What’s New In iOS 17.4 Update – Release Date And Features

Apple’s iOS 17.4 update for iPhone and iPad is set to introduce a variety of new features and enhancements. With a focus on improvements for users in the European Union, the update brings changes to messaging, payments, App Store policies, and more.

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Release Date

The iOS 17.4 update is expected to be released in the first week of March 2024. While an exact release date is not yet known, Apple typically launches major iOS updates in the first half of the month.

Based on previous release cycles, the likely release date for iOS 17.4 falls between March 1-7, 2024.

New Emoji Characters

iOS 17.4 adds support for the Emoji 15.0 character set approved in September 2022. This introduces 31 new emoji options, including:

  • Lime
  • Brown heart
  • Light blue heart
  • Gray heart
  • Pink heart
  • Donkey
  • Moose
  • Edible brown mushroom
  • Empty nest
  • Hyacinth
  • Pea pod
  • Ginger
  • Folding hand fan
  • Hair pick
  • Maracas
  • Flute
  • Khanda
  • Wireless
  • Rightwards hand
  • Leftwards hand
  • Palm down hand
  • Palm up hand
  • Index pointing at the viewer
  • Heart hands
  • Biting lip
  • Person with crown
  • Pregnant man
  • Pregnant person
  • Troll
  • Khanda
  • Wireless
  • Shake head
  • Grey shaking head
  • Phoenix

These new emoji designs offer more diverse representation and new ways for users to express themselves in messages and texts.

Messaging with Siri

The iOS 17.4 update renames the “Automatically Send Messages” setting under Siri & Search to “Messaging with Siri.”

This setting allows users to control whether Siri can send an audio recording of a message via iMessage, WhatsApp, or other supported apps when they ask Siri to send a message.

The update also adds options for Siri to read incoming messages aloud in different languages and accents. This allows users to have messages read in a natural conversational voice.

Podcasts and Music Updates

Both the Apple Music and Podcasts apps have been updated in iOS 17.4. The tabs at the bottom have been renamed to “Listen Now,” “Browse,” and “Radio.”

For Podcasts, a new feature called Podcast transcripts provides read-along text similar to the time-synced lyrics available in Apple Music. Users can read podcast transcriptions while listening to episodes.

iMessage Security Enhancements

To boost security, iOS 17.4 requires alternative messaging apps linked to iMessage to display enhanced verification screens. This provides an additional confirmation step when linking accounts to prevent unauthorized access.

The change ensures robust account security when using WhatsApp, WeChat, and other third-party apps with iMessage integration.

Alternative Payment Options

As part of App Store changes for developers in the EU, iOS 17.4 allows apps to use alternative payment methods outside of in-app purchases.

This provides more flexibility for developers to choose payment processors and offer alternative purchasing systems to users. Apps will no longer be restricted to only using Apple’s in-app purchase system.

Detailed Battery Health Readouts

The Battery Health section under Settings > Battery now provides more granular details about battery performance and status.

New metrics include:

  • Battery cycle count
  • Maximum battery capacity
  • Peak performance capability
  • Battery temperature history
  • Details on battery servicing

This allows users to monitor battery health and degradation over time more closely.

Security Delay Options

Under Find My app settings, users can now configure security delays for enabling Lost Mode and erasing a device after it is flagged as lost.

Two options are available:

  • Immediately: Lost Mode and erase will be activated immediately when device is reported lost
  • After 1/24/48 Hours: Activates Lost Mode and erase after set delay period when away from familiar locations

The new settings provide more flexibility in security when a device is misplaced or stolen.

Next-Generation CarPlay

Code references in iOS 17.4 hint at upcoming support for next-generation CarPlay features. While not yet activated, the new CarPlay experience is expected to debut later in 2024.

It will likely include enhanced mapping capabilities, new app categories, widget support, and deeper integration for electric vehicle functions.

App Store Updates

Significant App Store policy changes are coming in iOS 17.4 for users in the European Union. These include:

  • Sideloading support: Apps can now be installed outside the App Store from third-party stores and direct downloads. However, sideloaded apps lose deep integration with iOS.
  • Third-party payment APIs: Developers can now utilize alternative in-app payment systems beyond Apple’s in certain categories. This reduces Apple’s commissions on purchases.
  • App submission reform: More pricing flexibility, expanded APIs, easier app updates, and a reduction in review rejections for developers.
  • Unfair advantage protections: Rules to prevent Apple from using App Store data to unfairly compete with third-party developers.

Together, these App Store updates provide more options for developers and reduce restrictions for iOS users in the EU.

What is Release Date

The iOS 17.4 update is expected to launch in the first week of March 2024, likely between March 1-7.

Key Features of iOS 17.4 Update

New emoji charactersSupport for Emoji 15.0 added, including new hand gestures, animals, foods, and more
Messaging with SiriOptions to have Siri automatically send audio messages and read incoming messages aloud
Apple Music & Podcasts updatesRefreshed tabs and new podcast transcripts feature
iMessage security enhancementsExtra verification required when linking accounts to boost security
Alternative payment optionsApps can now use third-party payment systems instead of Apple’s in-app purchases
Battery health detailsMore metrics like cycle count and capacity for monitoring battery status
Security delay settingsNew options to delay Lost Mode and erase when device is flagged as lost
Next-generation CarPlayCode hints at upcoming overhaul to CarPlay with new apps and capabilities
App Store changesSideloading, third-party payments, more pricing flexibility, and other App Store policy updates for EU users


The iOS 17.4 update brings an array of new features with enhancements for messaging, apps, payments, and device security. Apple is rolling out significant App Store changes for developers and consumers in the EU to provide more choice and flexibility.

With the update likely arriving in early March 2024, iPhone and iPad users can expect an improved experience and access to key new capabilities across system apps, Siri, iMessage, CarPlay, and more. iOS 17.4 marks an evolution of the platform with EU-focused reform and tools for deeper personalization.

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