iOS 17.4 Brings New Emojis, Clock Widget and Major App Store Changes

iOS 17.4 released
In Short
  • iOS 17.4 has been released by Apple yesterday.
  • The new iOS 17 update brings 18 new emojis, some pathbreaking changes to the App Store in the EU, and more features.
  • To install iOS 17.4, go to Settings>General>Software Update and download and install the update.

The unprecedented has happened and is now official with iOS 17.4. The latest iOS update which was released yesterday brings several new features along with a major overhaul to the App Store in the Europe region. iOS 17.4 could be touted to be the one that brings an end to Apple’s famed walled ecosystem, bringing the facility to sideload apps on iPhones. Here’s everything new in iOS 17.4 that should get you excited.

iOS 17.4 New Emojis

Let’s start with the basics, iOS 17.4 has introduced a bunch of new emojis including emojis for a lime, mushroom, nodding head, and broken chain. A total of 18 new emojis have been added by Apple in iOS 17.4. To get the new iOS 17.4 emojis, go to the Messages app, open a conversation, tap on the text box, and visit the Emojis section. Here you will find all the new emojis.

Sideloading – But Only in EU

iOS 17.4 is one of the biggest iOS updates Apple has ever released because it finally brings the functionality of sideloading apps from third-party app stores. As it was anticipated that Apple would bring sideloading to iOS 17, the moment has arrived. With iOS 17, users in the Europe region can download apps from third-party app stores.

In fact, MacPaw has launched the first alternative App Store for iPhone named Setapp Mobile. Currently, the app store is in the beta phase, but you can apply for the waitlist. Setapp Mobile will be available in April 2024. Also, Setapp’s alternative app store will be subscription-based but the company has not revealed the charges for the same.

For users residing in other countries, the sideloading functionality is not yet available. Maybe Apple is waiting for antitrust lawsuits in other regions! The iOS 17.4 changelog differs for those not in the EU region.

New Clock Widget in iOS 17.4

New Clock Widget in iOS 17.4

There is also a new clock widget in iOS 17.4. The widget named City Digital has been added to the list of widgets under Clock. The widget appears in a light or dark background depending upon the time of the day and shows a digital clock for the location you’ve chosen. A nice little addition to iPhone widgets. Here’s how you can add the latest iOS 17.4 clock widget to your iPhone home screen.

Improvements to Stolen Device Protection

Improvements to Stolen Device Protection

Another tidbit in iOS 17.4 is the improvements to the Stolen Device Protection feature. The feature prevents instances of compromised data in case your iPhone passcode is stolen by someone. When enabled, Stolen Device Protection requires you to verify with Face ID in addition to your iPhone’s passcode while performing actions like changing your Apple ID password, viewing saved KeyChain passwords, or turning off the lost mode when you’re at a non-familiar location.

With iOS 17.4, Apple has added two options – Away from Familiar Locations and Always. This way, you can choose whether you want the feature to kick in all the time or only when you’re at an unfamiliar location. However, the option to add/remove a location to the list of familiar locations should’ve made more sense. Nonetheless, it’s still a good option to have if you travel through the same route every day and Apple labels them as your familiar location. Now, you can choose to activate Stolen Device Protection always.

Other iOS 17.4 Features and Bug Fixes

In addition to the aforementioned features, iOS 17.4 also brings some other changes including the new PQ3 iMessage security protocol, new features for Message Business accounts, and a new feature where Siri can read messages in multiple languages, passkey support for web browsers, blurred wallpaper background in the call screen.

Among bug fixes, iOS 17.4 brings the much-requested fix to the notification bug. For some users, expanding and contracting notifications by a single swipe on the lock screen made them fill up the entire screen, The bug is resolved in iOS 17.4 finally. You can check out the iOS 17.4 release notes to learn about more features and bug fixes.

Should You Update to iOS 17.4?

Definitely, you should update your iPhone to iOS 17.4, especially if you are in the EU. This is a landmark iOS update for those who can avail the sideloading functionality. Apple has long restricted the feature and now you sideload apps from third-party app stores. For non-EU users, the new clock widget, new emojis, and improvements to the Stolen Device Protection features are some of the reasons why iOS 17.4 is worth upgrading.

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