iOS 17.4 update: new features and release date, iOS 17.5 beta

iOS 17.4 update: new features and release date, iOS 17.5 beta

With every new iOS update comes many changes. That's why we're bringing you the highlights of iOS 17.4, from the highly anticipated 'sideloading' to new emojis and the opening of NFC, and more. Find out which iPhones are compatible and how to test the beta version of iOS 17.5.

What's new in iOS 17.4?

  • Third-party app stores: developers will have tools and APIs to develop their app stores. These will have to pass a review by Apple to guarantee users that they are safe.
  • Video game streaming apps: companies will be able to launch applications such as GeForce Now or Xbox Cloud Gaming.
  • Other payment options: users in the European Union can opt for other payment methods in addition to Apple Pay thanks to the opening of the iPhone's NFC chip. It will now work with NFC tags and allow you to pay with Google Pay or even the apps of each bank.
  • Siri will be able to read incoming messages in languages other than the main one, which you can add in the Settings section.
  • Increased security against theft: an extra layer of security is added to the protection in case of theft brought by iOS 17.3, as FaceID/TouchID will now be requested to log out of the Apple ID or disable the 'Search' option not only in unknown locations but in any location.
  • New battery health data in iPhone 15: Now the battery health section will show you the charge cycles when you first used your iPhone and its manufacture date.
  • Browsers will not depend on the Safari engine. In addition, users will be able to select their preferred browser as default.
  • New emojis: a phoenix, a mushroom, a nodding emoji, and a shaking head emoji, among others.
  • Podcast transcription: thanks to the AI, the podcasts will be transcribed and will appear on screen as the lyrics of your songs in the Music app.
  • The Music app: the Listen tab will be renamed Home. On the other hand, in a SharePlay session, only one user will need to be subscribed to the others to be able to play content.

How to install iOS 17.4

  • Once iOS 17.4 is available for download, the notification will appear automatically on all compatible devices as an update. If it doesn't appear, you can still go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Once you see the iOS 17.4 box with its features, you'll need to click Update Now or Update Tonight, depending on your preference. This process will take a few minutes. Make sure your iPhone is connected to a power source.
  • Once the update is complete, your iPhone will restart with the new version.

Note: Please note that more advanced features will only be available for newer models.

How to install iOS 17.5 beta

At the moment, the beta version of iOS 17.5 is not available. Its release is expected for the last week of March. The purpose of these test versions is that developers can begin to prepare their applications for proper operation in the new environment, working on bugs and improvements.

Note: Please note that beta versions are for testing and may contain bugs and be unstable, which means that some apps may crash. Therefore, it is not recommended to install it on your primary phone.

If you are interested in testing the iOS 17.5 beta while the update is being released, you can download and install it by following these steps:

  • Go to Apple's Beta Software Program page and sign up with your Apple ID.
  • On the Beta Software page, make sure the iOS option is selected.
  • Next, you'll need to scroll down and under Get Started, click Enroll your iOS device. As the program is about installing trial versions, it is recommended that you back up your iPhone beforehand in Finder or iTunes (if you are using Windows or a version prior to macOS Catalina).
  • Go to on your iPhone to download and install the configuration profile. Your iPhone will notify you as soon as the download is complete.
  • To complete the installation, go to Settings, tap on the profile, and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Next, select Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates > iOS 17 Developer Beta.
  • Tap Back (top left corner) and the update will appear. Finally, tap Update Now.

What's new in iOS 17.3?

  • Apple fixes its first 'zero-day' bug of 2024

The iOS 17.3 update is now available, and one of its most anticipated new features is undoubtedly "anti-theft mode". However, the new version also fixes a dangerous security flaw, so Apple recommends updating your device immediately if you have an iPhone XS or any newer model. The vulnerability (identified as CVE-2024-23222) affects iOS, macOS, and tvOS, as it was discovered in WebKit, the Safari browser engine. What makes it dangerous is that it is a zero-day flaw that Apple says could be exploited by hackers. "Processing malicious web content can lead to arbitrary code execution," says the company. This is the first zero-day bug that Apple has fixed this year. In 2023, it fixed 20 of them.

  • Theft protection

As for the new features you'll find when you install iOS 17.3, it's worth noting that the flagship feature of this version protects your iPhone in case of theft. It has been noted that just before stealing an iPhone, criminals look at the password entered by the user to unlock it, so they can change it and disable the "Find My" function after the theft. This leaves the victim with no way of finding or locking it.

Therefore, by activating the Stolen Device Protection feature, in addition to entering the iPhone passcode, it will be necessary to use Face ID or Touch ID to access personal data, such as the iCloud keychain or payment methods registered in Safari, as well as to delete all content and settings on the phone, deactivate the Find option and use that iPhone to set up another one.

  • Security Delay: In addition, a one-hour security delay is added to validate the modification of sensitive iPhone settings: changing passwords, Apple ID, passcode, Face ID/Touch ID settings, disabling Find My and Lost Mode. A victim of theft will then have time to access their account to cancel any changes and report their iPhone as lost.
  • Collaborative playlists in the Music app: Multiple users can now add or remove songs to a collaborative playlist, and each song will display the avatar of the user who added it. Plus, you'll be able to react with emojis.
  • A new Unity Bloom wallpaper in honor of Black History Month.
  • AirPlay in hotels: You'll be able to stream and play content from your iPhone or iPad to the TV in some hotel rooms by scanning a QR code.
  • Improvements in system performance and stability through bug fixes.
  • Apple Care and Warranty: You will be able to view warranty coverage for all devices on which you use your Apple ID in this section that has been added to the settings.

How to download and install iOS 17.3 on your phone?

Once iOS 17.3 is available for download, the notification will automatically appear on all compatible devices as an update.

  • To install it you will need to go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Once you see the iOS 17.3 box with its features, you will need to click Download and Install. This process will take a few minutes. You will need to make sure your iPhone is connected to a power source.
  • Once the update is complete, your iPhone will restart with the new version.

Note: the most advanced features will only be available for the latest iPhone models.

What's new in iOS 17?

In addition to the recently unveiled accessibility features, designed to enhance usability for individuals with disabilities, iOS now boasts a collection of refreshing new features. Notable improvements have been made to essential apps such as Phone, Messages, and the keyboard. However, there has been no mention of the evolution of the App Store or the possibility of acquiring apps outside of the official platform. This is a requirement that Apple will eventually need to address in order to comply with the Digital Market Act, a new European legislation governing the digital services market. It remains to be seen whether this significant evolution will be implemented in iOS 17 or a subsequent version.

© Apple


The Phone app, which is one of the main components of the iPhone experience, has been updated with the introduction of personalized Contact Posters. Users can now customize their appearance to give incoming calls a new look. These Contact Posters will take up the entire screen when one of your contacts calls you. 

© Apple

Voice Mail

The phone application has another new function: Live Voice Mail. If you don't want to pick up and the caller leaves a message, the Phone app displays a transcript of the message left on your answering machine. A useful way to know, depending on the content of the message, whether it is necessary to call back immediately or not. It is difficult to know for the moment if this function will be offered by all operators.


FaceTime receives a small update with the possibility of leaving a video message, like a video voice mail. FaceTime calls now offer an even more expressive experience with the addition of Reactions, including hearts, balloons, fireworks, laser beams, rain, and other effects. To activate these effects, all you will need to do is make a gesture, adding an extra touch of fun to your conversations. 


The Messages app for SMS still does not use the RCS protocol. Google, which is urging Apple to use it, will still have to wait. On the other hand, the app benefits from some improvements. It allows for example to follow the movements of one of your contacts and to know if they have arrived at their destination. Practical, for example, to know if a child has returned home safely, or a friend after a night out.

© Apple

Stickers are also becoming more important, and they can be created directly from a photo from your photo library and resized at will to stick on messages. It is even possible to create small animations in the form of stickers that are made from Live Photos taken on an iPhone.


The Quick Sharing system available on iOS, iPadOS and macOS just got easier to use. It will be possible to share contact details by bringing two iPhones closer together or between an iPhone and an Apple Watch, this is referred to as NameDrop. The gesture also allows users to share other type of content and initiate SharePlay, where you can listen to music, watch movies or play games with other nearby iPhone users. 


This is a new app coming to iOS. The Journal allows you to feed a diary combining notes, photos, videos, music from locations, etc. It invites you to build up a personal logbook. Everything is done locally on the device, so nothing is stored in the cloud.

Standby mode

Combined with a foot/charger and positioned horizontally, with the StandBy function, the iPhone can turn into an advanced alarm clock. It thus looks like a voice assistant with a screen such as those found at Amazon or Google for example and can display the program of the day, the news, the weather, etc.

© Apple

Besides these few changes, iOS 17 will bring several other minor changes. The self-correction system for SMS will be improved using machine learning to better understand your habits and only correct "useful" mistakes. In addition, it will no longer be necessary to pronounce "Hey Siri" to wake up the home voice assistant, a simple "Siri" will suffice. Moreover, conversations with Siri can continue without having to pronounce the name. The Maps app for its part will allow you to download maps to display them offline. Finally, the Photos app will not only just recognise human faces, but also animals.

Which iPhones will be compatible with iOS 17?

For this new version of iOS, Apple has reduced the list of iPhones capable of running its latest OS. Models released since 2018 will be able to benefit from it. From the iPhone XR, the iPhone SE (2nd generation) through the iPhone XS and all iPhone 11, 12, 13 and 14 ranges will be able to benefit from the update. However, unlike iOS 16, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus are excluded from the list. Their latest OS will therefore be frozen at iOS 16.5. We nevertheless salute the longevity of the Apple brand's software support, which reaches 5 years where, in the Android world, it is difficult most of the time to deploy major updates beyond four years in the best case.

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