Pronoun support comes to iOS 17 Contacts app. Here's how to use it

iPhone's Contacts app just got a much-requested addition, and it comes with its own privacy policy.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Hand holding iPhone 15 Pro
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple has significantly revamped the Contacts app in iOS 17. It added new features such as NameDrop, the ability to quickly and easily share contacts with others, without all that faff of having to send a text message or email. 

Also: How to create a contact poster on iOS 17 (and share it with NameDrop)

But that's not the only change that has been made to contacts, with Apple adding the ability to add pronouns to contact cards. And Apple has wrapped this information in a rather specific privacy policy.

You can add pronouns to your own contact card or other contacts quickly and easily as follows:

  • Tap on the Contacts app, and then from there tap My Card at the top to add your pronouns. Alternatively, to add pronouns to an existing contact, open up the details page for that contact.
  • From there, tap Edit and then tap Add Pronouns. Select your language and add the correct pronouns.
  • You can also add pronouns in other languages by tapping Add Pronouns again.
Setting pronouns in the Contacts app in iOS 17

Setting pronouns in the Contacts app in iOS 17.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

To make the process as easy as possible, Apple also includes a primer on the correct usage of the three forms of pronouns.

There's also a reassuring privacy policy that this data isn't being mined or sold off: "Pronouns are only used on your devices by supported Apple apps. They are not shared with Apple or third-party developers."

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

Furthermore, when you use NameDrop to share your contact information, the default is to not share your pronoun information. Also, if you share another contact's information, their pronoun details are not passed on.

Along with iOS 17, this feature is also present in iPadOS 17 and WatchOS 10 and will be supported in MacOS Sonoma when that update is released later this month.

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