iOS 17.4: A comprehensive look at every new feature and change

The iOS 17.4 update has been released, and it brings a range of new and exciting features and improvements to both the iPhone and iPad.

Regardless of whether you are a gamer, an EU resident, or simply someone who loves emojis, you will find something in this release that appeals to you. Let’s take a closer look at all of the features.


Here are all of the new features and changes in iOS 17.4 update

Express Yourself with New Emoji

New emoji characters

Expand your emoji vocabulary with a fun and quirky set of new additions, including a lime, a brown mushroom, a majestic phoenix rising from the ashes, a broken chain symbolizing liberation or disruption, and shaking head emojis (both vertically for a “no” and horizontally for a “yes”) to express agreement or disagreement more clearly.


Redesigned emoji

Breathe new life into your existing emoji collection with 18 redesigned emojis that can now face different directions. This update adds a touch of personality and inclusivity to your emoji communication, allowing you to better match the sentiment of your message.

emoji 15

Changes for the European Union

This iOS 17.4 update ensures Apple’s compliance with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which aims to promote fair competition in the digital market. This compliance might involve changes to the App Store and in-app purchase system, fostering a more open and competitive app ecosystem.

Download apps from third-party stores

iOS 17.4 allows EU users to download apps from app stores outside the App Store, providing more choice and flexibility in finding the apps they need. This aligns with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, fostering more competition and innovation in the mobile app market.

Safari and WebKit

Users in the EU now have the freedom to choose their default web browser, which is a feature that has been eagerly anticipated by consumers. Additionally, developers can use unique web engines for their browser applications, which promotes competition and innovation in the browser market.

Utilize alternative payment methods within apps

iOS 17.4 allows users to choose alternative payment methods within apps instead of being restricted to Apple’s in-app purchase system. This empowers users with more control over their financial transactions and potentially opens doors for lower transaction fees.

App Store Connect API changes

Changes are made to the App Store Connect API to comply with EU regulations. These changes might involve how developers submit apps and manage their listings within the App Store.

Gaming enhancements (Worldwide)

Cloud gaming services

iOS 17.4 paves the way for cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now to be available on iPhones. This opens doors to a wider variety of high-end games that wouldn’t be possible to run on the device itself, potentially bringing console-quality gaming experiences to mobile gamers.

Microsoft- Xbox Cloud Gaming

In-app purchase system for mini-games, chatbots, and plugins

iOS 17.4 allows developers to leverage the in-app purchase system for mini-games, chatbots, and plugins within their apps. This enables new monetization opportunities for developers, potentially leading to the creation of more engaging and interactive content within apps.

Messaging and Communication

Siri announces incoming messages in any language

iOS 17.4 allows Siri to announce incoming messages in any language you choose, making it easier to stay on top of your communication while multitasking, especially if you’re expecting messages from international contacts.

Enhanced iMessage security protocol

The update adds an extra layer of protection with an improved iMessage security protocol, ensuring your private messages stay confidential. This update strengthens user privacy and safeguards sensitive information communicated through iMessage.

iMessage RCS iPhone

Podcasts and Music

Podcast transcripts

Podcast lovers can now enjoy transcripts alongside the audio, making it easier to follow along with the conversation, highlight key points for future reference, and revisit specific parts of the podcast without having to scrub through the audio.

Improved music recognition with quick song library addition

With iOS 17.4 update Shazam gets even better. With improved music recognition, you can quickly identify an unknown song playing around you and add it to your Apple Music or Apple Music Classical library with just a few taps. This eliminates the need to launch a separate app and streamlines the song identification process.

Additional iOS 17.4 features

Stopwatch Live Activity

Keep track of your elapsed time and remaining time on your Lock Screen or Home Screen with the Stopwatch Live Activity. This eliminates the need to constantly open the Clock app and provides a convenient way to monitor your progress during workouts or other timed activities.

Improved call identification

Identify unknown callers with more information, including business names, logos, and even department names when available. This helps you decide whether to answer the call or not, and potentially avoid unwanted spam calls.

Enhanced Stolen Device Protection

iOS 17.4 brings improvements to Stolen Device Protection, a feature designed to safeguard your iPhone and personal information in case of theft. While the specific details of the enhancements haven’t been officially disclosed by Apple, they’re likely aimed at further strengthening existing security measures.

Messages for business functionality

Businesses can leverage features like sending order status updates, flight notifications, and fraud alerts directly through Messages, keeping customers informed and improving communication. This streamlines communication channels and provides a more convenient way for businesses to engage with their customers.

Apple TV app enhancements

Enjoy a more streamlined and personalized experience with various improvements to the Apple TV app. These enhancements may include a more intuitive interface, better content recommendations, and easier access to your favorite shows and movies.

App Store bug fixes and performance improvements

With the iOS 17.4 update, the App Store benefits from bug fixes and performance improvements, ensuring a smoother and more efficient user experience when browsing, searching, and downloading apps.

Revamped Clock widget

Stay on top of your schedule with a refreshed Clock widget that offers improved functionality and visual appeal. This update might include larger fonts, a more intuitive layout, and easier access to different time zones and alarm settings.

Apple Cash virtual card numbers

Enhance security and privacy when shopping online with virtual card numbers generated by Apple Cash. This eliminates the need to share your actual card details with merchants, reducing the risk of fraud and protecting your sensitive financial information.

Hand gesture reactions in video apps

Apple introduced hand gestures in video calls for 3D effects in iOS 17. Default activation led to awkward moments. iOS 17.4 allows users to disable gestures by default in video apps.

Hand gesture reactions in video apps

Enhanced “Hey Siri” feature

Summon Siri more easily and reliably with an improved “Hey Siri” voice activation feature. This update might involve better voice recognition, making it more efficient to activate Siri with voice commands.


CarPlay updates

CarPlay instrument cluster update for compatible vehicles: Access essential information like speed, navigation, and music directly on your vehicle’s instrument cluster for a more integrated driving experience (compatible vehicles are required). This eliminates the need to glance down at your phone screen and keeps your eyes focused on the road, improving overall safety.

CarPlay Porsche

CarPlay next-generation support groundwork

Lay the foundation for the next generation of CarPlay, which is expected to offer deeper integration with vehicle features and functionalities in the future. This might involve features like controlling the car’s climate settings or adjusting seat positions directly from the CarPlay interface.

Background App Refresh toggle per app

iOS 17.4 update gives you more control over your battery life and data usage with the ability to toggle Background App Refresh on a per-app basis. This allows you to choose which apps can refresh their content in the background and helps you optimize your device’s performance.

“Home” instead of “Podcasts” in the Music app

The “Podcasts” tab within the Music app has been renamed to “Home,” reflecting a broader focus on various audio content, potentially including audiobooks and other non-music audio experiences.

Bug fixes

iOS 17.4 update brings various bug fixes throughout the system to address minor issues and improve overall stability. These bug fixes might address crashes, glitches, or unexpected behavior in various apps and functionalities, leading to a more reliable and smooth user experience.

Other unspecified features

There might be additional features and improvements included in iOS 17.4 that haven’t been officially documented by Apple. These features might be discovered by users over time or revealed in future updates.

By understanding all these features, you can unlock the full potential of iOS 17.4 and personalize your iPhone experience to better suit your needs and preferences. So, download the update today and explore the exciting possibilities.

(Via MacRumors)

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