iOS 17.4, new changes arrive in March

In an early move, Apple confirmed the release of iOS 17.4 for March, bringing with it a set of significant new features and changes for iPhone users. Among the most notable updates are major transformations to the App Store specifically for the EU, the inclusion of transcripts in Apple Podcasts, SharePlay for HomePod, and a series of new emojis. Additionally, the update paves the way for the launch of the next generation of CarPlay later this year.

Some of the new emojis that will be added to the collection after the iOS 17.4 update

Changes to the EU App Store: New era of options

Complying with the EU Digital Markets Act, iOS 17.4 introduces significant changes to the App Store, Apple Pay, and Safari, among others. iPhone users in the 27 EU member countries will now find themselves able to access alternative app markets and payment options. Additionally, Safari will introduce a default web browser selection screen and allow third-party browsers to use web engines other than Apple’s WebKit on the iPhone. Other innovations include access to the iPhone’s NFC chip for third-party mobile wallet apps, enabling contactless payment functionalities and more.

Transcripts on Apple Podcasts

The Apple Podcasts app now offers transcripts of episodes, allowing listeners to read the full text of an episode, search for specific words or phrases, and jump to specific parts of the audio by tapping the text. Like song lyrics on Apple Music, each word is highlighted as the episode plays. Transcripts, initially available in English, French, German and Spanish, are automatically generated upon publication of a new episode and will be gradually added to previous episodes.

The new emojis in iOS 17.4 expand the ways of expression, as Apple continues to innovate to improve the experience of its users.

SharePlay for HomePod: Shared music control

With iOS 17.4, SharePlay extends its functionality to HomePod, allowing family and friends to control the music playing on your HomePod after giving their approval. The functionality is currently limited to the Music app, and does not require other participants to have an Apple Music subscription. When playing a song on your iPhone, you can tap the SharePlay icon to display a QR code that others can scan to request access to music playback controls.

New emojis to express every emotion

iOS 17.4 brings with it a set of new emojis that add more ways to express yourself. These include a broken lock, a brown mushroom, nodding and shaking heads, a lemon and a phoenix, enriching visual communication in messages and conversations.

Preparations for the next generation of CarPlay

The iOS 17.4 beta already contains codes for eight new CarPlay apps, promising deeper integration and improved functionality in compatible vehicles. These applications range from vehicle settings and rear camera display, to climate control, tire pressure monitoring, and more. Apple also confirmed that the first vehicle models in the US with this next generation of CarPlay will launch sometime in 2024.

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