Just install iOS 17? Here are 12 things to do first

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Apple released iOS 17 to the public today and it has hundreds of new features and changes for you. Some of these options require some setup to get up and running, so we’ve written this guide that tells you what to do after installing iOS 17.

Just install the iOS 17 feature

Set your standby screen

When you charge an iPhone running ‘iOS 17’ in portrait and landscape orientation, it displays a new standby screen. StandBy acts as a home hub that shows more useful information when your iPhone isn’t actively being used.

Standby iOS 17
StandBy is most useful on iPhone 14 Pro models with an always-on display, but is available on all iPhones running iOS 17–.

There are a total of three standby screens that you can access by swiping between them when your phone is in proper standby mode. The first screen displays widgets (including interactive widgets), the second displays photos from the photo library, and the third is a large clock that shows the time.

You may want to customize your two widget stacks on the widget screen to make it more useful and you can also customize how the time is displayed and the photos you see. Customization is done by swapping to the appropriate screen and long pressing on it to access the customization options.

Live Activity Standby
Standby can show you incoming notifications, live activities and Siri queries full screen. When you use standby with different MagSafe chargers in different locations, you can customize your phone to remember which screen configuration you prefer based on location. For example, you may prefer widgets when you’re in the office or the clock screen when your iPhone is on your nightstand.

Standby can be a little complicated when you’re not familiar with it, so we recommend it See through our standby guide To see the full scope of what you can do with it.

Lock screen and home screen widgets are interactive in ‘iOS 17’, which makes widgets more useful. You can do things like check reminders or activate a home device from the widget without opening the app.

iOS 17 Interactive Widgets
Both Apple apps and third-party apps are able to use the new interactivity, so you may want to redo your widget setup now that some widgets are more useful.

Lock screen widgets can be customized by long-pressing on the lock screen, selecting Lock screen options, and then tapping “Customize”. From there, select Lock Screen and then tap in the Widgets box to select your widget options.

Reminder widget
On the ‘Home screen’, long press, tap the “+” button in the upper left corner and select the widget you want to add.

Customize your contact poster

In iOS 17, there’s a customizable contact poster that people see when you call, FaceTime, or text them. You can customize with a photo, Memoji, Animoji or initials and choose the colors and fonts you like.

When you install iOS 17, you’ll be prompted to create a contact poster, but you can change it at any time in the Contacts app. Just open Contacts, tap “My Card” and then tap “Edit” in the upper right corner to go to the editing interface.

From there, you can select photos, choose colors for text, add filters, and more. You can have multiple contact posters to swap between, and you can create a contact photo that is different from your contact poster.

The contact posters and contact photos you choose will be shared when you call or message others, but you can use some settings to restrict access. You can choose to automatically share your photo and poster with all your contacts, or you can ask your iPhone to give you permission first. Name and photo sharing can also be completely disabled if you prefer.

Make sure Direct Voicemail is turned on

Live Voicemail is a new feature that lets you see a transcript of a voicemail while it’s pending, so you can pick up if it’s an important call. You can make sure Live Voicemail is enabled by opening the Settings app, tapping Phone, scrolling down to Live Voicemail, and toggling it on.

Direct Voicemail iOS 17
With the option turned on, when someone starts leaving a voicemail, you’ll see a transcript of what they have to say on the lock screen. You can ignore it or answer the phone. During the beta testing process, the wording of Live Voicemail was a bit confusing for callers, but Apple has since fixed that issue.

If you find live voicemail annoying, toggling it will disable it and return your voicemail to normal.

Create your own stickers

In iOS 16 Apple added the Remove Subject from Background tool that lets you remove the primary object from any image. In iOS 17, when you use this feature, you can change the subject of an image to a sticker.

ios 17 creates stickers
To make it work, select any photo with the main subject. Short tap and hold on the subject of the image and on the text popup, select “Add Sticker”.

From there, you can choose sticker effects, such as adding a puffy look with a white border, adding a glitter effect, and more. Some stickers will animate when removed from Live Photos, and the stickers you can create can be used across the operating system.

With iOS 17, Apple also merged emoji and stickers into one, so stickers work wherever you can use emoji.

Set up a new Safari profile

In iOS 17, Apple added a Profiles feature designed to let you differentiate your browsing for different use cases. You can create a “work” profile and a “personal” profile, for example, so that all your work-related browsing is kept separate from your personal browsing.

ios 17 safari profile
Each profile contains separate cookies, browsing history, extensions and website data. You can turn off cookies and pop-ups on one profile, for example, while leaving them on for another profile. Profiles also have separate favorites and tab groups.

Safari profiles set ios 17
To set up your individual profile, open the Settings app, select Safari, tap New Profile, and choose an icon, name, and background color.

Turn on anti-tracking

URLs in iOS 17 can be stripped of all tracking information appended to the end of the URL so that websites cannot track your browsing using URL identifiers. This function is automatically enabled for private browsing in iOS 17, but it can be turned on for all browsing.

To turn it on, open the Settings app and go to Safari. Tap Advanced, then tap “Advanced Tracking and Fingerprint Protection.” From there, toggle on “All Browsing”. The setting will ensure that URLs opened in Safari strip any tracking information at the end of the URL.

Share your iCloud Keychain passwords

iOS 17 lets you securely share passwords and passkeys stored in iCloud Keychain with friends and family members. Through the sharing feature, passwords for media accounts, utilities, bills and more can be accessed by multiple people.

ios 17 shared password
Passwords can be shared by opening the Passwords section in the Settings app and tapping “Get Started” under the Share Passwords with Family banner. Alternatively, you can tap the “+” button and create a new shared group. You can have multiple separate password sharing groups with different people.

Name your pets in photos

In the Photos app, the People album is now a Pets and People album because the iPhone can recognize dogs and cats. Once you’ve let your iPhone charge for a while, go to the Pets and People album and you’ll be able to identify your pets and other animals that you have photos of, you can add names like people.

ios 17 pet photos
You can review additional photos to add more, view slideshows, and more.

Record the mood

Apple has added a mood tracking feature to the Health app in iOS 17 so you can track your mental health over time. To get it, open the Health app, go to Browse and tap on Mental Health. Choose a log under State of Mind and you can choose your mood

ios 17 mood tracking
You can set the mood for the current time or the entire day by selecting factors that affect your mood, such as work or relationships. You can see how your mood changes from week to week and how that affects how you feel.

You can set notifications to remind you to log your mood, and if you have an Apple Watch, you can do mood logging from your wrist.

Share AirTag

AirTags can be shared with family members, so if your spouse or child borrows an item with an AirTag, they’ll no longer receive alerts about an unknown item traveling with them. This also goes for items with Find My integration.

Airtag sharing interface ios 17
To share a device, open the ‘Find My’ app and select the item tag. Select an AirTag or item and tap Share This AirTag. From there, you can select contacts to share the AirTag with.

Try out the new AirPods Pro 2 features

AirPods Pro 2 has many new features in iOS 17 that you may want to test out. Adaptive Audio combines active noise cancellation and transparency into an all-in-one mode that adjusts the volume to what’s around you and what’s playing based on your interactions throughout the day.

airpods pro 2 purple
With conversation awareness, AirPods Pro 2 can detect when someone is talking to you, reduce media volume and reduce background noise. Personal Sound will also adjust the volume of what’s playing based on personal preferences and the sounds around you.

Automatic device switching is also quick, and if you press the stem of the AirPods Pro while you’re on a call, you can mute and unmute yourself. More information on the new ‘AirPods Pro’ 2 features can be found in our guide.

More on iOS 17

For more information on all the new features added in iOS 17, be sure to check out our dedicated iOS 17 roundup.

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