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Apple releases iOS 17.4 with 11 new key features, including EU iPhone sideloading

Published Mar 5th, 2024 1:01PM EST
iPhone 15 Pro showing the App Store ahead of iOS 17.4 beta release
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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After over a month of beta testing, iOS 17.4 is finally available to iPhone users. With that, people can experience a new security update for stolen iPhones, Apple Music tweaks, and exclusive features for European users.

European users get these exclusive new features

With iOS 17.4, European iPhone users can download alternative app stores, choose third-party payments, and even their default browser. Here’s what we know:

  • Marketplaces – or alternative app stores: Users in the EU can choose to download apps in alternative app stores as long as they meet Apple’s criteria for customer experience, support, and fraud prevention, among other changes.
  • Default browser options: EU users can choose a new default browser from a list of the most downloaded browsers on iOS devices just after they update to iOS 17.4.
  • NFC third-party access: Banks and third-party payment services can be offered for European iPhones.
  • Web apps are back: It’s almost not a feature. When Apple started testing iOS 17.4, the company said it was removing web apps for European users. By the end of the beta cycle, Cupertino said it won’t remove this feature, so nothing is changing.

iOS 17.4 features everyone is getting

iOS 17.4 new emojisImage source: José Adorno for BGR

With iOS 17.4, developers can try everything Apple is planning to release next week, which includes:

  • Gaming app changes: Users can now take advantage of streaming gaming apps, such as GeForce NOW. These developers can offer games inside their own apps.
  • Messaging with Siri: Siri can read incoming messages in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and more.
  • New emojis: Over 28 new emojis are available with iOS 17.4. You can discover them here.
  • Stolen Device Protection changes: Apple has added an option that a double authentication can always be required instead of only unfamiliar locations.
  • AirPods on Android: When your AirPods are being used on an Android device or Windows PC, there’s a new notification on your iPhone so you can switch the connection back to it
  • iPhone 15 battery lasts longer: Apple says that the iPhone 15 can hold at least 1,000 complete cycles with up to 80% of total battery life, compared to 500 cycles of its predecessors. In addition, there’s a new Battery setting that shows the cycle count of your iPhone, when the battery was manufactured, and when it was first used.
  • New iMessage protocol: iMessage is also being upgraded with iOS 17.4 with a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol that improves end-to-end secure messaging. You can learn more about it here.

iOS 17.4 iPhone compatibility

How to fast charge iPhone 15 ProImage source: José Adorno for BGR

iOS 17.4 is compatible with the following devices:

  • iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen)
  • iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd gen)
  • iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Below, you can learn more about iOS 17, including existing and upcoming features.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.