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Home / News / Here’s what new features iOS 17.4 brings to your iPhone

Here’s what new features iOS 17.4 brings to your iPhone

iOS 17.4 introduces EU-mandated support for third-party app stores, alongside a bunch of improvements to your iPhone.

iOS 17 standby clock

Another update for the top Apple smartphones has just landed – iOS 17.4. The first version of iOS 17 packed in plenty of new features for your iPhone, including Standby, more customisation options, new messaging features, and more. But not everything made it into the first update. So, Apple is rolling out iOS 17.4 to bring more promised features to your handset, alongside some EU-mandated third-party options.

Here’s the lowdown on all the new features you can expect on your Apple smartphone when you update.

What’s new in iOS 17.4?

iOS 17.4 is an iterative update of the new iOS 17. Rather than packing any groundbreaking new features, it rolls out some of the extra goodies and features that give your iPhone some extra functionality. You’ll also find bug fixes, refinements to features, and further tweaks. To download the update, head to Settings > General > Software Update, tap Install and follow the on-screen instructions.

By far the biggest announcement in this update is the introduction of third-party options in the EU. You can access alternative app stores on your iPhone and set them as your store of choice. What does this mean? You can install software that’s not officially on the App Store from third-parties – something that used to require sideloading workarounds. Developers might do this for a number of reasons, including to avoid App Store fees. To protect users from security risks, you have to allow these installations in the Settings app, and will see warning pop-ups if malware is protected. You can also switch to third-part payment apps in the EU that replace Apple Pay, if you’d rather switch. These changes have been mandated by EU regulations, so will only appear in EU countries for now.

iOS 17.4 Alt App Store Warning

There are plenty of other changes across the board in iOS 17.4. In the Podcasts app, you’ll now see auto-generated audio transcripts. This works just like lyrics in Apple Music, and lets you read along to the podcast currently playing. Siri can now read incoming messages in different languages (any of the ones Siri natively supports) – something that’s handy if you’re bilingual.

A new security option improves on iOS 17.3’s Stolen Device Protection, and lets you require a password to change secure settings (like iCloud, Face ID, etc) if you’re away from home. There’s also a new Live Activity for the Stopwatch feature, which you can use if your device has the Dynamic Island. Some more minor features include iMessage security upgrades, references to the next version of CarPlay, support for cloud gaming apps, and the ability to generate virtual card numbers in Apple Cash.

iPadOS 17.4 doesn’t introduce anything of note. But, iOS 17.4 also enables watchOS 10.4. With the new Apple Watch software, you’ll find some minor tweaks to improve the stability of your watch.

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About

Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

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