Apple has made several great improvements to the iOS 17 Messages app. These include incorporating new features, such as audio message transcription. The app also has got a revamped tools menu that makes it easy to access all your iMessage apps in one place.

The Messages app is one of the most popular built-in apps for iPhone. So, it's no surprise to see such significant upgrades with Apple's newest iOS.

This article gives you an overview of these new and improved features in iOS 17. Please find out how they will make your messaging experience with the iPhone better.

In this article

iOS 17 Messages: New Features Overview

Apple added about five new features to the Messages app in iOS 17. These apps' functions range from keeping you safe to providing immense convenience in your texting experience. Take a look in this part.

Quick List
  1. 📍Check-in

  2. 🔐Auto-Delete Verification Codes

  3. 🎧Audio Message Transcripions

  4. 🗫Catch-Up

  5. 👋Swipe to Reply


Check-in is a safety feature. When going somewhere, this feature lets you have someone else keep an eye on your progress. You can tell a friend or family member that you're traveling. They will automatically get a notification when you reach your destination.

The feature also lets you share your estimated time of arrival (ETA) with a trusted contact. If you don't arrive at the destination as expected, the contact will get an alert. To use Check-In, follow these simple steps:

  1. Tap the "+" button next to the text input box in a conversation.
  2. Select "Check In" from the option list.
    tap the plus button to create a check-in message
  3. Tap "Edit" to select "When I arrive" or "After a timer."
    choose your estimated time of arrival in check-in

If you choose the former, there are three things you'll also need to select. These are a destination, mode of transport, and an estimated time of arrival. If you fail to meet that ETA, the app will check in with you.

Choosing the "After a timer" option requires you to only pick the timer period. The check-in will happen when the selected duration elapses. If you don't respond in 15 minutes, your contact gets an alert that something might be wrong.

The iOS 17 Messages app will also send this alert if your iPhone is offline for an extended period. Your trusted contact gets crucial information along with the alert. That includes your last location, battery level, and cell signal on your phone.

However, you can control how much info is shared when you set up the app. Apple says that all that information is end-to-end encrypted.

Auto-Delete Verification Codes

Many websites use texted one-time passcodes for identity verification. With time, these passcodes can pile up, clogging up the Messages app. The Messages iOS 17 offers an option to have the codes auto-deleted. That is, once the code is auto-filled for a login.

You can toggle this feature on or off, depending on your preference. To do that, go to Settings > Passwords > Password Options > Clean Up Automatically.

Audio Message Transcriptions

Someone may send you an audio message, but you can't listen to it immediately. In such a scenario, iOS 17 will transcribe it so you can read it instead.

This is similar capability to Google's Pixel 7, released a few months ago. The Tensor G2-powered Android phones can transcribe audio messages sent in texts. When someone sends you an audio message on iOS 17, it will come with a text transcription underneath it.

read the text transcription from the message easily in ios 17 messages

You won't need to tap a button to start the transcription. You can read the transcription instead. In other words, the text is always attached, and you can't switch off the feature.


Getting behind on a Messages chat with a group of people sucks. You would have to scroll back to catch up, which can take a lot of time. But with the Catch-Up, that is a thing of the past. The feature also works for one-to-one chats.

You only need to tap an arrow and jump to the first message in a conversation that you've not seen. You'll find the little arrow on the top-right of a conversation. Keeping track of where you left off in a group chat is now quicker with iOS 17.

tap on the arrow to jump to where the messages start

Swipe to Reply

Replying to messages has also been made easier in the iOS 17 Messages app. You only need to swipe from left to right to open the reply interface. That saves you time if you want to reply to something specific someone has said. You no longer need to tap and hold on to the message and then choose a reply from the pop-up menu.

iOS 17 Messages: Improved App's Features

The Messages app, as we know it, has significantly improved over the iOS history. In iOS 17, Apple has applied remarkable improvements to various vital features, offering a whole new messaging experience. From design updates to improved search features and location sharing, messaging on iPhone has never been better!

Quick List
  1. 🤩Design Updates

  2. 🔍Improved Search Feature

  3. 📌Location Sharing

  4. 📝Draw Stickers

Design Updates

Apple updated the Messages app to make it look more organized. So, you don't need to tap on the little photos icon to add a photo as you did in iOS 16. There's a "+" button on the left side of the text input box housing all the iMessage apps and tools.

Tapping on this opens a dropdown list of options, including Camera and Photos. It's also on this dropdown where you'll find Location, Audio, and Store. You can even customize the order of the apps by holding on and dragging them. That makes it easier to access the ones you use most frequently.

Improved Search Feature

The search feature for old messages in iOS 16 is more of a hit-or-miss. But the story is different in the iOS 17 Messages app. The search feature update includes an option to combine multiple filters. It's now easier than ever to search for specific content in your messages. You can search for messages that meet various criteria all at once.

For example, if you're looking for images from a certain person, type "photos" and then the person's name. After that, tap the search button. The filter will narrow down your search results to exactly what you want.

Location Sharing

Location sharing is another significant Apple iMessage update in iOS 17. You can share your location in real-time or ask for a friend's location in the Messages app. That means you don't need to switch to other apps, such as Apple Maps. This improvement also makes it easy to set a pin at a particular location you're going to without opening the Maps app. To do that:

  1. Tap the "." button on the left of the text input box.
  2. Choose “Location" from the option list.
  3. Tap " "share"" and then choose "Indefinitely," "Until End of Day," or "For One Hour" to set how long it's shared for. By default, you'll be sharing your location in real-time. Alternatively, tap the pin icon on the left, then "Send Pin" to share where you're currently without any updates.
choose the duration of sharing your location in messages

(Credit: Cult of Mac)

Whichever location option you choose it will appear embedded inside a message in the conversation. Tapping on the other person's name at the top of the discussion, you'll find options to require their location and to stop sharing your location.

Draw Stickers

Apple introduced a "Remove Subject From Background" option in iOS 16. In iOS 17, you can use this feature to draw and create your stickers. That is, choose a photo, long press on the subject of the image, and choose the "Add Sticker" option.

If it's a live photo (photo in motion), it will animate. There are also several effects that you can add to make your digital stickers look more real. These include comic-like shading, a puffy 3D look, shiny, holographic finish. The effects will animate and reflect the light accordingly, making your self-made stickers appear professional.

making your photos into stickers for more sticker options
  • Sticker Reactions. Now that you can place emojis anywhere on an iMessage, you can use them instead of tapback reactions. You only need to drag the emoji to the message that you wish to respond to instead of long pressing for a tapback.
  • Sticker Expansion. You can now use stickers anywhere that you can access emoji. That includes third-party apps, emails, pictures, and more. Once you create your sticker from photos, you can do more with them than just send them to people using Messages.
  • Memoji. The iOS 17 Messages app has a new halo, peekaboo, and smirk Memoji stickers to go along with the existing still Memoji stickers options.

Part 3 Transfer Messages to Your New iPhone With a Few Taps

If you buy another iPhone, there will probably be a need to move data from the old to the new device. Sometimes, that can be a challenge, especially if you don't have a backup on iCloud.

But there's no need to worry. Wondershare MobileTrans offers an easy way to transfer data, such as messages from iPhone to iPhone. The tool has a very intuitive interface, and anyone can use it.

  • MobileTrans supports 18+ types of data, including messages, contacts, photos, notes, calendar, etc.
  • You can use it on over 6,000 types of devices across iOS and Android systems.
  • MobileTrans can now merge your old and new data on both phones when you transfer to another device. 

Try it for a hassle-free transfer experience!

logo trustpilot 5 stars 4.5/5 Excellent

The data transfer process is pretty simple and user-friendly. The whole process only takes minutes and a few clicks. Check them out:

Step 1: Download and install MobileTrans on your computer.

Step 2: Connect the two iPhones to your computer using the correct USB data cables. Open the MobileTrans and choose the "Phone Transfer." MobileTrans will quickly detect both devices.

open mobiletrans and choose phone transfer on the interface

Step 3: Choose the files you want to transfer, for example, messages. Click ""Start"" to begin the transfer process.

select files and click on start to begin the process

Step 4: Sit back and wait. MobileTrans will move all your selected files to the new iPhone in a few minutes. Ensure that the connection stays secure until the process is completed.

mobiletrans will notify you when the transfer is finished


We've discussed several new features and the revamped menu of the iOS 17 Messages app. Here's a recap of the article:

  • There are about five new features on the Messages app in iOS 17. They include check-in, catch-up, swipe to reply, and audio message transcription.
  • There's also an improved design that greatly enhances your messaging experience. The most notable improvement is the addition of the "+" feature.
  • It makes the Message app look more organized and makes it easier to access all the iMessage apps. That includes Cameras and Photos.

If your iPhone still has the old Messages app, you're missing a lot. Update iMessage on iPhone to take your messaging experience to another level.


  • Can You Edit Messages on iOS 17?
    Yes, you can edit sent messages on iOS 17 up to five times within 15 minutes after sending them. Select a conversation with the message you wish to edit, hold the message bubble, tap "Edit," and make any changes. Once you're done, tap the "Send Edit" button to resend your edited message or the "Cancel Edit" to revert.
  • How Can You Recover a Deleted Message on iOS 17?
    Yes, you can recover a deleted message on iOS 17 for up to 30 days of deletion. Open the Messages app on the iPhone, and in the conversation list, tap "Edit" in the top-left corner, then select "Show Recently Deleted." Choose the conversation whose messages you wish to restore, then tap "Recover." Tap the "Recover Messages" button.
Rafael Kaminski
Rafael Kaminski Dec 15, 23
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