Exploring iOS 17.4 Release Date Features: What’s New

Apple sets a new benchmark for every release of its iOS and never shies away from showcasing its innovative skills by introducing new features. This article explores iOS 17.4 release date features in detail to long awaited Apple iOS users to answer their curiosity and what additional features getting added to their iOS to use in their iPhone.

Major updates from iOS 17.4 version apply to the European Union and the rest of the updates and enhancements were rolled out to the rest of the world. 

iOS 17.4 Release Date Features

Apple released its latest iOS 17.4 version in addition to iPad OS 17.4 on 6 March 2024 for supported iPhone and iPad models. It has come up with many interesting features such as new Emojis or emoticons, a new third-party app store for European Union users, defect fixes, enhanced stolen device protection, podcast transcripts, changes to the battery interface with more options regarding battery health, post-quantum cryptography security upgrade, call identification and many more.

In this article, we have brought all the iOS 17.4 release date features for discussion.

iOS 17.4 Release Date Features to European Union Users

To comply with Digital Markets Act (DMA) Apple had brought major changes to its iOS 17.4. That major change includes revamping the Apple app store. Now the Apple allows EU users to choose between the Apple app store and alternative third party app stores.

Third-Party App Stores or Alternate App Stores, Payment Structure and Its Terms(EU)

Now with iOS 17.4, Apple allows its EU users to install the apps through Apple’s default app store or third party app store to consider the Digital Markets Act(DMA). With this change, Apple introduced a new business structure for the developers to opt for.

According to Apple’s press release, there are changes to app developers in app distribution and payment processing.

Developers who distribute their apps through alternate or third party app stores do not need to pay any fee to Apple. With the new scheme, app makers will have to pay a regular annual price of 0.50(Core technology) euros per user, however, the first million installs will be provided at no cost. There is a fee calculator to show component wise charges as per the number of app installs the developer has to pay as per new system and old system.

Developers are not interested in going with a new system; they can opt for an existing system, with that developer having to pay a 30% fee for apps and in-app purchases and then 15% for subsequent years.

Small scale developers can opt for a new App Store small business program, under this if they do up to 1 million businesses they can pay a 15% fee for the year, if it crosses 1 million then they have to pay 30%.

While downloading the apps through a third party app store and if that app contains any malware, Apple warns the user about the malware.

Alternative Payment Methods(EU)

Apple allows developers to go with alternate payment service providers within apps other than Apple’s in-app purchases. For purchasing digital goods and services, Apple offers developers alternative payment methods to directly link to their websites to make a payment or make in-app purchases.

Developers who distribute their apps through app stores can get a three percent discount if they opt for alternative payment processing methods.

Developers who distribute their apps through alternate app stores and choose alternate payment processing methods are not required to pay any fee to Apple above the set 0.50 euro fee per user.

Safari Browser Along With Third Party Browser(EU)

Apple brings the default third party browser option with iOS 17.4 release. With this release, iOS users can choose a third party browser as the default browser among a list of safari supported browsers.

When they open a Safari browser on the new iOS 17.4 version, a popup will be displayed asking users to choose their favorite browser as default browser from the list Apple supported third party browsers. So users can experience the functionalities and features of third party browsers also without limiting to Safari browser.

In addition to that Apple is allowing different browser engines to to run their browsers on Apple iOS. Till now it only supports the Webkit browser engine which is the underlying technology for the Safari browser to run and all other browsers are forced to run on the Webkit engine only. So most of the extensions and features are limited and are native to other different browser engines like Chromium, Blink for Chrome, Gecko for Firefox, etc..

Retains Progressive Web Apps Support(EU)

Initially Apple disabled support of progressive web apps (PWA) with iOS 17.4 release in the EU. But later there was a strong disagreement and criticism from EU users and developers for disabling the PWAs.

Later Apple decided to continue to support the PWAs with users’ negative feedback. Later Apple said that it supports home screen web apps that are downloaded from Safari browser but the web apps that are downloaded from different browsers that do not have Webkit engine support then those apps will not work.

Extended Support To NFC(EU)

With iOS 17.4 update, Apple provides NFC access to third party payment apps and banks within the European Economic Area. Now it is not required to use a wallet app or Apple Pay and make contactless payments directly through iPhone using any other payment provider.

The Settings app provides an option to set the default contactless payment provider. This section provides all the payment provider details that have been granted access to NFC. When you go near contactless pay terminals, the default contactless payment provider will be activated or by pressing the side button twice on the iPhone also activates the NFC chip.

New Emoticons

iOS 17.4 update brings new emojis to express emotions and feelings. More than 100 such emojis are introduced in the iOS 17.4 update. These emoji characters include a phoenix or immortal bird, a broken link, a brown mushroom, a shaking head up, down, left and, right, a slice of lime and other human and body emojis.

These new emoji symbols were added in the Unicode 15.1 update in the year 2023 and updated in iOS 17.4 by device manufacturer Apple.

Podcast With Transcripts and Search within Transcripts

Apple iOS 17.4 update added support for transcripts for podcast app. When you listen to your favorite podcasts, you can read the transcripts along with audio. This transcript will be displayed in sync with podcast audio.

Open the podcast app and start any of your favorite shows, then press the media player that appears at the bottom of the screen to see the transcripts. In the lower left corner of your screen, there is a speech bubble like icon with quotes. When you tap this button, transcripts will be displayed on the screen.

Apple iOS 17.4 update supports podcast transcripts in English, German, French, and Spanish languages. It also supports a search option within the displayed transcripts if you wish to find any book title, or movie title. Transcript text is highlighted to be in sync with audio when it is playing.

Changes to Messaging with Siri

The Automatically Send Messages label is renamed to “Messaging with ‌Siri‌” now and this option is available under Siri & Search. There is a new option added to configure Siri to read incoming messages in different languages like French, Spanish,German, etc..

The only thing changed is message playback; Siri still listens in and reacts in the original language.

Support for Streaming Game Apps

iOS 17.4 update provides support to streaming game apps which were not allowed before this update. Now streaming game apps like Nvidia GeForce NOW and Xbox Cloud Gaming are allowed on the Apple app store and can be downloaded, and installed as standard apps on iPhone and iPad devices.

Earlier Apple allowed only cloud gaming services through the web but now standalone apps are allowed  including plug-ins, chatbots, and minigames can now all make use of the in-app purchase system.

Enhanced Battery Health Tool For iPhone 15 Models

An innovative feature added to the battery health tool to the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 plus, iPhone 15 pro and iPhone 15 pro max with the latest iOS 17.4 update. This new feature you can find at Settings-> Battery. You can quickly find the “Battery Health” status in one word like “Normal” or “Service”. 

If you tap on Battery Health, it will show more details about your phone’s battery. Like Cycle Count, Maximum Capacity, Manufacture Date and First Use. In older versions, it used to show a percentage to indicate battery health without any word.

Digital Clock Widget

Apple introduced a new digital clock widget called City Digital Clock Widget with iOS 17.4 update. You can add this widget to the home screen or lock screen. Here you can set a location other than the present location where you are, so that you can track that location time.

Home Button to Music and Books Apps

Apple iOS 17.4 update introduced the Home button to Apple Music and Books apps.In both the apps you can find a new Home button in the bottom left corner when you open them. In older versions there used to be Listen Now in Apple Music and Read Now in Books app. So now in iOS 17.4 both of the above buttons are replaced with the Home button.

Apple Cash gets Virtual Card Numbers

Apple iOS 17.4 update brings change to Apple Cash. Now Apple Cash is updated with Virtual Card Numbers which can be used at different online stores where Apple Pay is not allowed. Virtual card contains detailed information such as unique card number, three digit security code and expiry date.

Additional Protection to IMessage

IMessage is improved with Post Quantum Cryptographic protocol called PQ3 to protect against future quantum attacks. With the implementation of PQ3 to IMessage app, if someone collects encrypted data hoping to decrypt it in the future with the help of Quantum computing, it will not be possible.

Stolen Device Protection With More Options

Stolen device protection adds another layer of security to your personal information from the iPhone in case your phone is stolen. iPhone 17.4 added a new feature security delay. When you try to change some settings from an unfamiliar location, it will ask for biometric information twice, initially you have to enter, then after an hour it will ask for a second time. But this delay will end if you reach a familiar location.

New Car Play Instrument Cluster

With iOS 17.4 update, a few supported vehicles with Car play and maps now show a new instrument cluster with upcoming turn by turn maneuvers.

Call Identification

When available, Call Identification shows the department name, business name, and logo that have been validated by Apple.

Conclusion : iOS 17.4 Release Date Features

iOS 17.4 release date features are explored in detail throughout this article which definitely makes the iPhone users aware of the iOS 17.4 updates, enhancement and new features.

FAQ : iOS 17.4 Release Date Features

Q: What is the latest version of iOS running presently?
A: The latest version iOS is 17 now which is designed to run the Apple devices.

Q: Which fonts will get iOS 17?
A: Apple iOS 17 is using the Hebrew version of San Fransisco.

Q: Does iOS 17 have new Emojis?
A:  Apple introduced more than 100 emoticons with the 17.4 update which includes sliced lemon, gray mushroom, broken link etc..

Q: Can you downgrade iOS 17 to 16?
A: Downgrading from iOS 17 to 16 is not possible. You have to contact Apple customer care for support.

Q: Does iOS 17 drain battery?
A: With the Apple iOS 17.4 update, lots of users are facing battery drain issues because of a lot of major updates to the iOS.

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