7 New iOS 17.4 Features You Need To Try On Your iPhone ASAP

European Union users get the best features, though.

New emojis in Apple's iOS 17.4

It’s time for another big iOS update, but this one will be different depending on where you live. Apple’s iOS 17.4 is officially available to the public, but the European Union version will have some extra features that everyone else won’t. If you live within the EU, you’ll be able to sideload apps, choose another default browser, and access third-party payment options.

We may not get those features in the U.S., but we still get fun updates like new emojis and podcast transcripts. iOS updates are always chock full of security and privacy improvements, and bug fixes, so they’re always worth downloading no matter what. But if you need a few stronger reasons, here are seven headlining features that make iOS 17.4 worth downloading ASAP.

The latest iOS 17.4 update adds more emojis and some quality-of-life upgrades.


7. Over 100 New Emojis

Apple added 118 more emojis but the six headliners for this update include a phoenix, a lime, a brown mushroom, a broken chain, a head that’s shaking horizontally for “yes,” and one shaking vertically for “no.” The latest update also revamps the gender-neutral family emojis into something more akin to bathroom signs, which is going to be a “head shaking horizontally” from us, though some people might feel the neutral family emojis are a step backward for diversity. The more than 100 other emojis come from adding in direction-specific people emojis, like someone kneeling to the right.

Hard to believe there wasn’t a lime emoji before!


6. Podcast Transcripts

It’ll be much easier to navigate podcasts now that there are full-text transcripts for whatever new show you’re listening to. You’ll be able to search for specific terms to make it easier to jump around the podcast, but it should make things a lot more accessible since there are options for resizing the text, increasing the contrast, and voice-over. Plus, you can easily identify where the ads are in your podcast and tap to skip ahead in the transcript. Apple says its podcast transcripts will first be available for English, French, Spanish, and German podcasts.

5. Siri Can Read Your Texts in Other Languages

While the podcast transcripts won’t have translations yet, Siri can now read your texts in any supported language. In the Messaging With Siri section of Settings, you can add dictation languages without changing the primary language Siri operates in.

4. EU-Only Changes

Since we’re talking about other languages, it only feels appropriate to detail the differences that European Union iPhone users will get. Thanks to pressure from the EU, Apple made a different version of iOS 17.4, which includes the ability to use other app marketplaces, the choice to switch to a different default browser, and the option for third-party payment options.

It’s good that users will finally be able to install apps from other app stores beyond Apple’s App Store, but it’s disappointing that Apple is limiting the feature to the EU instead of using this opportunity to offer more openness for iOS. On the other hand, it’s clear that Apple is doing everything it can to make the EU-imposed change unattractive for consumers. For example, third-party app stores will stop working when you travel outside of the EU.

3. More Battery Health Info

For the battery health junkies out there, Apple is giving you even more info about charging your iPhone. iOS 17.4 brings more detail to the Battery Health section of Settings, showing you battery cycle count, manufacture date, and even the first use on iPhone 15/15 Pro models.

2. Apple Cash Virtual Card

Even though your iPhone essentially acts as your wallet these days, there are still some vendors who don’t accept Apple Pay. To get around this, iOS 17.4 introduces a virtual card from Apple Cash where you can manually punch in your card number from your Wallet App or via Safari’s Autofill.

1. Updated CarPlay Interface

Customize your Apple Maps interface on a compatible vehicle running CarPlay.


If you’re driving a car with a secondary display, iOS 17.4 lets you choose which interface you want for your primary and secondary displays. You can stay with the default option that shows street-level directions on the main instrument cluster and the route overview on the secondary screen, or interchange the two. Apple didn’t detail which cars are compatible with this update yet, but it’s clearly aimed at cars with at least two displays.

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