Last month, Apple announced the forthcoming release of iOS 17.4, scheduled for March. The update promises to bring a host of new features and modifications to enhance the iPhone user experience.
The iOS 17.4 update is notable for introducing significant updates to the App Store in the European Union, adding transcripts to Apple Podcasts, integrating SharePlay with HomePod, and incorporating a range of new emoji. Moreover, it lays the groundwork for the upcoming launch of the next-generation CarPlay later in the year.
Apple acknowledges the potential risks that the new EU developer options may pose to its users and devices. While the company cannot completely eliminate these risks, it intends to implement measures to mitigate them within the framework of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These protective measures will be active from the release of iOS 17.4 in March.
To align with the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple is set to implement significant changes to the App Store, Apple Pay, Safari, and other services with the iOS 17.4 update. These changes will affect iPhone users across the 27 EU member states.
Key changes include permitting alternative app marketplaces and payment methods within the App Store in the EU. Additionally, Safari will feature a new default web browser selection screen, allow third-party browsers to use web engines other than WebKit, and enable third-party mobile wallet apps to access the iPhone's NFC chip for contactless payments.
With iOS 17.4, the Apple Podcasts app will offer transcripts, enhancing the ability to read full text, search terms, and navigate to specific episode segments. Transcripts will be generated automatically for new episodes and will be available in English, French, German, and Spanish, with plans to include older episodes gradually.
The update extends SharePlay music control to HomePod speakers, allowing others to manage music playback on your HomePod upon approval. Initially, this feature supports only the Music app and does not require an Apple Music subscription for other participants. Users can share a QR code to grant remote access to music controls.
iOS 17.4 enriches the emoji collection with additions such as a broken chain, a brown mushroom, shaking heads in horizontal and vertical orientations, a lime, and a phoenix.
The iOS 17.4 beta includes codes for eight new CarPlay apps, enhancing vehicle integration:
Apple has also confirmed that the first U.S. vehicle models equipped with the next-generation CarPlay will be available sometime in 2024.
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