How to use the new Messages features in iOS 17

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How to use the new Messages features in iOS 17
new Messages features in iOS 17

iOS 17 is now available for installation on iPhones released in the past five years. Apple has introduced upgrades and new features to its iOS apps and the operating system itself.

In Messages with iOS 17, you can now enjoy several new features that are likely to be useful. Additionally, some existing features have been reorganized and improved.

Please note that RCS messaging is not available and unlikely to be added in the near future. As a result, your friends and family using Android devices will still appear as green bubbles and won’t be able to access many of the new iOS 17 features.

Transcription of audio messages

If you can’t listen to audio messages or prefer to read the text, the new automatic transcription option will be helpful. When you receive a voice message in iOS 17, it will come with a text transcription below it. You can simply read the transcript instead of playing the audio. The text is always included and cannot be disabled.

Check In with contacts

Check In With Contact .png
Check In With Contact
Check In With Contact
Check In With Contact

Another exciting feature is Check In. It enables you to share your estimated time of arrival with a trusted contact and sends an alert if you don’t reach your destination as planned.

  • Click the button+” next to the text input field in a conversation.
  • Select the “Check In” from the list of options.
  • Click Edit to set up registration: you can choose either when I arrive or after timer.
  • Select “When I arrive”, and you can select your destination, mode of transport, and estimated travel time.
  • Alternatively select “After the timer“, specify the duration of the timer, and the return will occur after the selected period of time.

The “Check in” feature itself is a simple invitation to make sure you are okay. If you don’t respond within 15 minutes, the contact you’re communicating with will receive a message that something might be wrong. This message will also be sent if your phone is turned off for an extended period of time.

Along with this alert, the trusted contact also receives some information, including your last known location and the battery and signal levels of your cell phone (and Apple Watch, if you have one). You can change the amount of information provided when setting up your registration.

If you register with “When I arrive” and reach your destination by the specified time, you won’t receive any prompts. The other person will be notified that you have safely arrived.

Search using multiple filters

You can now combine multiple terms and filters in a single search in Messages in iOS 17. Swipe down the main conversation list, tap the search box at the top, and start searching for something (like a person or a word). By selecting a filter from the suggestions drop-down list, you can add another one.

For example, you can search for links that mention a specific word or photos sent by a specific contact, rather than using these criteria individually.

Applications in Messages

Applications in Messages

Applications in Messages
Applications in Messages

The various widgets available in Messages, such as music and photos, have been moved behind the “+” button to the left of the text entry field. Tap it to see your most-used apps and tap “More” to view the rest.

You can also long-press on one of these apps to drag it to a new location in the list. This is convenient if you want to keep certain apps easily accessible.

Navigation and Reply in iOS 17:

If you leave a group chat and come back later, you’ll find a little arrow on the right side that takes you back to where you left off in the conversation. This way, you can catch up on what you missed. This works for both individual and group conversations.

Replying to messages is also easier in iOS 17. Swipe right on a message to quickly reply to it.

Location sharing

iOS 17 has improved location sharing. You can now share your current location in real-time within the Messages app, without needing to switch to Apple Maps or the Find My app.

To share your location:

  1. Tap the “+” button to the left of the text input field in a conversation.
  2. Select “Geolocation” from the options.
  3. By default, your location will be shared in real-time. Tap “Share” and choose “For undefined period,” “Until the end of the day,” or “Within one hour” to specify how long it will be publicly available.
  4. Alternatively, tap the pin icon on the left, enter your PIN, and share your current location without any updates.

Whichever location-sharing option you choose, it will appear embedded in the message in the conversation. If you tap the other person’s name at the top of the conversation, you’ll see options to request their location and stop sharing your own location.