notifications and home screen based on different scenarios.

iOS 17.1 will add new options to StandBy mode that will let users control how long the display stays on while in this mode. Users will be able to choose from three options: off, 20 seconds, or never. These options will be available in Settings under Focus mode and StandBy.

These changes will only apply to devices with an always-on display, which include the iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. These devices use OLED screens that can display information without consuming much battery power.

Bug fixes and performance enhancements

In addition to these new features, iOS 17.1 will also fix a number of bugs and performance issues that have been affecting some users since the release of iOS 17. Some of these fixes are:

  • Home key support for Matter locks: Matter is a new smart home standard that aims to make devices from different brands work together seamlessly. iOS 17.1 will add support for using Home keys with Matter locks, which are smart locks that can be unlocked with an iPhone or an Apple Watch.
  • Improved reliability of Screen Time settings syncing across devices: Screen Time is a feature that allows users to monitor and limit their device usage and set parental controls for children’s devices. iOS 17.1 will improve the reliability of syncing Screen Time settings across devices, which was an issue reported by some users.
  • Fixed image retention bug on some iPhone models: Image retention is a phenomenon where an image or a part of an image remains visible on the screen even after it has changed or disappeared. This can cause ghosting or burn-in effects on the screen over time. iOS 17.1 will fix an image retention bug that had been affecting some iPhone models, especially the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
  • Fixed keyboard responsiveness issue: iOS 17.1 will also improve the performance of the default iOS keyboard, making it more responsive and efficient. This will likely improve the user experience for users who rely on the default keyboard for their daily interactions.
  • Fixed privacy issue with Significant Locations setting: Significant Locations is a setting that allows iOS to learn the places that are important to the user, such as home, work, or frequent destinations. This information is used to provide personalized services, such as traffic conditions, travel time, or suggestions. However, a privacy issue was discovered in iOS 17 that unintentionally reset this setting to its default configuration when users paired an Apple Watch or transferred data from the wearable device. This could expose the user’s location history to third-party apps without their consent. iOS 17.1 will fix this issue and respect the user’s choice for this setting.

How to get iOS 17.1

iOS 17.1 is expected to be released on October 24, according to a report by French regulators. The update will be available for all devices that are compatible with iOS 17, which include:

  • iPhone 6s and later
  • iPod touch (7th generation)
  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad Air 2 and later
  • iPad (5th generation) and later
  • iPad mini 4 and later

Users can check for the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update on their devices. Users can also enable automatic updates in Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.

iOS 17.1 is a major update that will bring new features and bug fixes to iOS devices. Users are advised to backup their data before installing the update and ensure that their devices have enough battery power and storage space.

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