When a new version of the iOS operating system approaches, we tend to all get excited about the potential improvements and new features that may be coming. Especially since software makes such a big difference to devices, and a simple update is the next best thing to debuting a new iPhone, iPad or Mac.
By their nature, very little leaks out of new operating systems, as they are developed internally in Apple Park. But, based on the improvements we’ve already seen in iOS 16 and some assumptions – and also requests – we can talk about what we’d like to see in iOS 17.
Greater customization of the home screen
The home screen layout in iOS has been basically the same for years, and while the release of iOS 14 brought some improvements in customization, there is still plenty of room to go further. Icon-sized widgets is something that could be very interesting, for example, as without taking up extra space they can allow us to see everything from activity rings to weather conditions. Something that, in fact, we already enjoy in the Clock and Calendar apps.
In this direction we already saw changes in iOS 16 with the customization of the lock screen, but now, its counterpart, the home screen may also receive new features. Novelties, incidentally, that could well be extended to the iPad, where the larger screen size would amplify them in utility and visibility.
Improvements in Siri as an AI
We have already heard rumors. Apple is working on a speech-generating AI, and the latest tvOS 16.4 beta is already testing that model for some features. The first beta of iOS 17 could be a great time for Apple to show us what Siri is capable of.
Being able to hold a conversation, ask for explanations, contrast data are just some of the options. A more natural conversation would be the first step, as an AI in the form of Siri that can compose text on demand, reply to messages or send emails would be the goal.
We spend a lot, a lot of time on Safari. As a browser, it opens the doors to the internet and the world and many of us would like to see the app evolve in iOS 17. A dark mode for those pages that do not have it, an improved reader mode or the ability to further configure the appearance of some pages we visit regularly are just a few ideas.
iCloud Private Relay system-wide
Thanks to iCloud Private Relay we browse securely in Safari without anyone on the network, neither our ISP nor Apple, being able to see what we visit. Nor can sites track us as easily, since the IP address is hidden from them.
The same mechanism could be extended to the rest of the system to protect application traffic as well. Thus, we could leave behind third-party VPN solutions and go directly to the maximum privacy and security offered by Apple with this tool.
More versatile automations in Shortcuts
Thanks to the Shortcuts app we can do many things. From taking a screenshot, crop it and send it by mail in one step, to change the face of our Apple Watch depending on where we are.
With automations, these actions are carried out automatically depending on certain circumstances such as the opening of an app or the time of day. An automation system that would allow, for example, an action to be executed every hour would give us even more versatility.
The list could go on with small changes that, in many cases, would make a big difference. Being able to set a password so that only we can turn off or restart the iPhone, duplicate document detection in the Files app or the option of a double row of widgets on the lock screen are just a few examples.
For now we will have to wait until June, when Apple will present the new features at WWDC 2023. In the meantime, we will be watching for possible leaks and raising ideas that, hopefully, we can see on stage in Cupertino in a few weeks.