iOS 17.2 gives you 2 big reasons to update your iPhone

Apple iOS 17.2 update
Image: Apple.
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Apple recently dropped the iOS 17.2 update on compatible iPhones, adding a couple of big features, including the ability to shoot video for the Apple Vision Pro.

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.

Apple Vision Pro spatial video
Image: Apple.

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.

Apple Journal iOS 17.2 update
Image: Apple.

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.

Full iOS 17.2 update details

Here’s everything available with the iOS 17.2 update as outlined on the Apple website:

Journal

  • Journal is a new app that lets you write about the small moments and big events in your life so you can practise gratitude and improve your well-being
  • Journalling suggestions make it easy to remember your experiences by intelligently grouping your outings, photos, workouts and more into moments you can add to your journal
  • Filters let you quickly find bookmarked entries or show entries with attachments so you can revisit and reflect on key moments in your life
  • Scheduled notifications help you keep a consistent journalling practice by reminding you to write on the days and time you choose
  • Option to lock your journal using Touch ID or Face ID
  • iCloud sync keeps your journal entries safe and encrypted on iCloud

Action Button

  • Translate option for the Action button on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to quickly translate phrases or have a conversation with someone in another language

Camera

  • Spatial video lets you capture video on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max so you can relive your memories in three dimensions on Apple Vision Pro
  • Improved Telephoto camera focusing speed when capturing small faraway objects on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Messages

  • Catch-up arrow lets you easily jump to your first unread message in a conversation by tapping the arrow visible in the top-right corner
  • Add sticker option in the context menu lets you add a sticker directly to a bubble
  • Memoji updates include the ability to adjust the body shape of any Memoji
  • Contact Key Verification provides automatic alerts and Contact Verification Codes to help verify that people facing extraordinary digital threats are messaging only with the people they intend to

Weather

  • Precipitation amounts help you stay on top of rain and snow conditions for a given day over the next 10 days
  • New widgets let you choose from next-hour precipitation, daily forecast, sunrise and sunset times, and current conditions such as Air Quality, Feels Like and wind speed
  • Wind map snapshot helps you quickly assess wind patterns and access the animated wind map overlay to prepare for forecasted wind conditions for the next 24 hours
  • Interactive moon calendar lets you easily visualise the phase of the moon on any day for the next month

Improvements and bug fixes:

  • AirDrop improvements including expanded contact sharing options and the ability to share boarding passes, movie tickets and other eligible passes by bringing two iPhones together
  • Favourite Songs Playlist in Apple Music lets you quickly get back to the songs you mark as favourites
  • Use Listening History in Apple Music can be disabled in a Focus so music you listen to does not appear in Recently Played or influence your recommendations
  • A new Digital Clock Widget lets you quickly catch a glimpse of the time on your Home Screen and while in StandBy
  • Enhanced AutoFill identifies fields in PDFs and other forms, enabling you to populate them with information such as names and addresses from your contacts
  • New keyboard layouts provide support for 8 Sámi languages
  • Sensitive Content Warning for stickers in Messages prevents you from being unexpectedly shown a sticker containing nudity
  • Qi2 charger support for all iPhone 13 models and iPhone 14 models
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent wireless charging in certain vehicles

Devices compatible with iOS 17.2

Before you get too excited, make sure your device works with the latest update. iOS 17 is compatible with any of the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max

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