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Apple releases iOS 17.4 as one of the most important iPhone updates of all time

iOS 17.4 puts an end to the App Store monopoly after 16 years in the EU. (Image: Apple)
iOS 17.4 puts an end to the App Store monopoly after 16 years in the EU. (Image: Apple)
Apple has released iOS 17.4 for the iPhone Xs and all newer iPhones, introducing some massive changes for Europe in particular. For EU users, apps can now be downloaded from other stores and browsers can now finally use engines other than Apple WebKit. All users will receive a number of changes in the form of bug fixes and improvements.

iOS 17.4 has arrived and can now be downloaded and installed in the system settings under General --> Software Update. The 1.74 GB patch mainly introduces changes prescribed by the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). First and foremost, apps can now also be distributed outside of the App Store in the EU. For this reason, the Epic Games Store, among others, will soon be available on the iPhone, which means that Fortnite will also return to iOS.

Browsers such as Google Chrome can now use their own browser engines (such as Chromium) instead of having to depend on Apple WebKit as before. Developers now have the option of making payments in apps via service providers such as PayPal instead of only via the App Store. These changes mean that Apple has significantly less control over what software can be offered on the iPhone, meaning that apps such as Xbox Game Pass may also be available on the iPhone in the future in the EU. 

In addition to the changes prescribed by the DMA, iOS 17.4 also contains new features, including 18 new emoji and transcripts in the Podcasts app. Songs recognized by Shazam can now be added directly to a playlist. Anyone using an iPhone 15 or an iPhone 15 Pro can check the charging cycles and production date of the battery directly in the system settings under 'Battery'. The patch also contains numerous bug fixes. These are the full release notes:

Apps in the EU

  • Residents of the European Union can now:
    - Install apps from alternative app marketplaces.
    - Install browser apps with alternative browser technologies.
    - Set the default web browser when Safari is opened for the first time.
    - Use alternative payment options for apps in the App Store with the external badge for purchases.

  • Some options must be supported by the development team.


  • New emojis are now available via the emoji keyboard: mushroom, phoenix, lime, broken chain and shaking heads.

  • 18 person and body emojis are now available in both directions.

Apple Podcasts

  • With transcripts, users can listen to episodes and read the text highlighted in English, Spanish, French and German in sync with the audio.

  • The text of episodes can be read as a whole, or specific parts/sentences can be chosen. Playback can be started from a specific point by tapping, and using assistance functions such as "Text size", "Increase contrast" or VoiceOver are supported.

Other improvements and bug fixes: 

  • With the "Music" recognition feature, you can add recognized tracks to your Apple Music playlists, library and Apple Music Classical.

  • Siri can now read and respond to messages in any supported language.

  • More options for Stolen Device Protection.

  • In the settings, the number of charging cycles, the production date and the date of first use are displayed for the battery status on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models.

  • The bug of empty display profiles when viewing contacts in "Where is?" has been fixed.

  • An issue has been fixed for dual SIM users where, after changing the primary phone number to secondary, this would become visible to a group in which messages had been sent.

    Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. You can find more information on the security aspects of Apple software updates via this website:



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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 03 > Apple releases iOS 17.4 as one of the most important iPhone updates of all time
Hannes Brecher, 2024-03- 5 (Update: 2024-03- 5)