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10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while.

Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝ General ➝ Software Update on your device to get downloading.

1. Generate Podcast Transcripts

Apple is adding audio transcripts to the Podcasts app for iPhone, meaning you'll be able to read along to your favorite podcasts as they are spoken. If you're familiar with lyrics in Apple Music, it's very similar.

You can also search the auto-generated podcast transcripts for specific words or phrases and jump to that point in the conversation, where you can then tap to skip to the audio track.

2. Protect Messages Against Quantum Attacks

Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple.

Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but Apple recognizes that existing cryptographic protocols used by messaging apps rely on mathematical problems that could potentially be solved by future quantum computers. The PQ3 protocol is Apple's solution to mitigate that risk.

3. Support for Next-Generation CarPlay

Next-generation CarPlay is set to launch in the U.S. later in 2024, and iOS 17.4 brings support for a slew of new apps, including climate control, tire pressure, rear-view camera feed, electric vehicle charging status, and more.

When Apple first announced next-generation CarPlay, it said committed automakers included Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Renault, and Volvo. Apple has not yet said if any next-generation CarPlay features will be made available in vehicles with classic CarPlay support.

4. Siri Reads Incoming Messages in Other Languages

Previously in iOS 17, ‌Siri‌'s interaction with Messages was limited to one option – the ability for ‌Siri‌ to automatically send your dictated messages without asking you to confirm them first.

In iOS 17.4, however, ‌Siri‌ can also read messages to you in another language different to the primary language that ‌Siri‌ listens to and responds in. It's a neat option to have if you are bilingual, for example, or you're learning a new language.

5. Stolen Device Protection Away From Home

To make it harder for a thief to access passcode-protected data on a stolen iPhone, Apple in iOS 17.3 included Stolen Device Protection. With the feature enabled, Face ID or Touch ID is required to access passwords in iCloud Keychain, Lost Mode settings, options for erasing the device, and making purchases in Safari.

In addition to the new biometric requirements, the feature also imposes a one-hour security delay on actions like changing an Apple ID password. New in iOS 17.4 is a supplemental option that only requires a security delay when your device is located away from familiar locations, such as your home or office.

6. Live Activity for Stopwatch

For some reason, Apple previously never offered Live Activity support for when you start a stopwatch in the Clock app, until now.

In iOS 17.4, any running Stopwatch now shows up in the Dynamic Island and on the Lock Screen, where there are controls for pausing the Stopwatch, clearing it, and starting a new lap.

7. Generate Apple Cash Virtual Card Numbers

iPhone owners running iOS 17.4 will be able to generate a virtual card number for spending Apple Cash when Apple Pay isn't an online option.

An Apple Cash pre-paid card allows users to send peer-to-peer Apple Pay payments to friends and family, transfer money to bank accounts, pay off their Apple Card, or spend money online via Apple Pay. With the new virtual card feature, Apple Cash users will be able to spend their balance even if Apple Pay is not supported by an online store.

8. App Support for Cloud Gaming Services

With iOS 17.4, streaming game apps will finally be allowed on the ‌App Store‌ worldwide, which means services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce NOW can be offered as standalone ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ apps.

Apple previously only allowed cloud gaming services to be offered via the web, but dedicated apps that let users stream games from servers will soon be permitted. Mini-app, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins will also be able to use the in-app purchase system.

9. Set a Contactless Payment Provider

In iOS 17.4, third-party payment applications and banks can utilize the NFC chip in iPhones to enable contactless payments directly through the device in the European Economic Area, bypassing the need for Apple Pay or the Wallet app. Users in this region will have the ability to choose a primary contactless payment service, which is triggered at payment terminals or by double-pressing the iPhone's Side button.

Within the EU, the Settings app will allow users to select and manage their preferred contactless payment provider. This area also lists all apps that have been authorized for contactless payment functionality. Additionally, users in the EU will have the option to replace the default Wallet application on their iPhones.

10. Support for Alternative App Stores

App developers in the EU will be able to offer alternative app stores or install their apps through alternative stores. This means users in the EU will be able to set their preferred alternative app store as the default app store on their device, rather than Apple's own App Store. EU users will see an option for this in the Settings app.

In addition, a Screen Time setting will allow parents to decide whether their children's devices are able to install apps from alternative app marketplaces. Users in the EU will also get a pop up warning when an app from an alternative app store contains malware.
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Source: TechRadar

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