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Posted September 19, 2023

iOS 17 is Here: What's New & What to Test

Sauce Labs now supports iOS 17 on real devices! This new iOS version offers a range of updates for security, personalization, sharing, and communication features. Learn more in our blog post.


iOS 17 is here and available for you to start testing in our real device cloud

Why is iOS 17 Important to Your Mobile Testing Strategy?

In the increasingly dynamic iOS ecosystem, being proactive about testing new changes is critical. And with iOS adoption rates climbing year-over-year, it’s important to start testing your apps on the latest iOS version as soon as possible. iOS 16 adoption reached 28% in just two weeks of its release, which was faster than iOS 15 adoption.

Testing your mobile apps on iOS 17 offers many benefits, including:

  • Ensuring app compatibility and functionality

  • Identifying and resolving bugs early

  • Optimizing app performance

  • Adapting your app's design and interactions

  • Meeting App Store compliance

  • Leveraging security, API, and feature updates

iOS 17 offers several time-saving features that enhance the iPhone experience, plus improvements to help users streamline their daily tasks. Engineers and testers should test critical flows and potential disruptions in app activity, and validate that no critical issues occur through the process.

Nikolay Advolodkin

Senior Developer Advocate at Sauce Labs

Delivering seamless app experiences helps keep your customers happy, which is a significant competitive advantage in today’s competitive mobile marketplace. According to our Every Experience Matters report, 20% of users have abandoned a brand after encountering an issue with their app.

What’s New in iOS 17?

iOS 17 offers a range of updates for security, personalization, sharing, and communication features, including the following:

  1. Privacy and security: Apple continues its commitment to user privacy, with the announcement of various privacy and security innovations in iOS 17. Familiarize yourself with the latest Privacy manifest changes to understand how these changes may impact your app's especially with respect to tracking capabilities and user data handling.

  2. Passkey changes: Authentication plays a pivotal role in app security. Check out the Passkey changes to ensure a smooth user authentication experience.

  3. Accessibility: Accessibility improvements are key to creating inclusive apps. iOS 17 introduces Accessibility API changes that include priority assignment, multi-platform support, and refined VoiceOver capabilities. To further enhance your app's accessibility, learn how to conduct an accessibility audit.

  4. Payment and in-app purchases: If your app involves payments or in-app purchases, stay in the loop regarding the Wallet and In-App Purchase changes outlined by Apple. Watch the insightful sessions on what's new in Apple and Wallet Pay  and testing in-app purchases for a deeper understanding.

  5. SwiftUI and VisionOS: Prepare for significant SwiftUI changes geared towards supporting VisionOS. As iOS and iPad apps are set to be automatically rendered in VisionOS next year, learn about compatibility checks to ensure your app seamlessly transitions.

  6. Updates to Phone and FaceTime: Users can now leave video or audio messages via FaceTime. 

  7. Voicemail enhancements: The voicemail button has been added to the home screen so users can send calls to voicemail immediately. Voicemail messages can be transcribed live, enabling users to decide whether or not to take a call as it’s happening.

  8. Messages enhancements: The new Check In feature allows users to automatically inform their contacts of their safe arrival and any delays during their journey. Messages will also support search filters in iOS 17.

  9. Visual Look Up support for symbols: Users can use Visual Look Up to identify symbols like vehicle  indicator lights and clothing care symbols.

  10. Additional features including Standby Mode for a full-screen experience, interactive widgets, improved Autocorrect, and mood tracking and journaling.

Widgets now have deeper access to app functionalities and richer visual customization options to provide experiences without leaving the Home screen. With the addition of the new Standby Mode, these widgets pop more than ever. iOS 17 also adds a new framework called TipKit, which unifies onboarding experiences of new users across different apps with a consistent look and feel. This is a big deal because teaching new users how to use an app is hard, but also directly correlates with high retention when done right. Tips must be useful and presented in a timely manner. All of these deserve thorough testing otherwise it will confuse the user and actually repel them. TipKit is plug-and-play, and it plays well with all kinds of apps. Everyone should use it, and TEST IT.

Diego Perini

Senior Software Engineer at Sauce Labs

We recommend checking out the iOS 17 release notes for more information.

Sauce Customer? Here's What to Know

If you’re a Sauce Labs customer utilizing private devices, please reach out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager or Account Executive. Using public devices? Start testing your apps today by accessing iOS 17 in our real device cloud.

As always, we continue to expand the pool of devices available to you to help you ensure comprehensive testing coverage. Be on the lookout for the new iPhone 15 series in our real device cloud soon!

Kris Muhi
Product Manager
Ashwini Sathe
Sr. Group Product Marketing Manager
Sep 19, 2023
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