I’ve been really enjoying iOS 16 so far, but that’s not to say I’ve noticed some big missing features — some of which, admittedly, Android has had for years. So when it comes to new versions of Apple’s OS, it’s part playing catch up, and part making it work in a simpler and smoother way than you’d see on any Google-armed device.
With that in mind, iOS 17 is just around the corner, and someone just posted a ton of rumors and leaks on Twitter. While I could go into the smaller details like this new version supporting every device since from A11 Bionic (iPhone 8 and iPhone X), and alterations to the always-on display settings, here are the five headline grabbing features that you should be stoked about.
1. Dynamic Island actually becomes useful
Alongside the Dynamic Island coming to all iPhone 15 models this year, expectations are set for Apple to make this new cut out do “a lot more.” Nothing specific has been said specifically about what this “more” could be yet, but it has been claimed that the “marketing department pressured [the] development team” to add more functionality.
What could this new stuff be? Well, so far, you can see system alerts like low battery and when your AirPods connect, alongside Live Activities. Other things I’d love to see are more convenience features like a real-time notification counting down to when it’s set to rain in your location, or maybe even a customizable action that activates when you swipe on the Dynamic Island in a certain direction.
2. Interactive home screen widgets
OK, so this one is definitely Apple catching up to Android, but who cares! I’m just happy interactive home screen widgets are set to come to your iPhone soon.
According to the rumor, so-called Active widgets are “in testing,” and will bring “one-tap buttons, sliders and more making widgets dynamic.” Exactly the kind of stuff I’ve been excited to see. Imagine HomeKit switches directly on your home screen, scrollable emails, and all round improved home screen interactions beyond every widget just opening the app itself.
3. Big control center changes
This is another one that has been kept a little vague by the rumor mill, but the claim is there are some “major” changes coming to the Control Center — the pull down shade of quick access settings and toggles.
Now, I was happy with the current iteration of Control Center in iOS 16, so what changes could be coming? But as the feature itself turns 10 this year (introduced with iOS 7), there could be a push to completely revamp the area’s design and even make it more customizable — maybe taking some inspiration from those interactive widgets and providing more functionality to certain switches.
4. Huge improvements to search
Again, not much context to this rumor, but a warmly welcomed one nonetheless. iOS 17 looks set to get “heavily improved” search functionality. So far, the updates have been minor — focussing the search more on what is on your device and in iCloud rather than integrating this into finding web information quickly and easily.
So to present web information in a far more explicit fashion than just a quick link to tap on would be a great start. Alongside that, if an API could make it possible to search within third party apps too (music search on Spotify, or even finding particular levels within your favorite Apple Arcade games), that would be tremendous!
5. Custom Accessibility mode
iOS has been a great UI for accessibility settings, but Apple may take it one step further on the 17th iteration with “Custom Accessibility Mode.”
This was originally hidden away on an iOS 16.2 beta last year, and it showed how users could completely replace and change everything about the normal Lock Screen and Home Screen — removing the dock, making the home screen icons larger, and making UI elements all the more accessible.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.