In an update iOS 17Notable improvements have been made to calling features, with a particular focus on optimizing the Phone app and FaceTime. Users now have the flexibility to customize the look of the caller ID while making calls through the phone app. Moreover, FaceTime has received exciting new additions, such as the introduction of video messaging, allowing users to send and receive short videos. Additionally, FaceTime now supports the option to take incoming calls on Apple TV, providing users with more variety in their calling experience.

In this article, we highlight everything that is new in the phone application and FaceTime in the iOS 17 update.

Update to iOS 17 beta

Before starting, we would like to note that it is very easy to upgrade to the public beta version of iOS 17, which, according to many users, is very stable. All you have to do is go to the device settings, then general, then system updates, and you will find a special section for the beta version, press iOS 17, and you will be able to upgrade your device if your device is supported.

Warning: Beta versions still have problems and downgrading back to the previous version is not easy, you will have to reformat the device, decide wisely.

First: the phone

Contact stickers

Apple has expanded its customization options in the Messages app, allowing users to select their preferred name and photo to share with others. This personal sharing feature has now been extended to the mobile app as well. Users can now create a unique contact label that will be shown to other people when they receive a call from you.

Contact stickers are created in the Contacts app by tapping your name, selecting the contact, photo, and sticker option, and hitting the Edit button.

You can choose to share a photo, a memoji, or just your initials, which other people will see when they get a call from you. Additionally, you can customize the font size, style, and color to match your chosen image. But keep in mind, that you cannot change your name from this interface, it must be done separately by updating your contact information.

You can apply different filters to images, including black and white, duotone, and color wash (a gradient, an effect that adds a transparent layer of color to an image, giving the image a slight tint of that particular color). You can use filters of any color you like. You can edit the photo crop and customize the contact sticker independently of the photo you share in messages.

Contact stickers can be shared automatically with your contacts or only when you choose to share them with specific contacts. This way, you can control who can see your custom photos, ensuring that no one can see them without your permission.

Contacts app

The Contacts app has undergone some changes to accommodate contact stickers. Now, when you click on a contact, you'll notice that the contact's picture, emoji, or initials appear prominently on the screen, taking up a much larger portion than before. This applies to all contacts, including those to which you have assigned a custom picture.

You will be provided with the 'Contact Photo & Sticker' option below the person's name. This option allows you to either automatically update information whenever a contact changes their profile picture or trigger updates manually by receiving update prompts.

Live Voicemail

 Live Voicemail is a new feature that when someone leaves you a voicemail, it immediately starts transcribing the voicemail message into text while the person is still recording it. This allows you to quickly read the content of a voicemail without having to listen to the entire message. With this information, you can decide whether a voicemail is urgent or important, and then decide whether to answer the call right away or at a later time. The feature provides a more efficient way to handle voicemails and helps you prioritize calls that need to be answered immediately.

Voicemail is displayed directly on your lock screen while the person on the other's iPhone is speaking, which may help you avoid missed calls if the unknown number turns out to be a call from a significant other.

Live voicemail can cause confusion for users unfamiliar with the feature. Apple's default message for direct voicemail states, "The person you're calling may answer," leading some callers to believe they're calling directly to the person they called. Thus, this misconception has led to cases where callers of iOS 17 users wait for several minutes, assuming that the person with direct voicemail will respond in real time. In fact, it is not clear that it is a standard voicemail setup.

To prevent such confusion, users can create a custom greeting for their direct voicemail. By recording a personalized greeting, users can clearly indicate that it is a voicemail system, not a direct call.

In addition, direct voicemail can be disabled through Settings -> Phone -> Direct Voicemail, turning off the feature if they prefer not to use it.

Updated call log

In your phone's call history, there is now a small but useful update. Indicates if a missed call has resulted in the caller leaving a voicemail. If you miss a call, and the person leaves a voicemail, you'll see a notification or flag in your call history. This helps you quickly identify missed calls that have been associated with voicemail messages.

Moreover, with this update, you can easily access the voicemail associated with the missed call. From the Recents or Recents interface, you can tap the voice mail entry to listen to the message or view its contents. This simplifies the process of checking and accessing voicemail messages, making it more user friendly.

In addition to that the call log can reach 500 callers instead of 100 callers in previous versions, finally you can know who called you days ago.

Dual SIM updates

Those who use two SIM cards on their devices such as some phones made for China, or one SIM and an eSIM or two eSIMs can now set up ring tones for each SIM separately, allowing users to easily know which SIM is being used for an incoming call.

And when you receive a call from an unknown number, you can choose which SIM card to use when you call back. For example, suppose you receive a call from an unknown number that is “not saved in your contacts”, and you have both SIM A and SIM B in your phone. When you decide to return the call, you will be prompted to choose which SIM you want to use to make the call. You can then select either SIM A or SIM B based on your preference or convenience.

This way, you can select the number you want to use to return the call, giving you more control over your communications.

Also, there is an option to sort incoming messages based on the SIM card through which they were received. This feature helps keep messages organized and separated by the SIM card used, making it easier to manage and reply to messages from each number.

This enhances the overall user experience and provides more flexibility in managing connections on a dual-SIM device.

Face time

Audio and video messages

When you're on a FaceTime call with someone, and they can't answer, you have the option to leave a video or audio message, depending on whether you're using FaceTime video or audio for the call.

For FaceTime video messages on iOS 17:

◉ After not answering the call, you will see the “Video Recording” option, click on it to create a video message.

◉ You will see a preview of your recorded video, and if you are not satisfied with it, there is an option to re-record.

◉ Once you're done, you can send it.

◉ The video message will be stored in the recipient's missed FaceTime call history.

◉ The recipient can see the video message and choose to call you back.

It is important to note that there is an option for people to save video messages to their Photos app. Therefore, when sending a video message, be aware that the recipient may save the video to their device.

Facetime reactions

In ‌iOS 17‌, Apple introduced reactions to the FaceTime app, similar to the reactions already in the Messages app. But instead of being triggered by specific words like in Messages, these reactions are triggered by gestures in FaceTime.

When you use certain gestures during a FaceTime call, effects will appear on the screen, such as hearts, balloons, confetti, fireworks, and more. For example:

◉ Making a heart shape with your own hands results in a heart emoji effect.

◉ Use thumbs up gesture to activate cool emoji effect.

◉ Two thumbs up display triggers fireworks effect.

◉ Performing a thumbs-down gesture results in an objection emoji effect.

◉ Showing two thumbs down activates the cloud effect.

◉ Using the peace sign with one hand will cause balloons effect.

◉ Using the peace sign with both hands activates the confetti effect.

◉ Making the “Rock on” sign 🤘🤘 with two hands triggers the laser effect.

These effects flood the screen into the FaceTime window, adding fun and interactive elements to your video calls.

In addition to gesture-driven reactions, you can also long-press your FaceTime photo to access the options menu. These reactions are available by default in FaceTime, and third-party apps can also adopt these effects and incorporate them into their own features.

Facetime on Apple TV

You can now use FaceTime on your Apple TV. Although there is a new dedicated FaceTime app on tvOS 17, the Apple TV itself does not have a camera. Therefore, to use FaceTime on Apple TV, you will need an iPhone or iPad running iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 to act as a camera source.

You have two options for starting a FaceTime call on TV. You can start the call directly from the TV or start the call on the iPhone and then transfer it to the TV. The experience of using FaceTime on Apple TV is similar to that on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, but with the advantage of a much larger screen. To capture your own video of the call, you must put the iPhone near the TV, and the person will be displayed on it.

For added convenience, Center Stage is available, which ensures you stay in frame as you move around during a call. Moreover, you can easily transfer a call from Apple TV to iPhone if you need to move to another room, and vice versa.

What do you think of the new communication features in the Phone app and FaceTime iOS 17 update? Would you like to see other features? Tell us in the comments.



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