iOS 17.4: What to expect in Apple’s next major software update | Technology News

Apple recently released the first beta of iOS 17.4 for eligible iPhones, marking significant changes that could fundamentally change how one uses an iPhone, especially in the European market. This update unlocks new avenues on the iPhone, finally opening up the walled garden to others with support for third-party app stores, payment gateways, and more.

Here are some of the most prominent changes that Apple is introducing to the iPhone with the upcoming iOS 17.4 update:

  1. 01

    Ability to sideload apps and games

    While users still won’t be able to download any app from the web and install it on their iPhones, iOS 17.4 is finally paving the way for third parties to have their own app store for iPhones. This will allow users to install apps from sources outside the official App Store in the European Union. Since the inception of the iPhone, Apple has never allowed users to sideload or install apps from outside the App Store without jailbreaking. This is changing with the iOS 17.4 update.

  2. 02

    Third-party payment gateways

    This is again a Europe-exclusive feature where app developers can now incorporate their own payment gateways. This means apps like a Spotify subscription could cost a lot less, and it could also enable platforms like Netflix to allow users to finally subscribe to their services directly from their app. This development could also reduce the prices of some apps and games, as developers no longer have to pay up to 30 per cent. Additionally, this change should allow users in Europe to use other wireless payment services similar to Apple Pay for making contactless payments.

  3. 03

    Browsers with third-party engines

    iOS 17.4 will also allow app makers to develop web browsers without the restrictions of web kit, and this specific policy change will help brands to develop fully custom web browsers for iPhones. Opera has already announced that it is working on an AI-powered web browser, which will soon be available for iPhones.

  4. 04

    Stolen device protection

    Apple is also making your iPhone a lot more secure with iOS 17.4 by introducing new “stolen device protection” rules, where, one might need both pincode and Face ID/Touch ID biometric authentication to remove an Apple ID from an iPhone or to factory reset the device.

  5. 05

    Region identifier

    While it was pretty straightforward to change the country or a region on an iPhone, iOS 17.4 could make it a little more difficult with the introduction of a new regional identifier, where, Apple would automatically determine the specific region of a user, which is likely to help the company to restrict several mentioned features to the European region.

  6. 06

    New emojis

    Emojis help us express ourselves, and with the iOS 17.4 update, Apple is adding as many as 100 new emojis, which include phoenix, lime slice emoji, mushroom, broken chains, and more. These emojis should definitely help users to add more context while texting.

  7. 07

    Podcasts to get auto-generated transcripts

  8. 08

    Stopwatch in live activities

    If you have an iPhone with Dynamic Island, you can now access the stopwatch via the live activity feature. Just open the clock app. Start the stopwatch and come back to the home screen, you can see this timer within Dynamic Island. To use this feature, you either need to have an iPhone 14 Pro or an iPhone 15 series.

  9. 09

    Series gains more capabilities

    iOS 17.4 is also making Siri a lot smarter, where, the personal assistant can now message in multiple languages ​​via the Message with Siri service. This enables users to send a message via the iMessage with simple audio prompts in multiple languages ​​at the same time.

  10. 10

    Music app gets a makeover

    Apple is also changing the UI of the music app with iOS 17.4, where, the listen now button has been replaced by the home button, which will take you to a new menu, especially if you are a subscriber, which will include recommendations, and recently played music.