Apple finally announced its next-generation operating system for iPhone at the WWDC 2023. We all know iOS 16 brought several new features to the iPhone, but this year, Apple brings a lot more features. The tech giant said that with iOS 17 it has upgraded three apps – Phone, FaceTime, and Messages. From Contact Posters to Safari Profiles and a new way of interaction via iMessage, iOS 17 is set to be the next big thing for iPhone users globally. Having said that, Apple didn’t live up to the expectation as it didn’t announce many rumored iOS 17 features like sideloading, native call recorder, dual apps support, etc.
Now, let’s compare iOS 17 vs iOS 16. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand how iOS 17 is different from iOS 16. That’s not all, we will be answering the most searched queries i.e. is it worth upgrading to iOS 17 or not?
So, without wasting further time, let’s jump right into the head-to-head comparison of iOS 17 to iOS 16.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Major Differences to Look Out For
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Apple could drop support for iPhone 8 series and iPhone X
When we talk about iOS 17 vs iOS 16, it is worth talking about the compatibility of the new OS version with the iPhone models out there. While iOS 16 was compatible with iPhone 8 and newer models, with iOS 17 Apple dropped support for iPhone 8 series and iPhone X. However, the iPhone XR, XS, and newer models will be featured on the iOS 17 compatible devices list.
To give you an idea, you can check the list of iOS 17-supported devices as under:
iPhone 15 Ultra (Rumored device)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Plus
iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 Plus
iPhone SE (2022)
iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone 13 Pro
iPhone 13 mini
iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max
That said, it is worth mentioning that the iPhone 15 series which is rumored to come out this September, will come with iOS 17 pre-installed.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Lockscreen now has Standby Mode
Everyone, including us, was pleased to see the new avatar of the iPhone Lock Screen with the iOS 16. To be honest, it was among some major improvements we saw in iOS 16 coming from the prior iOS version’s boring Lock Screen experience. Many elements of the Lock Screen were made customizable for a more personalized look. As soon as your device boots up, you are greeted by the revamped design of the iOS 16 Lock Screen. That’s not all, users were able to create multiple Lock Screens as per their choice, and can easily swipe through to change it as per their liking. Plus, you could add widgets to the lock screen to glance at important information at times. Even though we saw changes in Lock Screen, users expected a lot more.
Fortunately, Apple delivered. We got to see a new Standby Mode for the lock screen. You can use the Standby Mode to place your iPhone in landscape mode by a bedside table for a full-screen glance of multiple information. This includes weather, memories, a clock, and even widgets. You’ll be amazed to see how these elements adapt to low light and adjust the color temperature for an improved night/sleep experience. The only downside is that needs a MagSafe stand to enable it. We reviewed the one of the best MagSafe chargers for iPhone, you can read our review here.
Also read: Top 18 iOS 17 features coming this WWDC
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Just say ‘Siri’
Apple didn’t bother changing anything that has to do with Siri on iOS 16. However, we have come across a few reports that claim Apple is trying to change the trigger phrase for Siri. And, it turned out to be true. Apple has dropped ‘Hey’ from the iconic ‘Hey Siri’ voice trigger familiar to every iOS user out there. You can now trigger Siri on iPhones running on iOS 17 by just saying ‘Siri.’
FYI, the experience could be similar to using Alexa-compatible devices where users trigger the virtual assistant just by saying ‘Alexa’ and (the command).
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: iMessage updated with multiple features
In 2022, with iOS 16, Apple introduced some useful features to the iMessage app. We got to see the ‘edit a sent message’ feature as well as the ‘undo the sent message’ feature. These features gained a lot of praise from users as they saved them from typing blunders.
However, if we compare iMessage on iOS 17 vs iOS 16, there is much more you can do now in the iMessage. With iMessage on iPhone with iOS 17, you can now create custom stickers using an image and Live Photos and send them to anyone. We have covered this in detail in a separate guide, make sure to read it.
Besides, Apple has updated the search filters, introduced a swipe-to-reply feature, audio message transcription, and a new menu that includes all iMessage apps in one place. Moreover, there’s a new Check-in feature that allows your loved ones to check in on you when you are outside. This feature allows parents or caretakers to keep track of their kids and elderly when they are far from home. Did we mention the
new catch-up feature in iMessage allows you to check missed messages from your group chats?
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: CarPlay experience
With iOS 16, Apple introduced the new generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with the vehicle functions including AC and FM radio, support for multiple displays, and much more. Furthermore, CarPlay now supports widgets to give you at-a-glance information from Music and Weather right on your car’s dashboard. However, if we have to compare iOS 17 vs iOS 16 in terms of the CarPlay experience, there are a few new features to talk about.
With iOS 17, SharePlay makes it even easier for everyone to control music in the car. Now, passengers in the back seat can also control the music played in the car as per their liking.
That’s not all, interacting with Siri is also refreshed, all thanks to iOS 17. You can now just say ‘Siri’ instead of ‘Hey, Siri’ to prompt the voice assistant while using the CarPlay.
Next, is the new wallpaper option. iOS 17 brings two choices of wallpaper for CarPlay. You can now choose between light and dark-mode wallpapers. This ensures a better viewing experience during a long road trip in bright daylight or a pitch-dark night.
Lastly, you’ll see a new design for sending or playing back messages. Now, you’ll find buttons with large tap targets. Further, there’s a toggle in the right corner that allows you to enable/disable Announce Message feature for any incoming messages. Finally, an end to those awkward car rides.
No doubt iOS 17 brings in light changes to the CarPlay, but we await the launch of the next-gen CarPlay with the hope of a major overhaul.
Also read: Best Monitor to Use as TV in 2023
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Changes in FaceTime
Apple has brought a new feature to FaceTime with iOS 17. Named FaceTime voicemail, this feature allows you to leave an audio/video message to the receiver if they miss your call. To remind you, Apple didn’t announce any new features for FaceTime with iOS 16 last year. Therefore, it is a welcome change for all iPhone users.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: NameDrop
Every one of you might have used AirDrop on your iPhones to share files and data. But, with iOS 17, Apple has integrated a new feature called NameDrop into AirDrop. Apple says this feature will make contact sharing a lot easier. A user can simply bring his/her iPhone close to another device and choose to send/receive a Contact Poster that includes all the contact information.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Journal app offers a new way to document your life
Until iOS 16, iPhone users could only use Notes or any other third-party apps to create a to-do list or help document their life. But, iOS 17 is here with an option. Apple introduced a new Journal app that allows you to document your life. You can easily add photos, locations, recordings, and more to the entries. Using Machine Learning, the app also creates customized suggestions inspiring you to note down your daily life experiences.
Should you update your iPhone to iOS 17?
I can understand what it could mean to you to try out new features on your iPhone when it is out there. Especially, if we compare iOS 17 vs iOS 16, it has more to offer than the previous generation OS. But, you should know that testing out new iOS 17 features by installing next-gen OS on your iPhone can take some dramatic turns and that too negative. It’s because the initial iOS 17 beta versions can be buggy and it would be difficult for you to tackle them especially if you are using your primary device or are not familiar with the technology. Even though Apple tries to mitigate bugs and glitches by pushing regular updates even after the stable release of iOS versions, brace yourself to deal with overheating problems, battery drain issues, and some coming bugs that we have reported earlier on iOS 16 as well as iOS 15 as soon as they were released. This is seen more commonly with older versions of iPhones like the iPhone XS or the iPhone 11.
It is always a wise choice to stay on the previous iOS version until the new OS is polished enough to be used as a daily driver.
If you plan to stay on iOS 16 after the iOS 17 release, make sure to turn off Automatic Updates from the Software Update page in iPhone Settings. And, when you think you’re ready to enjoy iOS 17, just update your device and you’re done.
Note: Always check useful threads about the latest iOS versions on Twitter, Apple Forum, or Reddit, before you make up your mind to make a transition from older iOS versions to the new ones. Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and Instagram page to stay updated about Apple news.
So, what have you decided? Is iOS 17 worth upgrading? Are you planning to update to iOS 17 this fall? Or, will you stay on iOS 16? Well, there could be a lot of questions, but one thing that remains constant is that we at TechieTechTech are always here to answer your queries.
Also, don’t miss out on going through our troubleshooting guide to fix iPhone not working problem after iOS 17 update.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Vision Pro comes with multiple app support
We have been hearing a lot about Apple’s rumored Mixed Reality Headset for several months now. But, with the new rumors about AR chat features in the iMessage app, it is sensible enough to think that Apple might offer AR headset support for iPhones running on iOS 17.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Sideloading and alternate app store – a forced change?
Talking of the iOS 17 vs iOS 16 comparison, Sideloading of apps and support for alternate app stores could be a major change. That said, this feature could be exclusive for users in the European region and not for users worldwide.
You could wonder how Apple ended up doing that. Well, the Cupertino giant has been directed by EU lawmakers to introduce side loading of apps as well as support for alternate app stores on iPhone. FYI, the USB-C charging ports that we could finally see on the upcoming iPhone 15 series is also a response to the orders given to Apple by EU senators.
Also read: How to connect Apple TV to a Monitor
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Split Screen Mode could be a game changer
Taking accessibility into consideration to compare iOS 17 vs iOS 16, Split screen could be a ground-breaking feature that can give iOS 17 an edge over last year’s iOS. Yes, the popular split-screen viewing feature that lets you browse at least two apps in a single screen is here to improve accessibility.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Call Recording, a welcome feature
The call recording feature has never been an option for iPhone users, even after Apple announced iOS 16 at the WWDC 2022. But, iOS 17 could bring in the native call recording feature for iPhone users out there. Now, you don’t have to find an alternative way to record important calls, rather you can use the in-built call recording feature for the same.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: Elevated capabilities of Dynamic Island
The unveiling of Dynamic Island for iPhone 14 Pro models was probably the best iOS 16 feature announcement made by Apple last year. It is a pill-shaped notch that takes up the old notch space. However, Apple has added some creativity to it by sprinkling some software gimmicks to make it more interactive and useful for users. For example, the pill-shaped notch aka
expands and contracts when you receive notifications, calls, and music, or when you unlock the device.
But when talking about iOS 17 vs iOS 16 in terms of improvements made on Dynamic Island, the placement of Siri and how it interacts could be a major improvement. Why? At present, on iOS 16, Siri takes up screen space when you voice trigger it, but with its placement on the Dynamic Island, users will have the pre-occupied screen area to use as well.
iOS 17 vs iOS 16: App cloning is here
The much anticipated dual app support that we thought would be introduced with iOS 16 is on the cards with iOS 17. It is one of the most sought features by iOS users and finally, it could be the time when Apple starts listening to its customers. For the uninitiated, app cloning or dual app feature lets you use two accounts of the same app on the same phone. Meaning, with iOS 17 you’ll finally be able to use WhatsApp or Telegram with two different phone numbers. To remind you, it is one of the top Android 14 features that we might see in Google’s next major OS update.
That’s not all there are a bunch of new features that could be exclusively announced as a part of iOS 17, we have covered all of them in a separate article, make sure to check it out.