iOS 17.4 Release Imminent: A Comprehensive Look at Apple’s Next Big Update

iOS 17.4

Apple’s iOS 17.4 is poised to roll out in the first week of March, marking a pivotal update for iPhone users worldwide. This upcoming release is not just another incremental update; it brings a suite of new features, improvements, and regulatory compliance measures, especially for users in the European Union.

Key Highlights 

  • Expanded SharePlay music control to HomePod speakers: Users can now allow friends and family to control music on HomePod speakers through SharePlay, broadening the music sharing experience​​.
  • Introduction of new emoji: A collection of new emojis, including a broken chain, a brown mushroom, and a phoenix, will enrich messaging and expression​​.
  • Next-Generation CarPlay enhancements: Preparations for eight new CarPlay apps, including Auto Settings and Car Camera, are part of the update, pointing towards a more integrated vehicle experience​​.
  • Compliance with the EU’s Digital Markets Act: Significant changes to the App Store in the EU, including support for alternative app marketplaces and browser engines, reflect Apple’s adaptation to regulatory demands​​.
  • Stolen Device Protection improvement: Users gain more control over security settings, adding a layer of protection against device theft​​.
  • Transcripts in Apple Podcasts: The update introduces transcripts for Apple Podcasts, enhancing accessibility and user engagement​​.
  • Siri upgrades: Siri’s functionality has been expanded to support reading messages in additional languages​​.

iOS 17.4

Apple’s compliance with the Digital Markets Act by March 6 is a key driver behind the timing of the iOS 17.4 release. The act mandates significant changes to digital platforms operating within the EU, impacting app marketplaces, browser options, and payment methods. iOS 17.4’s adjustments, including the introduction of alternative app marketplaces and support for other browser engines, indicate a substantial shift in Apple’s ecosystem, especially within the EU​​.

With iOS 17.4, Apple enhances the SharePlay experience, allowing users not only to share their music but to grant control over playback on HomePod speakers to family and friends. This feature democratizes music control in shared spaces, making it more accessible and interactive. It builds on the existing SharePlay functionalities introduced in iOS 15, extending the seamless integration between Apple devices and services​​.

The addition of new emojis, such as a phoenix and a broken chain, reflects Apple’s ongoing commitment to diversity and expression in digital communication. These updates often follow the Unicode Consortium’s release of new emoji standards, ensuring that iPhone users have access to the latest in digital expression tools. Emojis have become a staple of modern communication, providing a way to convey emotions and ideas succinctly and vividly​​.

The update’s broader implications for user experience, security, and market competition are profound. Features like Stolen Device Protection and the addition of new emojis and CarPlay apps enhance both the functionality and enjoyment of using an iPhone. The regulatory changes, particularly in the EU, may set precedents for further modifications in digital marketplaces and app distribution models globally.

In conclusion, iOS 17.4 is not just an update; it’s a significant step forward for Apple in terms of innovation, user security, and regulatory compliance. With its release just days away, iPhone users can look forward to a richer, more flexible, and secure experience. This update underscores Apple’s commitment to evolving its ecosystem to meet the diverse needs of its global user base, while also adhering to the increasingly complex web of global regulations.

About the author


Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson is the Marketing Communications Manager for Vast Conference, a meeting solution providing HD-audio, video conferencing with screen sharing, and a mobile app to easily and reliably get work done."