The next iPhone software is going to land later this month. And exactly when has just been confirmed by Apple. The company revealed it, almost by accident it seemed, when it confirmed a different product altogether, and it means we now know when to expect iOS 17.3.
This is important because it’s a release with several new features, including one real standout, Stolen Device Protection, which can help protect you if your iPhone is stolen by somebody who has access to your passcode. With this new feature, it will be much harder for the thief to get access to your banking apps, or to lock you out of your phone. Here’s what’s happened.
Apple has just announced a new sport band for the Apple Watch. It’s called the Black Unity Sport Band and in the press release which launched this year’s Black Unity Collection, the company referred to iPhone and iPad wallpaper that’s related to the sport band.
Towards the end of the release, buried in the pricing and availability notes which said the sport band will be available from January 23, Apple said, “The new Unity Bloom iPhone and iPad wallpaper for the Lock Screen will be also be available next week, and requires iPhone Xs or later running iOS 17.3 and iPad (6th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation and later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and later) running iPadOS 17.3.”
Which confirms that the software is coming some time from Monday, January 22 onwards.
As you may know, the arrival of iOS 17.3 could have been significantly delayed, after the sudden removal of a buggy version for developers that caused severe unwanted effects when it was installed on some iPhones. Apple issued a new beta but it wasn’t clear if this would lead to the general release being put back to the very end of the month or even February. Now, Apple has cleared things up by declaring that the finished product will be with us next week.
The release candidate versions of iOS 17.3, the one that immediately prefaces the general release, landed on Wednesday, January 17.
Which leaves the question, exactly when will iOS 17.3 arrive? We know the week, so it theoretically could be any day from Monday, January 22 onwards. But the Sport Band is on sale from Tuesday, January 23, so the release is timed to fit with that, it seems.
Apple does love to release an update on a Tuesday, so that could be the release date. But my guess is that Monday, January 22 is more likely: Apple will want the new wallpaper to be available straight away to anyone who has bought the new Sport Band, so Monday would be ideal.
In other words, it’s only a few days until we have it, either way.
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Alex Mitchell is your go-to expert for all things mobile. With a passion for the latest smartphones, apps, and mobile innovations, Alex provides in-depth reviews, insightful analyses, and breaking news about the ever-evolving world of mobile technology. Stay connected with Alex to navigate the fast-paced realm of mobile devices.