Here are the new features in iOS 17.1 for your iPhone
6 mins read

Here are the new features in iOS 17.1 for your iPhone

Apple will add these features to its next iOS update for the iPhone 12 as well as address safety concerns.

On Wednesday, Apple rolled out iOS 17.1 to the general public, following the release of iOS 17 over a month ago. This update introduces several new features and addresses various bugs on your iPhone. It’s worth noting that certain highly appreciated features, such as the Journal app, remain absent from this release.

To download the update, go to Settings > General > Software Update, tap Install Now, and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Here are some of the new features and fixes iOS 17.1 brings to your iPhone.

features of iOS 17.1

Addressing radio frequency concerns for iPhone 12

France’s National Frequency Agency raised concerns on September 12 regarding the iPhone 12 exceeding European-specific absorption rate limits. It appears that Apple has taken steps to address these concerns with the release of iOS 17.1.

According to Apple’s announcement on October 10, iOS 17.1 includes an update for iPhone 12 users in France. This update is designed to align with a specific test protocol that mandates reduced power usage when the device is placed on a static surface and not in close proximity to the body. As a result, the iPhone 12 will no longer exceed the allowed power levels when it detects that it is placed off the body, for instance, when it is resting on a table.

New StandBy mode settings

StandBy mode has quickly become one of my favorite iOS features, and in the latest iOS 17.1 update, Apple has enhanced its functionality by providing more customization options. With iOS 17.1, users can now adjust StandBy mode settings to turn off after 20 seconds, never, or set it to “Automatically.” 

Apple explains that selecting “Automatically” will cause the display to switch off when your iPhone remains inactive and the ambient lighting in the room is low, such as when you’re sleeping at night.

However, it’s worth noting that I investigated these settings on both my iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone XR, and I only found these expanded options available on the iPhone 14 Pro. This suggests that the new settings may be exclusive to iPhones equipped with an always-on display.

Upgrades to Apple Music

In the latest iOS 17.1 update, Apple has introduced a convenient new feature within Apple Music. Now, when you’re listening to a song and viewing its card on your iPhone, you’ll notice a star outline next to the song’s title. Simply tap this star to add the song to your list of Favorites.

There’s a fresh and improved method for accessing all your Favorite playlists, albums, and songs. To locate these, navigate to the respective category within Apple Music, click the button positioned in the top-right corner of your screen, and select “Favorited.”

Also Read | How to use the iOS 17 contact sharing feature — swap phone numbers in seconds

Apple Music in iOS 17.1 now offers song suggestions. You can find these suggestions by entering any of your playlists and scrolling to the bottom of the playlist, where you’ll discover a section called “Song Suggestions.” These song recommendations are generated by the app based on your musical preferences, aiming to introduce you to new tracks you might enjoy.

Using cellular data for AirDrop

iOS 17 brought a notable enhancement to AirDrop with the introduction of NameDrop. This feature enables two devices to connect and effortlessly exchange contact information, akin to a digital business card exchange. Building upon this innovation, iOS 17.1 takes it a step further by allowing users to utilize cellular data for sending and receiving data via AirDrop, even when two iPhones are not within immediate proximity of each other. This extended functionality makes sharing information and content between devices more versatile and convenient.

Live Activities: Flashlight symbol

Many of us have experienced accidentally turning on the iPhone’s flashlight and being informed about it later. However, with the introduction of iOS 17.1, this inconvenience has been addressed. Now, when you activate your flashlight, a small flashlight symbol will appear in the Live Activities feed at the top of your screen. This feature is designed to provide a visual indicator when the flashlight is turned on, preventing accidental activations.

Also Read | Apple says software bugs and certain apps causing iPhone overheating

It’s important to note that I attempted to replicate this symbol on my iPhone XR but couldn’t find it. It appears that this feature may be exclusive to Live Activity-enabled iPhones, such as the iPhone 14 Pro, Pro Max, and the iPhone 15 lineup.

iOS 17.1 release notes

Here are Apple’s full release notes for iOS 17.1, including bug fixes and other improvements:


  • When you step out of the AirDrop range, content continues to transfer over the internet.



  • You can filter the library to display your favorites based on songs, albums, and playlists.
  • The new cover art collection offers designs that change colors to reflect the music in your playlist.
  • Song suggestions appear at the bottom of every playlist, making it easy to add music that matches the vibe of your playlist.

This update also includes the following improvements and bug fixes:

  • Option to choose a specific album to use with Photo Shuffle on the Lock Screen.
  • Home key support for Matter locks.
  • Improved reliability of Screen Time settings syncing across devices.
  • When transferring an Apple Watch or pairing it for the first time, the Significant Location privacy setting may reset.
  • While on another call, the names of incoming callers may not appear.
  • Addresses an issue where custom and purchased ringtones may not appear as options for your text tone.
  • Fixes an issue that may cause the keyboard to be less responsive.
  • Crash detection optimizations (all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models).
  •  Fixes an issue that may cause display image persistence.

Also Read | iOS 17 Review: StandBy Mode Changed My Relationship With My iPhone

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website

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