Apple has rolled out iOS 17.1, marking the first major software enhancement since the release of iOS 17 in September. Catering primarily to users with an iPhone XS or newer models, this update brings a fresh wave of features along with critical bug fixes, aiming to refine the user experience.
One of the standout enhancements in this update is the extension of AirDrop’s functionality. The new feature enables the continuation of AirDrop transfers over a cellular connection, should the two connected iDevices move out of Wi-Fi range. This tweak is particularly beneficial for users who often share large files, as it promises a more seamless file-sharing experience.
Apple Music aficionados have something to cheer about as well. The update introduces a “Favorites” feature, allowing users to star artists, songs, albums, and playlists. This not only aids in quick access but also helps the app become more attuned to users’ musical preferences. Furthermore, at the end of each playlist, personalized song suggestions are now provided, enriching the user’s music discovery journey.
The iOS 17.1 update also touches upon the StandBy Mode Settings, offering more control over when the display turns off. Users can now opt for the screen to turn off “after 20 seconds”, “never”, or “automatically”, the latter relying on ambient light sensors to determine the phone’s usage and the room’s lighting conditions. This feature, aimed at prolonging battery life, is however limited to iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Delving into the aesthetic realm, a new feature termed Phone Shuffle has been included, letting users shuffle a set of pictures for their lock screen from a specific album. Moreover, a flashlight indicator for Dynamic Island, previously exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro, is now available to all compatible iPhones, enhancing the usability.
The update also addresses some of the security concerns that were hovering around native apps like Contacts, FindMy, Photos, Siri, Weather, and more. Several security loopholes have been patched, making apps like Mail Draft, and Passkeys less susceptible to exploitation by malicious entities.
Despite the plethora of improvements, iOS 17.1 has its share of bugs. Some users reported issues concerning the Apple Music app widget’s spacing and screen flickering on the iPhone 12 Pro. CarPlay volume issues were also noted post the update, with certain users facing significantly lower volume levels.
With a download size of 1.5GB, users can easily update their devices by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update, and tapping on Download, followed by Install. Alongside, the new iPadOS version 17.1 is also available for users to explore.