Thursday, July 13, 2023

iOS 17 Public Beta

Dan Moren:

I’ve been using iOS 17 for several weeks, and while I’ve encountered the usual assortment of rough edges typical of a beta, none have been significant enough to make me wish to go backward.


Where StandBy really shines, though, is in its other interactions. For one thing, when you play audio, you get a big full screen interface reminiscent of CarPlay. No more fumbling around trying to hit a tiny pause button, or having to wake up your phone to see what’s playing. For another, Apple has finally improved the timer interface, not only letting you set multiple named timers (hallelujah!) but also providing a nice visualization of the countdown with a big, easy-to-read full-screen progress bar. In fact, the whole experience is tuned to be visible from a distance, from the widgets down to Siri’s onscreen responses, and it’s a big help.

There are still some tricky aspects to StandBy. For one, since this is basically a different view of the lock screen, interacting with widgets requires you to authenticate with Face ID. While it’s admirable from a security point of view, that can be awkward if, for example, you have a MagSafe stand that’s not at the right level or angle.


AirPlay now learns what, when, and where you tend to play on certain speakers.

See also: Juli Clover.


Update (2023-07-17): Benjamin Mayo:

Having used iOS 17 for a month so far, you can definitely feel the difference. The corrections are better. It feels like it knows what you meant to type far more than any previous version of the software. It also seems more resilient to typing slang.


But algorithm improvements are only part of the story. Obviously, it still won’t get it right all the time. But in those cases, the experience of managing autocorrect is also improved through a superior UI. When the system does make a mistake, it is far less punishing as the interface now gives you way to quickly revert autocorrect changes.

Update (2023-09-05): Federico Viticci:

I don’t know who else cares about these things, but as someone who reviews iOS and iPadOS every year, I always find these marketing copy and visual differences between Apple’s splash screens fascinating.

Here’s the iOS 17 Contact Poster intro screen (Beta 1 in June Vs. Beta 8 this week) and AirPods Adaptive Audio intro (Beta 2 in June Vs. Beta 4 in July).

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