iOS 17.4 Is Now out With Sweeping App Store Changes

ios 17 features

Apple has officially released iOS 17.4 out to those with compatible iPhones. As you’ve probably heard, this update is significant for those in the European Union (EU). The update brings some huge changes to the App Store, but everyone else will be seeing smaller changes with the update, like new features for Apple Podcasts, new Emojis, and more.

Just as a recap from what we’ve already highlighted as it moved those beta stages, the big deal with iOS 17.4 in the EU is the fact that it enables alternate app stores on the iPhone in the EU. Apple was forced to make these changes to comply with the Digital Market Act (DMA). Other than that, it also allows developers to use browser engines other than WebKit, and it comes with new APIs for banking thanks to the fact that baking apps can now use the iPhone’s NFC chip. Upon installation, those in the EU will also notice that when launching Safari, there will be a new splash screen to manage a default web browser.

Again, those are EU-only features, but outside of the EU, iOS 17.4 still brings some changes to the App Store globally. Cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming can now be listed in the App Store directly for the first time. Previously, they only worked on iPhones as PWAs. You also should note the updated battery health page. It now shows battery cycle count, manufacture date, and first use on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models. Apple documented the following other changes. Some security fixes come with the update, too, including the new support for PQ3 in iMessage, which makes the platform more secure.

  • New mushroom, phoenix, lime, broken chain, and shaking heads emoji are now available in the emoji keyboard
  • 18 people and body emoji add the option to face them in either direction
  • Transcripts let you follow an episode with text that highlights in sync with the audio in English, Spanish, French, and German
  • Episode text can be read in full, searched for a word or phrase, tapped to play from a specific point, and used with accessibility features such as Text Size, Increase Contrast, and VoiceOver
  • Music recognition lets you add songs you have identified to your Apple Music Playlists and Library, as well as Apple Music Classical
  • Siri has a new option to announce messages you receive in any supported language
  • Stolen Device Protection supports the option for increased security in all locations
  • Battery Health in Settings shows battery cycle count, manufacture date, and first use on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models
  • Call Identification displays Apple-verified business name, logo, and department name when available
  • Business updates in Messages for Business provide trusted information for order status, flight notifications, fraud alerts or other transactions you opt into
  • Apple Cash virtual card numbers enable you to pay with Apple Cash at merchants that don’t yet accept Apple Pay by typing in your number from Wallet or using Safari AutoFill
  • Fixes an issue where contact pictures are blank in Find My
  • Fixes an issue for Dual SIM users where the phone number changes from primary to secondary and is visible to a group they have messaged

To line up with iOS 17.4, Apple also launched iPadOS 17.4, bringing many of these same features to iPads. Earlier in the week, the company released macOS Sonoma 14.4, and visionOS 1.1, too. We expect these to be released later today, if not within the next week or so.

You can grab today’s updates pretty easily. Just head to the Settings app, choose General, and then Software Update. Your iPhone or iPad will download and prompt you to reboot. iOS 17.4 is available for iPhone XS and later, 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, and iPad mini 5th generation and later.

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