Apple has just released iOS 17.4, the latest software update for iPhones and iPads. This update brings a host of new features, improvements, and changes, particularly for users in the European Union. Let’s look at what iOS 17.4 has to offer and whether it’s worth upgrading.

New Features and Improvements

Emoji Additions

One of the most exciting additions in iOS 17.4 is the introduction of new emoji characters. Users can now express themselves with a variety of new symbols, including a lime wedgenodding and shaking heads, a phoenix, and a mushroom. These new emoji add more diversity and creativity to text conversations.

Also Read: How to Get NETV Gold V9 on iOS?

Apple Podcasts Transcripts

Apple has enhanced the Podcasts app with transcripts for episodes in English, Spanish, French, and German. Users can now follow along with the text, which highlights in sync with the audio. This feature improves accessibility and makes it easier to search for specific content within podcasts.

Stolen Device Protection Enhancements

The Stolen Device Protection feature, introduced in iOS 17.3, has been improved in iOS 17.4. Users can now enable increased security in all locations, not just unfamiliar ones. This added layer of protection helps prevent thieves from accessing sensitive information or making changes to the device.

Call Identification

iOS 17.4 introduces Call Identification, which displays the name, logo, and department information for Apple-verified businesses when they call. This feature adds an extra layer of trust and transparency for incoming calls.

Apple Cash Virtual Card Numbers

With iOS 17.4, Apple Cash users can generate virtual card numbers to make purchases at merchants that don’t accept Apple Pay. This feature provides more flexibility and convenience when using Apple Cash for transactions.

Battery Health Improvements

For iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models, iOS 17.4 offers more detailed battery health information in the Settings app. Users can now view the battery cycle count, manufacture date, and first use date, providing better insights into their device’s battery performance.

Read: How to Enable Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone

Changes for European Union Users

iOS 17.4 brings significant changes for users in the European Union, as Apple complies with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These changes include:

  1. Alternative App Marketplaces: For the first time, iPhone users in the EU can install apps from alternative app marketplaces, breaking Apple’s monopoly on app distribution.
  2. Third-Party Browser Engines: Web browsers in the EU are no longer limited to WebKit, allowing for alternative browser engines like Google’s Blink or Mozilla’s Gecko.
  3. NFC Access: Third-party payment apps and banks in the European Economic Area (EEA) now have access to the NFC chip, enabling contactless payments directly on the iPhone without using Apple Pay or the Wallet app.
  4. Alternative Payment Methods: Users in the EU can choose third-party payment processors for in-app purchases, bypassing Apple’s traditional payment system.
  5. Web Apps: Apple initially restricted the functionality of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in the EU but later reversed the decision after backlash from users.

These changes aim to promote competition and give users more choice in the EU, aligning with the DMA’s goals.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

In addition to new features, iOS 17.4 includes several bug fixes and performance improvements. The update addresses issues such as blank contact pictures in the Find My app and Dual SIM errors in group messages. Apple has also optimized the overall system performance, promising smoother operations and potentially better battery life.

Should You Upgrade to iOS 17.4?

The decision to upgrade to iOS 17.4 depends on your specific needs and location. For users outside the European Union, the update primarily offers new emoji, podcast transcripts, and minor improvements. These additions may not be compelling enough for some users to upgrade immediately, especially if they prioritize stability over new features.

However, for users in the EU, iOS 17.4 is a significant update that introduces long-awaited changes to the App Store and app ecosystem. The ability to use alternative app marketplaces, browser engines, and payment methods provides more choice and flexibility, aligning with the DMA’s goals.

It’s worth noting that some users have reported decreased performance and battery life after updating to iOS 17.4. While these issues might be resolved in future updates, it’s essential to weigh the potential downsides against the benefits.

Overall, iOS 17.4 is a substantial update that brings exciting new features and improvements, particularly for users in the EU. If you value the latest emoji, podcast transcripts, and security enhancements, or if you’re an EU user seeking more choice and flexibility, upgrading to iOS 17.4 is recommended. However, if you prioritize stability and are willing to wait for potential bug fixes, you may want to hold off until further updates are released.