Apple released iOS 17.1 on Wednesday to all users, with features including improved AirDrop sharing and updates to Apple Music. The biggest change with this release is the ability to use AirDrop when you move out of Wi-Fi range. AirDrop uses Bluetooth to securely create a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network between two Apple devices when you are sharing content.
With this update, you can start transferring a file to a friend while you are in the same room. But if you have to leave the spot, the transfer can continue over cellular data.
This is useful when you have to send a bunch of photos and videos to a friend, but you have to leave. Until now, you could only transfer a few photos to them and then you had to use iMessage, WhatsApp, email or any other method to send other photos.
You can turn this option off if you want to save mobile data by heading to Settings > General > Airdrop > Out of range.
With iOS 17.1 users can now add songs, albums, playlists and artists to their Apple Music library just by tapping on the favorite button. Apple Music will use favorites to tweak music suggestions. You can easily add a track to your library by tapping on the star icon on the “Now Playing” widget. This gets rid of the confusing “love” icon, which was previously used as a signal to suggest more songs like that.
Other iOS 17.1 enhancements include the ability to share your contact details using NameDrop from an iPhone to an Apple Watch running the latest versions of the operating systems on these devices. This feature was previously limited to iPhones. There’s also a new Dynamic Island icon to indicate to a user if the flashlight is active.
Users can update to iOS 17.1 by heading to Settings > General > Software Update and following instructions.
Apple also rolled out WatchOS 10.1 on Wednesday with the DoubeTap feature that enables gesture-based interactions with different apps.