Along with the usual fixes and general improvements listed in Apple’s release notes, the iOS 17.2 update is a fairly substantial one. Spatial video recording comes to compatible iPhones alongside a new native journaling app that ties into the rest of the Apple ecosystem.
Spatial video recording
Exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max devices, iOS 17.2 lets you record spatial videos. It’s a format designed specifically for use with the Apple Vision Pro headset. For us in Australia, it doesn’t mean much just yet, considering Apple hasn’t confirmed a local release for its mixed-reality headset yet. Its future implications are intriguing, though.
Using a phone’s main and ultra-wide cameras, spatial video records video in 1080p at 30 frames per second in three dimensions. The phone then matches the ultra-wide camera’s scale with the main lens, saving it as one file. When viewed on any other device, these videos look like normal recordings. On the Apple Vision Pro, however, you can watch spatial videos on what’s said to be a “life-size scale” for an immersive experience.
If you’ve got an iPhone 15 Pro / Pro Max and want to try shooting spatial video, you need to enable the feature first. Navigate to Settings, Camera, and then Formats. Here, you’ll find the setting to enable the new recording format.
To record footage compatible with the upcoming headset, there’s a spatial video icon in the camera app. Tap this before hitting record, and away you go. For now, you can only shoot this format in landscape. It raises the question of whether Apple will support portrait orientation in the future considering its popularity on video-sharing apps.
It’s tricky to get too excited, on account of having no way to view the intended output. Although early adopters will enjoy having a library of ready-made videos once the Apple Vision Pro arrives.
Journal app arrives with iOS 17.2 update
When the base iOS 17 update launched, Apple promised a journaling app, aptly named “Journal”. It’s now here and offers a native and free way of documenting your life. Arguably the most useful feature it has over the many third-party apps already available is its tight integration with other native Apple apps.
You can write, add images, videos, audio recordings, and copy other content into the app as part of a journal entry. For those who want to try journaling and practising gratitude but don’t know where to start, this app could be a winner. Journal provides personalised suggestions and prompts you can customise based on other apps. For example, if you’ve recorded a workout or played a song on Apple Music, the app can then recommend a journal entry, seamlessly integrating the activity into your response.
What’s most interesting, however, is that Apple seemingly wants Journal to co-exist with the many pre-existing third-party journaling apps. Developers can use the Journaling Suggestions API to integrate personalised prompts with their own apps. Day One, a popular Apple Design Award-winning journaling app, has already implemented the API.
Journal also addresses the privacy elephant in the room. If you’re sharing your deepest thoughts and secrets, you want it to be private. The good news is that Journal uses end-to-end encryption, which Apple recently highlighted as part of its Advanced Data Protection feature. It means that only you can see your entries, even in the event of an iCloud breach.