Apple releases iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4: What's new

iOS 17.4 brings new features for iPhone & iPad users worldwide. EU users gain alternative app stores, payment options, browsers & NFC access. Global updates include new emoji, messaging with Siri in multiple languages, podcast transcripts & music recognition improvements.

Apple releases iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4: What's new
Image: Itc

Apple released iOS 17.4, a significant update for iPhones and iPads, introducing changes for both global users and those in the European Union (EU) specifically.

EU App Store Changes

  • Alternative App Stores and Fees: App developers in the EU can now offer apps through alternative app stores or install them directly. Apple offers a new fee structure for this option alongside the existing structure.
  • Alternative Payment Options: Apps can now use alternative payment options within the app, without requiring in-app purchases. Fees are adjusted accordingly.
  • Third-Party Browsers: Users can choose a new default browser from a list of popular options, and alternative browser engines are now permitted.
  • NFC Access: Third-party payment apps and banks can access the iPhone's NFC chip for contactless payments, bypassing Apple Pay.
  • Web Apps: The initial restriction on Progressive Web App (PWA) functionality has been reversed.

Global Features

  • New Emoji: Several new emoji characters are included, along with the ability for some existing emoji to face different directions.
iOS 17
Image: Macrumors
  • Messaging with Siri: Siri can now read incoming messages aloud in various languages.
ios 17 4 messaging with siri
Image: Macrumors
  • Podcasts and Music: The "Listen Now" tabs in Podcasts and Apple Music are renamed "Home." Podcasts also adopts the Apple Music Now Playing bar design.
apple music home
Image: Macrumors
  • Podcast Transcripts: Similar to lyrics in Apple Music, podcasts now offer transcripts that highlight text in sync with the audio (available in select languages).
podcast app transcript
Image: Macrumors

  • Music Recognition: Identified songs can be added directly to playlists, library, or Apple Music Classical.
  • New iMessage Security Protocol: A state-of-the-art post-quantum cryptographic protocol (PQ3) enhances iMessage security.
  • iPhone 15 Battery Health: Battery health is now displayed prominently in the Settings app, with details like cycle count and capacity.
ios 17 4 battery health optimization iphone 15
Image: Macrumors

Other Updates

  • Stopwatch Live Activity: The Stopwatch app now offers a Live Activity for the Dynamic Island and Lock Screen.
  • Call Identification: Apple-verified business information appears for calls when available.
  • Messages for Business: Businesses can offer opt-in updates for order statuses, alerts, and transactions.
  • App Store Purchase History: A consolidated purchase history for all Apple ID purchases (TV, movies, music, apps, subscriptions) is now available.
  • Apple Cash Virtual Cards: Generate virtual card numbers for purchases where Apple Pay isn't accepted.
  • Real-Time Budget App Integration: Third-party budget apps can access real-time transaction data for Apple Card, Cash, and Savings accounts.
  • Hand Gesture Reactions: Video call developers can now disable hand gesture reactions in their apps.
  • Hey Siri: Option to use "Siri" instead of "Hey Siri" for French, German, and Spanish users.
  • CarPlay Instrument Cluster: Supported vehicles can display upcoming navigation information in the instrument cluster.
  • Next-Generation CarPlay: Code suggests future CarPlay features like in-car climate control, media access, tire pressure monitoring, and trip data.

This update offers a variety of improvements for iPhone and iPad users, with significant changes to the App Store experience in the EU.