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Your Apple device may be eligible for a major software update. How to check and download

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Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple has officially kicked off this year’s new OS versions for its core products. As of today at 10 am PT and 1 pm ET, the company has released iOS 17, iPadOS 17, WatchOS 10, and TVOS 17. 

Also: Every product Apple announced this week: iPhone 15 Pro, Apple Watch Series 9, AirPods

Announced and demoed at Apple’s WWDC 2023 this past June, the latest versions bring with them a variety of new and improved features.

iOS 17

With iOS 17 come such new features as Live Voicemail, contact posters, Standby mode, interactive widgets, NameDrop, and a Journal tool. Check out improvements to apps such as Messages, FaceTime, AirDrop, AirPlay, Safari, Music, Maps, Siri, News, Notes, and Photos.

Also: iOS 17: The most impactful new iPhone features are also the ones you’ll notice the least

Before you get too excited, make sure your iPhone qualifies for the update. iOS 17 supports the following models:

  • Phone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, 13 Mini, Pro, and 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

To update your iPhone, head to Settings, select General, and then click Software Update. Choose the option to Upgrade to iOS 17. Tap Download and install for the iOS 17 update. Follow the steps to apply the update.

iPadOS 17

Apple’s iPadOS 17 provides many of the same features as iOS 17 but includes its own improvements to the Lock screen, Stage Manager, FaceTime, and Freeform. The latest update supports the following iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (6th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

Also: The best iPad models of 2023: Expert tested and reviewed

To update your iPad, go to Settings, select General, and click Software Update. Choose the option to Upgrade to iPadOS 17. Tap Download and install and follow the steps to apply the update.

WatchOS 10

The WatchOS 10 update for the Apple Watch spruces up the display, adds a SmartStack option, and offers quicker access to Control Center, all to help you find and launch your apps faster. Also in the mix are new watch faces, fitness routines, and maps. Plus, the Health app now provides tools for tracking your vision and your mental health.

WatchOS 10 requires an iPhone XS or later with iOS 17 and one of the following watch models:

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Series 9
  • Apple Watch Ultra
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2

Also: Best Apple Watches of 2023: Expert tested and reviewed

To update the watch, first make sure you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 17. On your phone, open the Watch app and select the My Watch tab. Go to General, select Software Update, and follow the steps to apply WatchOS 10.

TVOS 17

Those of you with an Apple TV can update it to TVOS 17. The new operating system adds FaceTime, so you’re now able to chat with other Apple users directly from your Apple TV. Center Stage keeps all participants framed on the screen, while Split View lets you watch shows and movies with other people on the call. The update also kicks in a new Control Center, third-party VPN support, a way to find your Siri remote, and enhanced dialogue to better hear your favorite characters.

TVOS 17 works with the following models:

  • Apple TV HD (2015)
  • Apple TV 4K (1st gen)
  • Apple TV 4K (2nd gen)
  • Apple TV 4K (3rd gen)

To download the update on your TV, go to Settings, click General, select System, click Software Updates, and then select Update Software. Allow the update to download and install.

Also: The best live TV streaming services of 2023: Sling TV, Hulu, YouTubeTV, and more compared

Oh, and there’s one more thing. Apple’s HomePod also has a new update available in HomePodOS 17. Compatible models include the HomePod 2018 or newer and the HomePod mini (2020).

To update your HomePod, open the Home app on your iPhone. Select the More button, choose Home Settings, and then select Software Update.


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