iOS 17.3 has arrived — here's the new features for your iPhone

iOS 17 logo on iPhone sitting on MacBook keyboard
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

iOS 17.3 is now available for download on all compatible iPhones, as the latest version of iOS 17 has left beta and achieved stability.

The headline feature of iOS 17.3 is Stolen Device Protection, a setting that stops potential thieves from locking you out with only your PIN. Unless you're in a designated familiar location, you need to use Touch ID or Face ID to change key settings, with some also locked behind a one-hour delay to stop attacks of opportunity.

If you're subscribed to Apple Music, iOS 17.3 also makes Apple Music Collaborative Playlists available to you. With a group of friends, you can now assemble the finest mix of tunes all in one playlist, and leave emoji reactions in response to each song.

In terms of smaller updates, this iOS version also adds support for AirPlay with hotel room entertainment systems, an upgrade to crash detection on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15, plus a new Unity Bloom wallpaper for your phone, the latest in Apple's Black Unity series of backgrounds.

Just like iOS 17's original version, you need an iPhone XS, iPhone XR or newer to download iOS 17.3. You can update it manually from your phone's Settings app (under General, then Software Update), but your phone may also download and install it for you automatically when you're not using it, such as overnight.

Now that iOS 17.3 is out, there will no doubt be an initial beta release for iOS 17.4 soon too. We aren't expecting any massive new features at this point in iOS 17's life cycle but perhaps Apple will surprise us with something as meaningful as Stolen Device Protection once again. Hopefully we won't see a repeat of the iOS 17.3 beta 2 incident though, where the update caused a boot looping issue that required Apple to pull the download after only a few hours, and led to it moving straight on to beta 3.

The next big update for iPhone software will be iOS 18, which we will see at WWDC in June assuming Apple sticks with its normal release timings.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.