Apple's upcoming update for iPhone, iOS 17, could be gaining long-requested features rather than just bug fixes.
According to Mark Gurman's Power On newsletter at Bloomberg, this new update, codenamed 'Dawn,' was meant to focus on bug fixes and optimizations, similar to previous releases, iOS 9 and iOS 12. However, those plans have apparently changed, and there are going to be a bunch of new features in the next major iOS release that users have wanted for a while.
We might not have to wait very long to see what new features iOS 17 will have, as Apple should be about to announce WWDC 2023 soon, which is usually held in June.
2023 marks 16 years since the release of the first iPhone and its original software, iPhoneOS. There's not much low hanging-fruit for much-requested software features anymore, but as Apple's smartphone gains more new features and becomes more powerful, there are still a few features that could be a big draw to many.
What we'd like to see in iOS 17
When Apple set out to develop iOS 17, the initial thinking was to call it a tuneup release — one focused more on fixing bugs and improving performance than adding new features (not unlike the approach the company took with Snow Leopard on Mac OS X back in 2009). The hope was to…March 26, 2023
iOS 9 and iOS 12 were heavily focused on fixing bugs and speeding up how you would interact with your iPhone. Still, they brought new features, such as Multitasking on iPad, with SlideOver and Picture-In-Picture in iOS 9, alongside Shortcuts in iOS 12.
For iOS 17, though, we could see third-party app stores finally arrive so that you can look into sideloading apps such as Alt Store. Animated widgets could be another great feature useful for so many - seeing animated weather widgets on the home screen or even playing short games would bring widgets to the next level.
Customizing the rest of iOS could also be a great feature - while iOS 16 redesigned how you could change the look of the Lock Screen on your iPhone, you're still limited to the fonts and colors of the rest of the OS. With iOS 17, we could have even more control over the software's appearance.
With rumors that Apple's VR headset could be the headliner for WWDC this year, there are still going to be plenty of users keen to see what iOS 17 will bring. While it's great that these new reports point to new features, seeing speed improvements in iOS 17 would be just as welcome.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.