Some might say the Apple iOS 17.4 release is just a regular update, but most know that it marks a landmark moment in the Cupertino company’s business model. The iOS 17.4 release date on March 5, 2024, coincided with the deadline the EU had set for compliance with the Digital Markets Act. The DMA has been on Apple’s case to bring some universal standards to their devices and cut down on some of their practices that were seen as anti-competitive. Apple’s latest iOS update brought a few fun changes like the new iOS emojis but the focus has largely been on the approval of Apple’s third-party app stores and the measures the company has put in place to verify the apps before they are released onto iPhones and iPads. 

Apple iOS 17.4 Update

Apple iOS 17.4 Update—Big Changes In Store For The EU

With the iOS 17.4 release date just having passed us by, most users should have received the new features. So far the updates won’t feel as significant because to make the most of the EU-centric changes, developers will require some time to catch up to the new iOS market and put their services out on the platform. The biggest one is the accommodations for Apple third-party app stores. Developers will have the option of skipping the App Store and bringing their apps to the customers through alternate marketplaces. To do this, however, they will have to go through a series of checks by Apple and still pay the company a “Core Technology Fee.” 

Apple will charge developers €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold. The first annual install refers to “the first time an app is installed by an account in the EU in a 12-month period.” The company estimates that less than 1 percent of developers will actually have to pay the fee. There are separate rules for educational institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits, who do not have to pay the CTF. 

According to the Apple iOS 17.4 updates, overall commission for the apps on the App Store has been reduced to a range between 10 to 17 percent. Apps on the store can use Apple’s payment processing system for an additional 3 percent fee. Alternatively, they can use another payment service provider within their app or link to a website for further processing. Apple Pay is also going to have to forsake its throne in the Apple ecosystem as third-party developers can develop their own contactless payment services to utilize Apple’s NFC system. 

 iOS 17.4 release date

Image: Apple iPhone 15

Apple’s latest iOS update will also allow users to set other browsers as the default other than the iconic Safari browser. Currently, browsers that are not based on Apple’s WebKit do not have a version of their platforms immediately available for iOS, but it likely won’t be long before they arrive on the scene. There are additional reports that Apple is working to make it easier to transition from Apple to Android in the EU by 2025, which is a detail that is largely overdue.

Global Updates to iOS: New Emojis, Podcast Changes, and Bug Fixes 

Serious news and Apple third-party app store change aside, there are a few, more casual, changes that arrived with Apple’s latest iOS update. The additional emojis bring in a lot of silliness that no one really asked for but they’re quite fun to mess around with anyways. If you needed another mushroom to add to your vocabulary or your recipes were missing the perfect lime symbol then iOS’ new emojis should spark great joy for you. There are also 18 new human emojis that can face either direction if that additional customization was something your life was missing.

The Apple iOS 17.4 update also brought a useful addition to Apple Podcasts with the transcript feature. The auto-generated transcripts for English, French, German, and Spanish podcasts can be viewed in sync with your podcasts and you can even search for specific phrases and navigate through specific parts of the podcasts. Various accessibility features make the transcripts even easier to use.

 iOS 17.4 features

Image: Presenting Apple’s latest podcast transcript feature

The iOS 17.4 bugs that were addressed include a fix for dual SIM users who had issues with their phone numbers changing and blank contact pictures appearing in the Find My service. iOS 17.4 features also include an update to Siri which allows the assistant to announce your received message in any of the languages supported by the service. The music recognition update will allow you to add songs that you have identified directly to your Apple Music Playlist and Library and Apple Music Classical as well. It’s a simple change but small conveniences can be the difference between a good day and a bad one.

Apple’s Stolen Device Protection feature will now always require a delay while changing security settings to ensure that you are able to locate your device before it is misused. Another consideration within the iOS 17.4 features is the ability to understand Battery Health better. iPhone 15 series users can check their battery health in the settings which should show the battery cycle count and manufacturer date and first use details now. TheApple iOS 17.4 does not have any major changes when it comes to global use, but we will keep an eye out to better understand how the EU updates pan out.