These 7 new iOS 17.4 features will change your iPhone forever

Anurag Singh
iOS 17

Apple’s new iOS 17.4 update is just a few days away, and it should bring a wealth of new features. We go through the major changes below.

Apple is gearing up to make big changes to your iPhones with the upcoming iOS 17.4 release. While the main aim of this update appears to be compliance with the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU, it will also bring several new features to every iPhone user.

The release date of the iOS update isn’t confirmed yet but since the deadline to comply with the DMA is March 5, we expect Apple to start seeding it in a few days from now.

iOS 17.4 is touted as the biggest mid-cycle update Apple has ever released. It includes new emojis, a more secure iMessage app, an update to the Stolen Device Protection feature, and more. Below are seven new iOS 17.4 features that will change your iPhone forever.

1. Extra security measures for iMessage

iMessage 3D Logo

iOS 17.4 is poised to bring a significant leap in the security of iMessage. While the way you text with your friends and family will remain the same, Apple will make it more secure with “Level 3” security. This kind of security employs advanced cryptography to secure messages when the conversation starts and while it’s going on.

This represents a step beyond Level 1 security standards employed by WhatsApp and Signal. Apple claims that thanks to the new security standards, iMessage conversations will be safeguarded even against highly sophisticated quantum attacks. The existing security layer on iMessage is vulnerable to such attacks.

2. Upgraded Stolen Device Protection

Stolen Device Protection was introduced with iOS 17.3. It adds an extra layer of security to prevent bad actors who have your passcode from making critical changes to your iPhone, such as changing your Apple ID password. With this feature on, anyone who has your iPhone will need Face ID or Touch ID to access your iCloud Keychain passwords, Lost Mode settings, or wipe your device.

Another protective measure of this feature is the incorporation of an hour delay when changing Apple ID passwords. However, this can prevent you from changing your password when you really need to. With iOS 17.4, Apple will give you the option to implement the delay only when your phone is away from your home location.

3. Podcast transcripts

Image showing Apple podcast transcription feature in action

iOS 17.4 will give Apple’s first-party Podcasts app the ability to generate transcripts. The company says a transcript will be automatically generated by Apple’s software in English, French, German, and Spanish-language podcasts. It will be viewable across “over 170 countries and regions.”

You can search transcripts for specific words and phrases, tapping them to jump directly to that point in the episode. Plus, as the episode plays, you can follow along with the transcript and see each word highlighted as it’s spoken aloud.

4. Alternate app store & no homescreen web apps

iOS 17.4 will also make Apple’s ecosystem slightly less barricaded (for users in the EU). Apple will be complying with the latest DMA regulations in the EU, meaning you’ll now have an alternate app market to get apps from instead of being locked into the Cupertino company’s App Store. You will also have support for other payment methods, the option to set default NFC and wallet apps in Apple Pay, and more.

Another drastic change this regulation brings is the discontinuation of web apps. In case you don’t know, iPhones previously had the option to turn any website into a web app that could be accessed directly from the home screen. Apple is removing this option, citing security concerns.

5. New Emojis

Image showing new Apple emojis

Apple will be bringing new emojis to iPhones with the iOS 17.4 update. There will be six new emojis to express different emotions and objects. Some will let you express approval or denial, while others will allow you to show a phoenix on fire, a lime, or the breaking of chains.

6. Updated music recognition

iPhones are already able to recognize the music that’s playing in the background through the Shazam app. The songs you’ve identified get saved in the Shazam app, which you can preview to discover new music. However, with iOS 17.4, Shazam music recognition will add a song directly to your Apple Music library or a specific playlist. It will also let you add classical music songs to Apple Music Classical.

7. Next-generation CarPlay

iOS 17.4 will bring support for next generation of CarPlay, which is expected to be announced in the US in 2024. Plus, when using Apple CarPlay with Maps, you’ll see a new instrument cluster in certain supported vehicles.

“With supported CarPlay vehicles, Apple Maps will present a new instrument cluster experience with information about upcoming maneuvers,” Apple said .”Users will be able to swap the desired display type between the main and instrument cluster screen by tapping the map configuration button on the upper right of the Maps main screen.”

About The Author

Anurag is a Tech writer at Dexerto. He is an expert in laptops, smartphones, and wearables. Anurag has previously covered major brands like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft. He's previously written for publications like Android Police, Neowin, MakeTechEasier, Gizmochina, and more. Get in touch at