iOS 17.4 is here, enabling third-party app stores in the EU

iOS 17.4 is here, enabling third-party app stores in the EU

Apple has rolled out updates for many of its operating systems and none are more impactful than the changes to iOS — at least in the European Union. With the arrival of iOS 17.4, Apple is adhering to strict new rules in the bloc when it comes to the App Store. Apple now officially supports third-party app stores on iPhones in the EU, while developers can offer third-party payment options. Web browser makers no longer need to base their apps on Apple’s WebKit, while Apple is opening up the NFC chip to wireless payments that have nothing to do with Apple Pay.

While those game-changing updates are limited to the EU, iOS 17.4 does have some snazzy new features for folks elsewhere too. Apple Podcasts now offers automatic transcriptions in English, Spanish, French and German. The text will be highlighted in sync with the audio to make it easy to follow along. You’ll be able to search the text and tap it to start playing the audio at a certain point. 

Elsewhere, there are a bunch of new emoji for you to enjoy. They include a mushroom, phoenix, lime, broken chain and shaking heads. Apple has also updated 18 people and body emoji so that you can face them in either direction.

Other updates concern features like battery health, Siri (with the ability to read received messages in any supported language), stolen device protection and virtual card numbers for Apple Cash. Thanks to a caller ID update, when am Apple-verified business calls, you’ll see its name, logo and department title. There are a slew of bug fixes too.  

Along with iOS 17.4, Apple has also released iPadOS 17.4, which has many of the same changes including the App Store updates to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. The company is also expected to roll out visionOS 1.1 (for Apple Vision Pro), macOS 14.4, watchOS 10.4 and HomePod 17.4 imminently.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

By John Routledge

Founder and owner of - I'm an avid tech junkie, a lover of new gadgets and home automation. You will often find me reading, writing, and learning about new technologies. I've been featured in many leading technology magazines where I've written about my favorite topics.