More than a week after the release of iOS 17, Apple started public testing of the first big update. The first iOS 17.1 beta landed for developers on September 27, 2023.
Several big iOS 17 features are scheduled for release this fall, so they’ll come in these updates. Collaborative playlists in Apple Music, the new Journal app, PDF form autofill, NameDrop to Apple Watch, and more are all on the way. What’s more, Apple often makes some interface tweaks and adds minor unannounced features in these updates, so the first few iOS 17 updates are worth keeping an eye on.
Updated 09/28/23: The first beta of iOS 17.1 is now available to public beta testers as well as developers.
Here are some of the things discovered in the beta releases of iOS 17.1.
Missing ringtones and text tones: All of the new ringtones and text tones included in iOS 17 are missing from the first beta of iOS 17.1. It is not clear if or when they’ll return.
Favorites in Apple Music: Instead of “liking” stuff in Apple Music, you can now “Favorite” songs, artists, albums, and playlists. Favorited items will be added to your library and factor into song suggestions.
Continue AirDrops over the internet: The first beta of iOS 17.1 adds the promised feature to allow AirDrop transfers to continue over the internet if you move away from someone before the transfer is done.
Generic artwork for Apple Music playlists: When editing your own playlist in Apple Music, you’ll find a selection of generic artwork to apply to it if you don’t want to take a photo or use four pieces of randomly-selected album art.
iOS 17.1: How to install the public beta
If you want to be among the first to test iOS 17, you can sign up for the public beta test. The process for installing a beta has changed in iOS 16.4. Here’s how the new process works now:
- Click Sign Up on theApple Beta pageand register with your Apple ID.
- Log in to the Beta Software Program.
- ClickEnroll your iOS device.
- Open the Settings app, tapGeneralthenSoftware Update.
- In theBeta Updatessection, select theiOS Public Beta.
It may take a few moments after registering for the beta option to appear inSoftware Update.
The public beta test for iOS 17 started on July 12, and we suggest most users wait for it–as buggy as public betas can be, the early developer betas of major new OS releases are often even more error-prone and incomplete.
iOS 17.1: How to install the developer beta
You’ll need to be registered as an Apple developer. Beginning with iOS 17, you don’t need to be in the $99 per year developer program to access the developer beta. A free developer account will do. You can get one via Xcode or the Apple Developer app in iOS. Here’s how to do it via the Apple Developer app:
- Download the Apple Developer Appfrom the App Store.
- Open the app.
- Tap on Account.
- Sign in using your usual Apple ID.
If you want to sell applications to the App Store you’ll need to pay $99/£79 per year for a paid account. Sign up to the Apple Developer Program (here) or through Apple’s Developer App. You cancompare the free and paid accounts here.
Registered developers can choose to get the Public Beta instead by selecting iOS Public Beta in the Software Update screen. It may take a little time after registering as a developer for the option to appear in Software Updates.
Some developers have an Apple ID registered for developer access that is different from the Apple ID associated with their personal Apple account and data. To use a different Apple ID for beta access than is used throughout the rest of iOS, openSettings>General>Software Update>Beta Updatesand select the Apple ID at the bottom of the screen.