iOS 17: What's New With Phone and FaceTime

Apple's iOS 17 upgrade brings notable new communication features, adding functionality to the Phone app and the FaceTime app. The Phone app lets you customize what people see when you call them, while ‌FaceTime‌ gains video messages and the option to take ‌FaceTime‌ calls on the Apple TV.

iOS 17 FaceTime Feature
This guide highlights everything new with the Phone and ‌FaceTime‌ apps in ‌iOS 17‌.

Phone

Contact Posters

Apple started letting you choose the name and photo that you want to share with others in the Messages app, and now sharing extends to the Phone app. You can create a Contact Poster that other people see when they call you.

Contact Posters iOS 17
Contact Posters are created in the Contacts app by tapping on your own name, selecting the Contact Photo & Poster option, and tapping on the Edit button.

You can choose to share a photo, a Memoji, or just your initials, and this is what people will see when you call them. To go along with the photo, you can also customize font size, style, and color. Note that you cannot change your name from this interface - that needs to be done by changing your contact info.

ios 17 contact posters
There are several filters that can be applied to images, including black and white, duotone, and color wash in the color of your choice. You can edit the crop of the photo, and customize your Contact Poster independently of your shared Messages image.

Contact Posters can be shared with your contacts automatically, or you can be prompted to share with anyone who calls you so no one sees your custom imagery without your permission.

Contacts App

To account for Contact Posters, the design of the Contacts app has been tweaked. When you tap on a contact, you'll now see that their contact image, Memoji, or initials take up a much larger portion of the screen. This also counts for contacts where you've assigned an image.

ios 17 contacts app
You'll have an option to tap on the Contact Photo and Poster option underneath the person's name to choose to update to the latest info automatically when your contact changes something like their profile photo, or turn on manual updates so you're prompted for the update.

Live Voicemail

Live Voicemail is a new feature that allows the iPhone to transcribe a voicemail as it's being left, so you can pick up the phone if it turns out to be something important.

Live Voicemail iOS 17
The voicemail is displayed right on your Lock Screen as the person on the other end speaks, which can help you avoid missed calls if it turns out an unknown number is a call from your doctor or another important person.

Live Voicemail can be somewhat confusing to people who are not familiar with the feature. Apple's default Live Voicemail wording tells people that "the person you're calling may pick up," which has led to instances where people have called ‌iOS 17‌ users and waited for several minutes for the person with Live Voicemail to answer. It's essentially not clear that it's a standard voicemail sequence.

This can be avoided with a custom greeting recorded by opening up the Phone app, tapping on Voicemail, and then tapping on Greeting to make a new recording.

Live Voicemail can also be turned off in the Settings app by going to Phone > Live Voicemail and toggling it off.

Updated Call Log

A small but useful update to the call log lets you know if a missed call resulted in a voicemail. If so, you can tap that voicemail from the Recents interface.

ios 17 call log

Dual-SIM Upgrades

Those who use the Dual-SIM feature now have an option to create different ringtones for each SIM, and choose a SIM when calling back an unknown number. There's also an option to sort incoming messages based on SIM.

FaceTime

Audio and Video Messages

When you ‌FaceTime‌ someone and they aren't able to answer, you can leave a video or audio message depending on the call method you used. If you were using ‌FaceTime‌ video, you can leave a video message, and if you were using ‌FaceTime‌ audio, you can leave an audio message.

facetime video messages ios 17
After the missed call, you'll see a "Record Video" option, which will allow you to create a message. You'll see a preview of your video, and the option to re-record if it didn't turn out well. Once sent, the video message is in the ‌FaceTime‌ missed call log, where the person can watch the video and call you back.

Note that there is an option for people to save video messages to their Camera Roll, so keep that in mind when sending a video to someone.

FaceTime Reactions

The Messages app has had reactions that trigger with certain words for some time now, and in ‌iOS 17‌, Apple is bringing reactions to ‌FaceTime‌. Rather than being triggered by words, though, the reactions are triggered by gestures.

ios 17 facetime effects
Gestures trigger on-screen effects like hearts, balloons, confetti, fireworks, and more, with the effects flooding the display over the ‌FaceTime‌ window.

  • Heart - Heart emoji
  • Thumbs up - Thumbs up emoji
  • Two thumbs up - Fireworks
  • Single thumbs down - Thumbs down emoji
  • Two thumbs down - Cloud
  • Peace sign with one hand - Balloons
  • Peace sign with two hands - Confetti
  • "Rock on" sign with two hands - Laser

While the reactions are triggered with gestures, you can also long press on your picture in ‌FaceTime‌ to bring up a list of options.

These reactions work by default in ‌FaceTime‌, and third-party apps can adopt the effects as well.

FaceTime on Apple TV

With ‌iOS 17‌ and tvOS 17, you can use ‌FaceTime‌ on the ‌Apple TV‌. There's a new ‌FaceTime‌ app on tvOS 17, but to use it, you need an ‌iPhone‌ running ‌iOS 17‌ or an iPad running iPadOS 17 to serve as the camera because the ‌Apple TV‌ doesn't have its own camera.

facetime apple tv
You can start a ‌FaceTime‌ call on the ‌Apple TV‌ or start one on the ‌iPhone‌ and hand it off to the ‌Apple TV‌. It's basically the same as ‌FaceTime‌ on an ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or Mac, but with a much larger display. The ‌iPhone‌ will need to be placed near the TV for capturing your video, and the person you're FaceTiming with will be shown on the TV.

Center Stage is available to keep you in the frame as you move around, and you can handoff a call from the ‌Apple TV‌ to an iOS device if you need to move to another room, and vice versa.

Read More

More information on all of the new features in the ‌iOS 17‌ update can be found in our iOS 17 roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

Top Rated Comments

Crowbot Avatar
10 months ago

I remember when Apple first introduced FaceTime with iPhone 4. Indeed, it has come a long way.
I remember Apple ran an ad that ended with two deaf people signing to each other over FaceTime. I said to myself, this is huge.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
10 months ago
We really could have used FaceTime over Apple TV during the pandemic. Tried rigging up something with the laptop a few times and it was just too much trouble.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
10 months ago
I remember when Apple first introduced FaceTime with iPhone 4. Indeed, it has come a long way.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
10 months ago
I really hope that we get toggles so we can choose whether or not to turn these "features' on ...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
10 months ago
the updated call log id very useful
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surfzen21 Avatar
10 months ago
I hope we can turn off Contact Posters.

I want the ability to choose what I see pop up on my phone when someone calls, not the person calling me.

Imagine assigning a bad pic of your ex to her contact and then she calls and its a ****ing glam shot. No thanks
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...
maxresdefault

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...