17 New iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac software features I can’t wait to try


Protect Your Access to the Internet

WWDC 2023 will be remembered as the developer event where Apple’s post-iPhone computing efforts began. The Vision Pro looks like a pair of $3,499 ski goggles, but it’s obviously so much more exciting than that. While I wait for the Vision Pro to hit stores, I will experience all of the new features that Apple announced for iOS 17 (and iPadOS 17), watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma.

I already explained that I’m not likely to install the iOS 17 beta right now and that watchOS 10 is the most interesting beta release to me. But Apple unveiled several exciting software features at WWDC that I’ll be running on iPhone, Watch, and Mac later this year. Here, I’ll detail the ones I’m most excited about.

The decluttering of iMessage

It might not seem like much, but iMessage is getting an important redesign in iOS 17 that will make it easier to use. Apple created an expandable menu on the left of the text field that will contain all the items that currently clutter the interface. It’s a minor thing, but the cleanup is welcome.

iMessage's new UI will place all the menu items under a "Plus" symbol on the left of the text field.
iMessage’s new UI will place all the menu items under a “Plus” symbol on the left of the text field. Image source: Apple Inc.

Checking in on family and friends

iMessage will also get a handy Check In feature that lets a family or friend initiate a Find My-like tracking process. When that person reaches their destination, I’ll be notified automatically that they’re there. If the person is late, I’ll get information like their iPhone’s location, battery level, and cell coverage status.

It’s more private than actually sharing a location permanently with someone.

iOS 17's new Check In security feature in Messages.
iOS 17’s new Check In security feature in Messages. Image source: Apple Inc.

Auto-delete verification codes in Messages

We all receive verification codes via Messages, and iOS knows how to autofill them in apps that require them. But starting with iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, the iPhone and iPad can automatically delete the messages once you’ve used the codes.

Better AirDrops

Apple made changes to the way AirDrop works in iOS 17. The NameDrop feature is easily a highlight, letting you share contact information with a different person by…