Apple Releases iOS 17.4 with Third-Party App Stores in the EU

iOS 17.4 Sideloading

Apple recently released iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, bringing a mix of new features, security enhancements, and changes specific to the European Union (EU) to comply with the upcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA). So, let’s go into details.

Apple Releases iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 with New Features and Security Fixes

Apple iOS 17

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EU-Specific Changes:

  • Alternative App Stores: The update allows users in the EU to download apps from third-party app stores alongside the traditional App Store. This is a significant shift mandated by the DMA to promote competition and user choice.
  • Browser Engine Freedom: Developers of web browsers, other than Safari, can now choose their preferred rendering engine, breaking the previous requirement to use Apple‘s WebKit. This grants developers more flexibility and potentially enhances user experience.
  • Open NFC: NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality is now accessible to third-party wallet and banking apps. Allowing users to choose their preferred payment solutions beyond Apple Pay. This aligns with the DMA’s aim to promote fair competition in mobile payments.

Global Features:

  • Automatic Podcast Transcriptions: The update introduces automatic podcast transcriptions in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and German. This feature improves accessibility and allows users to easily follow along or revisit key points in podcasts.
  • New Emoji: A fresh set of emoji, including a mushroom, phoenix, lime, broken chain, and shaking heads, adds to the diverse range of expressive options available to users.
  • Security Updates: Importantly, the update addresses two critical security vulnerabilities that were reportedly exploited. Installing the update is crucial to ensure optimal device protection.
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Overall, iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 offer a combination of user-centric features, enhanced security, and adherence to evolving regulations. While the EU-specific changes represent a significant shift in the mobile landscape within the region, the global features offer valuable benefits to all users. Making the update worthwhile for everyone.

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