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Everything Apple didn’t add to iOS 17

iOS 17 logo and renders on Apple's website.

Apple’s WWDC 2023 keynote has come and gone, and with it came one of the biggest new announcements in years: Apple Vision Pro, which is Apple’s first foray into the VR/AR headset space. Of course, we also got software updates for existing products that we already have right now, including iOS 17 for the iPhone.

Before WWDC 2023 kicked off, there were a lot of rumors and speculation revolving around iOS 17 and what we would end up seeing —with the possibility of some “highly requested features from users.” Now that it’s been announced, it’s actually not as exciting as we thought, and some of the features that did get announced weren’t leaked.

Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest rumored features that we expected with iOS 17 … but didn’t end up getting.

A redesigned Control Center

Someone holding an iPhone 14. The display is turned on and showing the Control Center.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Control Center has remained fairly stagnant over the past few years, with the most significant changes occurring back in iOS 11. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I use Control Center dozens of times a day — it provides me quick access to various settings that I need frequently, like toggling Wi-Fi, Focus modes, rotation lock, dark mode, the flashlight, camera, and more.

There were rumors floating around that Control Center would get a facelift in iOS 17, but that simply did not happen, unfortunately.

It would have been nice to be able to customize the Control Center further by letting us change the default settings (i.e. everything in the top half), have some consistency with Home controls, 5G toggles, and even make editing the Control Center possible directly from Control Center and not just in the Settings app.

Hopefully, Apple gives Control Center the TLC that it needs in the next update with iOS 18 in 2024.

Wallet remains unchanged

Apple Card sitting on top of an iPhone 14 Pro with the Wallet app open to digital Apple Card
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Another change that was rumored to be coming was improvements to the Wallet app. Originally introduced as Passbook, it became Apple Wallet in 2015 and hasn’t had many changes since. Sure, we got some new features like Apple Card and Apple Savings in recent years, but fundamentally, the Wallet app hasn’t had any major changes to the interface.

Prior to WWDC, there were rumors that Wallet was going to get a facelift with a new navigation bar separating your cards, Apple Cash, keys, IDs, and even Orders. Other features would have included showing the balance on cards besides Apple Card and searching for a specific card or pass.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there are any changes to the Wallet app this time around in iOS 17, so we’ll have to hold out hope for another day.

No sideloading for you!

App Store presentation by Tim Cook
Image used with permission by copyright holder

One of the biggest rumors that were circulating around iOS 17 was the possibility of sideloading apps from different digital app stores due to the European Union’s antitrust regulations. It could have even just been in Europe only as a regional law. There was a lot of hubbub about this, but it looks like it was all for naught — at least for now.

From earlier reports, it seemed that Apple was putting a significant amount of resources into this companywide endeavor. So this may indeed still be coming, just in a later iOS update and not iOS 17 like originally thought.

I’m still personally not a fan of sideloading, as that’s not why I choose an iPhone. But for those who are still looking forward to that, there’s still hope later down the road.

Keep those fingers crossed

iOS 17 overview.

If you were expecting these features to come in iOS 17, unfortunately, this isn’t the update for you. In fact, iOS 17 is a bit underwhelming overall, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge headliner feature like customization was with iOS 14 and iOS 16 in the form of the home and lock screens, respectively.

However, those with an iPhone 14 Pro could get more use from the always-on display with the StandBy feature, and NameDrop seems like a fun way to exchange info with someone new.

Still, if you were holding out hope for a better Control Center, improved Wallet interface, and even sideloading, well, there’s always iOS 18 next year.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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