iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma make Voice Memos notes more private than ever

Voice memos icon
(Image credit: Apple/Future)

The Voice Memos app has been around for a long time and with iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, it's getting a new privacy feature that you'll never even see.

That feature will take your Voice Memos notes will have their titles automatically encrypted when they are uploaded to, and stored in, iCloud.

As you'd expect, that won't make any difference to most people but Apple is already warning that there could be some wonkiness depending on the devices and software that you use.

Private by design

Apple's iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 are already here and macOS Sonoma will launch next week. But in a new support document first spotted by MacRumors, Apple is already seeking to warn users that they might find that their titles go missing in specific situations.

Those situations generally include when using older software or devices that don't have the latest version of Voice Memos installed. Because of the encryption, users of older Voice Memos apps will not be able to see the note's title at all. That's the encryption working as intended of course, but it's worth noting.

"Because of this additional encryption, when you update one of your Apple devices to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, or macOS Sonoma, your devices that you haven't yet updated—with older versions of Voice Memos—may display the date and time of the recording (for example, "2023-08-11T07:53:31Z") as the title, rather than the previous title of the recording," Apple warns.

None of this affects the Voice Memos recordings themselves, of course. Apple notes that they're already encrypted even if you aren't using the latest iPhone, iPad, and Mac software. The data is encrypted in transit and stored in an encrypted format to ensure that nobody can access the files, even if they were to get their hands on them.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.