iOS 17.4 will be released in March — here’s all the new features on the way

iOS 17 logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Apple recently confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March of this year in a press release, and it is coming with a wealth of new features for users to enjoy. Here’s a list of everything we know that is coming to iPhones in the next update. 

iOS 17.4 has been mentioned a few times over the last few months, due in part to the recent legal issue Apple has been having with the EU. It seems that the update will include the necessary legal changes that Apple has had to make to comply with the latest EU laws.

App Store alternatives finally allowed (in EU)

Apple mentioned the new EU laws in the same press release and said, “Inevitably, the new options for developers' EU apps create new risks to Apple users and their devices. Apple can't eliminate those risks, but within the DMA's constraints, the company will take steps to reduce them. These safeguards will be in place when users download iOS 17.4 or later, beginning in March.”

To comply with the EU’s Digital Market Act Apple has made changes to the App Store, Apple Pay, Safari and more. These changes allow alternative app marketplaces as well as alternative payment options in the EU App Store. Other changes include a new default web browser selection screen as well as changes to Apple’s Webkit on the iPhone. It seems that while these are significant changes, many companies are unhappy, including Microsoft.

 Apple Podcasts will now have transcripts 

Podcast Transcripts in iOS 17.4

(Image credit: Macrumors)

One new feature coming with iOS 17.4 is a change to the Apple Podcasts, which will now offer transcripts. This will allow users to read a full-text transcript of an episode, search for a specific word or phrase, and tap on the text to jump to a certain part of the episode. 

Apple has said that it will automatically generate transcripts after an episode is published. These transcripts will be available in English, French, German and Spanish. Apple has also mentioned that older podcasts will get transcripts over time but has not stated how long it will take. 

HomePod Speakers will now be controllable through SharePlay 

how to uise apple shareplay in a car

(Image credit: Future)

According to Apple, iOS 17.4 will come with an expanded version of the SharePlay music control and allow it to work with HomePod speakers. This will mean that family and friends will be able to control the music that plays through your HomePod but will still need you to approve their access request. It should be noted that this feature will only work with the Apple Music app, but other people do not need an Apple Music subscription to participate. 

This feature will supposedly work through a generated QR code that can be scanned by either an iPhone or an Android phone. Once scanned the users will be able to interact with the SharePlay. Surprisingly it seems that a screen shot of the QR code will work when scanned, which may be a great addition for some people.

New Emojis for your iPhone

iOS 17.4 emoji's

(Image credit: Future)

Each time Apple releases a new update it will often include several new emojis. We recently heard about what the new options will be, and it seems that they have been confirmed. New emojis include broken chains, a phoenix and even a lime as well as others. It has been mentioned that there are fewer that have been seen in prior updates.

 CarPlay has some next-generation improvements 

Aston Martin Apple CarPlay interface for 2024

(Image credit: Aston Martin/Apple)

Another addition to iOS 17.4 will be bringing some improvement to CarPlay in the form of eight new apps. These will include Auto Settings, charge levels for electric cars, media focused on radio and music streaming, tire pressure and climate control. One of the most interesting additions will be a connection to a car's rear camera to help during parking, although some cars already have this feature built into their dash.

Apple has recently confirmed that the first U.S. vehicle models with the next-generation CarPlay will be released at some point in 2024.

iOS 17.4 outlook

This list of new features are great additions to the other rumored features we have seen coming with iOS 17.4. It seems that prior predictions about this mid-cycle update being the one of the largest in the company's history are true. We will know more when the update is released in March. 

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