There’s an iOS 17.1 AlreadyReading Time: 3 minutes
Apple’s next big iPhone update has some cool new features.
If it feels like iOS 17 just launched, that’s because it did. Apple released the latest big iPhone update on Monday, September 18, introducing a series of new features and changes we’ve been digging into ever since. However, it’s already time for another update—or, at least, time to test it.
Apple dropped the first developer beta for iOS 17.1 on Wednesday, introducing a handful of new features and changes for iPhones. You can try it for yourself if you want, but know that it comes with risks: A beta, especially a developer beta, is unfinished software, designed to be tested by a limited pool of users so the company can patch any issues before releasing it to the general public. If you install iOS 17.1 on your iPhone, know that it could be buggy, glitchy, or otherwise unpredictable, so make sure to back up your data to a computer through Finder or iTunes so you don’t lose anything.
One of the best new iOS 17 features didn’t fully launch with iOS 17. When you’re sharing something over AirDrop with a friend, you no longer need to stay within range to finish the transfer. That’s great when you’re sending a large file, and don’t want to stand within Bluetooth range (roughly 30 feet) to wait for it to finish.
With iOS 17, you could walk away, and as long as both of you were still on the same wifi network, the transfer would continue. But with 17.1, you can choose to continue the transfer over cellular as well. You can leave the wifi connection in the middle of the transfer, and it’ll switch over to cellular without issue (assuming you have a cellular connection, of course).
Apple Music’s Love button was always a bit frustrating: On the surface it seems like a great way to keep track of the songs you enjoy, but there’s no easy to access a full list of your loved songs.
It looks like that’s changing with iOS 17.1. Now, the option is called ‘Favorite’ rather than ‘Love,’ with a star replacing the heart. Any songs you favorite are added to a ‘Favorited’ playlist, which means you can finally access all those songs you casually told the app you liked. You can favorite a song directly from the Lock Screen.
Speaking of playlists, iOS 17.1 will now suggest songs to add to a playlist based on the songs you already added to it. You can always ignore the suggestions, but they might occasionally help you round out a playlist that doesn’t quite feel finished. You can also refresh this suggestions pane if you think there could be good suggestions, but the current ones aren’t doing it for you.
Apple really wanted to improve playlists this time around: Now, you can pin playlists to the top of the window, so your favorites always show up at the top. In addition, Apple Music will generate different playlist covers for you to choose from.
If you bought an iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max, you might have noticed Apple added the flashlight to the Dynamic Island whenever you turned it on. It’s convenient to quickly shutting off the light without needing to head back to Control Center or the Lock Screen. However, even though it’s a Dynamic Island feature, Apple didn’t add it to other Dynamic Island iPhones, including iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max.
iOS 17.1 fixes that. Now, if your iPhone has a Dynamic Island, it also gets this flashlight shortcut as well.
This one’s weird. For some reason, iOS 17.1 removes all the new ringtones introduced with iOS 17. As Aaron Zollo suggests, perhaps Apple made iOS 17.1 before the iOS 17 RC, which introduced the ringtones in the first place, but in any case, it’s likely they will return. It’s something to keep in mind though before you install the new beta: These ringtones are arguably my favorite iOS 17 feature, and I’m not giving them up any time soon.
The good news, though, is the update restores custom ringtones and text tones.
This update fixes an issue that could cause remote widgets to render blank on ‘mismatched’ Macs and iPhones.
At this time, iOS 17.1 is only available as a developer beta. Technically, you’re supposed to be a developer to install it, but it isn’t as restrictive as it used to be. You can head to Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates, then choose ‘iOS 17 Developer Beta’ to enroll your device. Go back one page, and you should find ‘iOS 17.1 Beta’ available to download and install.
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