Apple has recently released iOS 17.2 beta 4, which is likely one of the last steps ahead of the iOS 17.2 official release sometime this December. As such, it gives us a very decent idea as to what to expect from the upcoming software update.
As far as software updates go, it’s safe to say that iOS 17.2 is a major one, as it introduces several important new features and reinstates others. We are finally getting the Journal app that Apple announced back at WWDC’23, and iOS users will finally be able to customize the default notification alert.
Let’s dive deeper and explore what’s new about the upcoming software update.
iOS 17.2 will, of course, be available to all iPhones that received iOS 17, which means iPhone XS and newer, including iPhone SE (2020) and newer.
The Journal app will most certainly arrive with the upcoming iOS 17.2 release. The digital journal allows you to write about your days as well as reminisce about photo and video memories, as well as other media, contacts, and significant locations.
The interface and the whole layout of Journal is extremely basic and straightforward, which makes it pretty easy to navigate and don’t distract yourself with any extraneous stuff. Just open the app, write about your day, and move on. It can send you a reminder at a certain point of the day and urge to write down in your diary.
Finally, an anticipated feature is finally making it to iOS: iPhone users will finally be able to customize the default notification sounds. By going into the Sounds & Haptics menu inside Settings, iOS 17.2 users will find a new Default Alerts section, which lets you modify default notifications, like those for texts, mail, calendar events, and others.
Aside from changing the sound bits, you can also tinker with the haptic feedback. By default, it matches the sound you pick, but go wild, choose another one, and customize at will!
By default, Apple Music on iOS 17.2 has a new default playlist dubbed “Favorite Songs”, which is automatically populated based on previous tracks you’ve liked. Additionally, Apple Music will automatically add any songs you favorite to your music library, which seems like a must-have feature we should have gotten earlier.
Finally, a little niche feature of sorts, but Apple Music History may not count toward your music recommendations and mixes if a Focus Mode is on. Essentially, if you fall asleep and your music continues playing while, say, the sleep focus mode is enabled, you won’t skew your virtual music tastes.
With iOS 17.2, the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro will score the spatial video recording feature, which will let either device record videos that are to be viewed on the Apple Vision Pro virtual headset. Have in mind that spatial video currently maxes out at 1080p@30fps.
Free-form emoji reactions are also now part of Messages on iOS 17.2. Simply press and hold on any message and choose “Add sticker…”, then choose any emoji and react. You can daisy-chain different emoji to one another, which is something you’ll likely use just once.
iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro’s Action Button scores a new Translate option, which can be enabled when you press the button. Automatic voice-to-text translation will then kick off.
Yes, iOS 17.2 is one for the customization lovers out there, as it adds new default widgets! Aside from a fancy new Digital Clock widget, the Weather app can now display widgets detailing precipitation, UV index, wind and more. An expanded Daily forecast as well as sunrise and sunset widgets can also be put on any of your home screens.
A new iOS 17.2 feature that’s enhancing iMessage security is Contact Key verification.
Your future iPhone will be able to get the latest iOS software update even while it’s sealed in its box, and iOS 17.2 establishes the foundation for this neat feature. While it’s true that new iPhones usually ship with the latest iOS version available at the time, critical updates will be delivered to the device even before it gets unboxed.
It’s hard to say, but given the fact that we’re already at beta 4 and the latest release is pretty stable, we would most likely get iOS 17.2 on all eligible iPhones before 2023 is over. Subsequently, we’d likely get our first whiffs of iOS 17.3, which should be available as a developer beta first, public beta afterward, and final release likely in the opening months of 2024.
Sure you can! However, you will have to get on the public beta channel, and while these are usually stable, consider staying on the official release channel for a more stable and bug-free experience. That’s not to say that regular iOS releases for the wide public are without issues (they are not), but you will retain a certain peace of mind by not meddling with any betas of sorts.