The year is coming to a close, and many smartphone users have not yet had the chance to explore the major updates to Google’s Android 14 and Apple’s iOS 17 operating systems that arrived this fall. Here are some highlights of the new features that you can use to ease into Android 14 or iOS 17.
Google has made updates to Android 14 that focus on improving security and accessibility features. One feature is the ability to customize phone screens with new wallpaper, app widgets and shortcuts. To start personalizing your device, open the Settings app and select Wallpaper & Style.
Apple has added the new Journal app to its iOS 17, which allows users to record thoughts and feelings through text, images and topic suggestions. The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store. Apple’s Journal is similar to third-party apps like Day One and Journey, which have free and paid premium versions. Some Android users use the company’s free Keep and Docs apps for similar purposes.
Apple’s Visual Look Up feature for identifying objects in photos has been improved in iOS 17 and now works on videos as well. Google Lens, on the other hand, was introduced in 2017 and has become more accurate with object identification and relevant internet search results.
Android’s developers have added a hidden game in the Android 14 update. To access the game, open the Settings app and scroll down to About Phone, tap Android Version and then tap Android Version again. On the next screen, tap Android Version three times to start the game.
Apple has added a Standby feature in iOS 17 that turns the iPhone lock screen into a smart display for showing off time, temperature, photos, music, recipes and other apps. Night Mode option in the settings gives the screen a red tint if you decide to use the phone as a bedside clock.