Home > Tech > iOS 17 vs iOS 16: The exciting new features in the iPhone’s new iOS
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: The exciting new features in the iPhone’s new iOS

With a new iPhone comes a new iOS. iOS 17 will give iPhone users a number of new features to utilise. So what exactly are the upgrades from iOS 16?

While the iPhone 15 is garnering all kinds of attention on the global scene, Apple announced something else that could keep its existing iPhone owners happy. The iOS 17 update is a big deal for a majority of iPhone owners, bringing new features and a hint of freshness that only the latest iPhones have to offer. Think of it like a fresh coat of paint for your house but with new furniture and fittings. Now the question arises – should you go for this annual fresh coat of paint for your iPhone? And if so, what all-new features should you expect to see over the coming weeks?

To find out, we take a look at everything you get with iOS 17 and how it compares to its previous iteration, the iOS 16. We will also look at the release date of iOS 17 for all compatible iPhones and whether there are enough reasons to take the plunge early (you eventually have to update to the newest version).

So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into this iOS 17 vs iOS 16 comparison. But before we begin, a couple of important questions need to be answered.

iOS 17 release date: When is it coming?

As is usually the case, the iOS 17 update will be free for all compatible iPhones.

Apple has also announced that it will release the public build of iOS 17 on September 18, so make sure to bookmark your calendars. Unlike Android smartphones, the iOS 17 update will reach all compatible iPhones on the same day. Those buying the new iPhone 15 models will, of course, get iOS 17 pre-installed.

ios 17 vs ios 16
Image Credits: Courtesy Apple

If you’re too impatient and cannot wait till September 18, you can jump the queue and opt for the Apple beta program. Once enrolled, your iPhone will start receiving the iOS 17 beta updates. Although the lure of getting new features ahead of the public release is tempting, keep in mind that beta updates often include bugs that could diminish your iPhone experience.

These are the iOS 17-supported devices:

The iOS 17 update will be compatible with the following iPhone models.

– iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone XR
– iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
– iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
– iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
– iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
– iPhone SE 2nd Gen
– iPhone SE 3rd Gen

Sadly, the entire range of iPhones, launched in 2017, which included the first iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, will be missing out on iOS 17 and will have to settle for iOS 16 as the last OS update.

iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Is it worth upgrading?

Being the newest and theoretically most-improved version of iOS, iOS 17 will certainly offer a better iPhone experience on compatible iPhone devices. Here are some aspects where it’s poised to shine.

ios 17 vs ios 16
Image Credits: Courtesy Apple


Last year’s iOS 16 proudly presented the idea of customisable lock screens with widget integrations. It was a huge leap for iOS as a platform and this year, iOS 17 is carrying forward the same lock screen and home screen customisation features from its predecessor. However, the widgets you place on your home screen can now be interacted with. Hence, you can strike through lists on your reminders widget without having to open the app. The contact cards can now be customised with portrait images and bold text for the name. Moreover, the ability to copy a subject cutout from images can now be used to create custom stickers, which can then be used in iMessage conversations. Speaking of iMessage…

iMessage gets some big updates

In the iOS 17 update, it looks like the iMessage app is borrowing a lot of features from WhatsApp and other messenger apps. These include the ability to reply to a specific message in a group chat, send/receive live locations and transcriptions of voice messages. The keyboard will also get better at predicting words while you’re typing and tapping the spacebar will let you use the suggested words/phrases.

Similarly, FaceTime also gets additions in the form of a video voicemail and digital reactions based on gestures.

Standby AOD

The Standby feature now uses the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro’s Always On Display to show a customisable interface when docked horizontally to a MagSafe charger. Live Activities gets a big boost here, showing the delivery times or scores from a certain app across the display.


With AirDrop, iPhone users on iOS 17 will now be able to share media and other files to nearby devices over the internet. Contact cards can also be shared automatically between two devices once they are brought closer to each other.

Additionally, iOS 17 also brings features such as downloading specific map areas to use offline, Adaptive Audio for AirPods, picking up verification codes from Mail, App shortcuts in Spotlight, a Lockdown mode for security against cyberattacks and censoring of sensitive images in messages.

iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Should you upgrade?

ios 17 vs ios 16
Image Credits: Courtesy Apple

All iPhone users will eventually need to upgrade to iOS 17 in order to keep using their favourite apps and features, without compromising on security. The actual concern for everyone is whether they should upgrade to iOS 17 immediately or wait a few weeks. Last year’s iOS 16 was riddled with bugs that broke certain features and caused severe battery drainage. It took Apple almost three months to fix the issues and make iOS 16 usable.

Hence, it is better to exercise caution and wait for a few weeks, or even months, before downloading the iOS 17 update. Once the earliest bugs are squashed, iOS 17 should be good to live with. After all, iOS 17 doesn’t have enough compelling features to lure an early upgrade and make compromises with basic system stability and conveniences, unlike iOS 16.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– When will the iOS 17 update be available?
The iOS 17 update will be available for all eligible iPhones on September 18.

– What are the features of iOS 17?
The iOS 17 brings new features such as Standby, improved privacy and data protection and easier sharing of files and contact cards. It also offers new iMessage features for users to play with.

(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy Apple)

This story originally appeared in Augustman India

iOS 17 vs iOS 16: The exciting new features in the iPhone’s new iOS

Amritanshu lives and breathes tech, cars, Formula 1, space stuff and everything that delivers an adrenaline rush. Since 2016, he converted his favorite hobby of going all gaga over iPhones and Lamborghinis into his profession; hence, you aren’t likely to be surprised upon checking his browser history. In his spare time, he loves to drive and explore food joints, but will somehow end up with a plate of Chicken Biryani and a big smile. He has previously written for Hindustan Times, India Today, BGR.in, and Deccan Chronicle.

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