iOS 17.4 release date rumour and anticipated new features

iOS 17.4 release date rumour and anticipated new features: iOS 17.4 has been in beta testing for some time now, but its official release is just around the corner. With the EU Digital Markets Act scheduled to take effect in early March, Apple is under pressure to meet a strict deadline for the update. This advance notice of Apple’s plans is unusual, especially for software updates.

iOS 17.4 is expected to be a significant update, even for users outside the European Union. It will introduce new features, enhancements to existing ones, improved messaging security, and a safer online shopping experience, all in a single update.

Here’s a comprehensive overview of iOS 17.4, including rumoured release dates, new features, and more.

Rumored Release Date for iOS 17.4

iOS 17.4 release date rumour and anticipated new features
iOS 17.4 release date rumour and anticipated new features

Apple has not officially confirmed the exact release date for the public version of iOS 17.4. However, due to new regulations in the EU, Apple must adhere to a strict deadline to avoid potential penalties from the European Commission.

The Digital Markets Act, requiring Apple to allow third-party app stores on iOS, goes into effect on March 6, 2024. The required changes are already included in the iOS 17.4 beta, meaning Apple must release iOS 17.4 to the public before March 6.

Therefore, anticipate the update to be available during the initial week of March. While this requirement technically applies only to EU users, a global rollout at the same time would be logical.

iOS 17.4 Supported Devices

iOS 17.4 release date rumour and anticipated new features
iOS 17.4 release date rumour and anticipated new features

iOS 17.4 will be compatible with all devices that can run iOS 17. This means it will not only support the latest iPhone 15 series but also older devices like the iPhone XR from 2018.

Supported devices will include the iPhone 15, iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone Xs, iPhone XR, iPhone SE (2022), and iPhone SE (2020). Typically, newer devices receive iOS updates first, but Apple usually extends the update to all supported devices quickly. However, like iOS 17, some features may be limited on older devices due to hardware limitations.

New emojis
New emojis
For emoji enthusiasts, iOS 17.4 will bring six exciting new additions. These include a brown mushroom, a phoenix, a broken chain, a lime wedge, and most notably, a head-shaking face and a nodding face. These new emojis offer more expressive options for conveying approval or disapproval in your messages.

Messaging with Siri

The feature previously known as “Automatically Send Messages” is being rebranded as “Messages with Siri” in iOS 17.4. This renaming aims to streamline the feature’s name for clarity. Additionally, Siri will now be able to read incoming messages in specific languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and more. However, this functionality is limited to message playback, and the primary language used to communicate with Siri will remain unchanged.

Apple Cash virtual card numbers

Apple pay
Apple pay

At times, Apple Pay may not be an option, requiring you to resort to using your credit card number, forfeiting Apple’s added payment security. However, iOS 17.4 introduces virtual card numbers as an alternative.

For Apple Cash users, the Wallet app will allow the generation of virtual card numbers. These virtual cards come with unique numbers, expiration dates, and security codes, enabling you to use them for online purchases just like a physical credit card. In the event of a compromise, simply cancel the card with no repercussions.

Gone are the days of cutting up your card or requesting a new one from the bank. With virtual card numbers, you can easily cancel and set up a new one. You can even cancel the card after each transaction, knowing your details are safe and all transactions are charged to your original Apple Cash account.

Quantum Computing protection in iMessage

Apple is enhancing iMessage security in iOS 17.4 with post-quantum cryptography (PQC) to protect against potential quantum computing attacks, even though quantum computing is still in its early stages and sounds like science fiction.

Quantum computing attacks involve hackers collecting data now and decrypting it later using quantum computing, which could potentially crack modern encryption. PQC algorithms can be developed without needing a quantum computer and can provide the foundation for future, quantum-secure protocols.

It’s important to be prepared for future threats, and enhancing security is always beneficial when it comes to protecting your data.

Game streaming apps

Game Streaming App
Game Streaming App

Apple has reversed its stance on game streaming apps and will now permit them to be accessible on the App Store. Previously, Apple prohibited apps from serving as hubs for unapproved content, forcing game streaming services to use web apps instead. However, developers will need to create and publish these apps on the App Store, so users may need to wait for their availability.

Disabling hand gesture reactions in video calls

In iOS 17, the feature to trigger a reaction with hand gestures during a video call was introduced without an option to disable it. This could lead to awkward situations, such as fireworks going off unexpectedly while speaking to an important client or doctor on FaceTime.

iOS 17.4 addresses this issue by introducing a new API that allows developers to disable hand gesture reactions, providing users with more control over their video calls.

All new CarPlay support

All new CarPlay support
All new CarPlay support

iOS 17.4 is getting ready for the next version of Apple CarPlay, which will let your iPhone take over your car’s displays and control certain car functions.

The beta version of iOS 17.4 shows that the new CarPlay will be able to use car cameras, check the battery, control the climate, monitor door sensors, play FM and AM radio, check tire pressure, and give you info about your driving trips.

Other iOS 17.4 tweaks

In iOS 17.4, there are several new features for users worldwide. These include Stolen Device Protection, which now delays activation only in unfamiliar locations. Additionally, podcast transcripts are now available in Apple Music, and the “Listen Now” tab in Apple Music has been renamed to “Home.”

Furthermore, a Live Activity feature has been added to the Stopwatch, allowing it to appear on the Dynamic Island and lock screen. A new “City Digital” clock widget has been included, and Apple TV’s “How to Watch” section has been changed from a card interface to a list. Additionally, the purchase list in the App Store now includes all purchases made with your account, including TV, movies, music, subscriptions, and apps.

iOS 17.4 EU exclusive changes

iOS 17.4 EU exclusive changes
iOS 17.4 EU exclusive changes

With the launch of iOS 17.4, iPhone users in the EU will experience changes due to the implementation of the Digital Markets Act. One major change is that Apple must offer the option to download apps from third-party app stores, with some control retained by Apple to approve these apps and require developers to pay royalties.

This change won’t impact the user experience negatively, and EU iPhone owners will have the ability to download apps from sources outside the Apple App Store for the first time. However, it’s uncertain if developers will support this change; currently, only Epic Games has announced plans for a separate app store, but rumors suggest other companies like Microsoft may also create their own app stores without Apple’s involvement.

Additionally, EU users will be able to set a new default web browser, and Apple Pay and NFC will support alternative payment options.

On the downside, iOS 17.4 will remove support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in the EU. PWAs are designed for services not allowed in the App Store, such as game streaming platforms like Xbox Game Pass. These PWAs offer an app-like experience in a web browser tab, including full-screen functionality and a home screen shortcut.

Apple has stated that due to “complex security and privacy concerns,” maintaining PWAs is not feasible under the DMA rules and cites “very low user adoption of Home Screen web apps” as a factor.

iOS 17.4 Outlook

iOS 17.4 is bringing a lot of changes, but the most important one is that it will split the software for different regions. This means that if you’re in the EU, you can expect even more features in the future, even though it may result in Apple discontinuing web apps.

The update is not here yet, so there’s still time for Apple to announce new features or changes. The quantum computing protection in iMessage, for example, was only revealed on February 21. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to experience these changes ourselves, as the EU has set a hard deadline for this update to be rolled out.


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