Apple has released the public beta version of iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, providing the general public with access to the highly anticipated software since its unveiling at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. This release follows the availability of three beta versions exclusively for developers, with the public beta now featuring the same content as the third developer beta.
Users enrolled in Apple's beta testing program can download the updates by navigating to Settings -> General -> Software Update, and enabling the iOS 17 Public Beta option.
One of the additions in iOS 17 is StandBy mode, which transforms the iPhone into a clock and information hub when placed horizontally and connected to a charger. This mode showcases the time, Live Activities, incoming notifications, and an array of widgets, providing users with quick access to relevant information.iOS 17 also introduces interactive widgets on the Lock Screen and Home Screen, enabling users to perform tasks like controlling smart devices or checking off reminders without opening specific apps. Autocorrect has been enhanced for smarter suggestions, and users can easily correct mistakes with a simple tap.
Additionally, AirDrop now features a NameDrop capability, facilitating quick sharing of contact information with individuals nearby. The Phone app offers customizable Contact Posters, allowing users to personalize the information displayed when making calls.
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Other notable features in iOS 17 include Live Voicemail, which displays voicemail messages directly on the Lock Screen, a refined Messages app, FaceTime video messages with support for Apple TV, locked private browsing and password sharing in Safari, offline functionality in Maps, pet recognition in Photos, and a mood tracking feature in the Health app. Furthermore, Apple offers Personal Voice, making it easy to replicate a voice to be used with Live Speech or elsewhere.
The iOS 17 public beta expands Apple's testing pool, providing a broader range of users with the opportunity to provide feedback. The final release is expected in the fall, alongside the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup.