April 20, 2024

Apple plans to release these 8 new iOS features this year

The calendar has reached 2024 and there are many new iOS 17 and iOS 18 features expected to launch throughout the year.

iOS 17 and 18 feature
Below, we round up eight new iOS features expected in 2024, including stolen device protection, collaborative Apple Music playlists, AirPlay on hotel room TVs, app downloading in the EU, next-gen CarPlay, mobile phone support, and more. satellite road outside US and RCS. support in the Messages app and generative AI for Siri.

Stolen device protection

ios stolen device protectionios stolen device protection
Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported on thieves spying on an iPhone user’s passcode before stealing the device, often in public places like bars. With knowledge of the passcode, the thief can change the victim’s Apple ID password, disable Find My, and more to gain full control of the device. The thief can also use the passcode to gain access to passwords stored in iCloud Keychain and other sensitive information.

Stolen Device Protection is Apple’s hopeful solution to the problem. Apple says the feature is designed to add an extra layer of security in case someone has stolen your iPhone and also obtained the device’s password.

When the feature is activated, Face ID or Touch ID authentication is strictly required for the following actions, and the alternate passcode is no longer available:

  • Access passwords or access keys saved in iCloud Keychain
  • Request a new Apple Card or view the virtual number for an Apple Card
  • Disable lost mode
  • Erase all content and settings
  • Perform certain Apple Cash and Apple Card Savings actions in the Wallet app
  • Use saved payment methods in Safari
  • Use your iPhone to set up a new device

For especially sensitive actions, including changing the password for the Apple ID account associated with the iPhone, the feature adds a one-hour security delay on top of biometric authentication. In these cases, the user must authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID, wait one hour, and authenticate again with Face ID or Touch ID. However, Apple says there are no delays when the iPhone is in familiar places, such as at home or at work.

Actions that require Face ID or Touch ID authentication and have a one-hour security delay when the feature is activated:

  • Change your Apple ID password
  • Update selected Apple ID security settings, including adding or removing a trusted device, trusted phone number, recovery key, or recovery contact
  • Change your iPhone password
  • Add or remove Face ID or Touch ID
  • Turn off Find My
  • Turn off stolen device protection

Stolen Device Protection is an optional feature that can be found in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode, and is available for all iPhones that support iOS 17. iPhone users upgrading to iOS 17.3 beta can preview the feature.

Apple plans to share additional information about the feature once iOS 17.3 is widely released.

Apple Music Collaborative Playlists

Apple Music Collaborative PlaylistApple Music Collaborative Playlist
A new Collaborative Playlists option for Apple Music subscribers lets multiple people add, reorder, and delete songs in a shared playlist. Users can leave animated emoji reactions next to songs in the playlist.

This feature was initially expected to launch with iOS 17.2, but was removed from that update towards the end of the beta testing period. The feature was added back in iOS 17.3 and Apple’s website confirms that it will return in 2024.

AirPlay on hotel room TVs

airplay hotelsairplay hotels
Following the release of iOS 17.2, Apple updated its website to indicate that the AirPlay feature for hotel room TVs has been delayed until next year.

Apple originally said the feature would “arrive later this year,” but now says it “will arrive in an update in 2024.” Apple didn’t provide a more specific timeline, but the feature should be added in an iOS 17 update in the first half of this year.

The feature will allow iPhone users to scan a QR code on their hotel room TV to establish an AirPlay connection, allowing them to wirelessly stream videos, photos and music from their iPhone to the TV. Google already offers a similar feature on some hotel TVs, allowing guests to stream content from their smartphone via Chromecast.

Apple said in June that Holiday Inn’s parent company, IHG Hotels & Resorts, would be one of the first hotel chains to adopt the feature.

Downloading apps in the EU

General Feature of JoeBlue iOS App StoreGeneral Feature of JoeBlue iOS App Store
BloombergMark Gurman reported in 2022 that Apple was preparing to allow downloading of apps on the iPhone to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. This would allow users to install apps outside of Apple’s App Store, but the change is expected to only be made in European Union countries, at least initially.

Gurman recently said he expects app downloading in the EU to be implemented in an iOS 17 update released in the first half of 2024.

Next generation CarPlay

Next-generation Porsche 1 CarPlayNext-generation Porsche 1 CarPlay
Apple said the first vehicles compatible with its next-generation CarPlay system would be announced in late 2023, and it delivered on that promise with just days to spare. Earlier this month, Aston Martin and Porsche gave a preview of what the next-generation CarPlay experience will look like in some of their upcoming vehicles.

Aston Martin confirmed it will launch its first vehicles with next-generation CarPlay in 2024, but there is no specific timeframe and details remain scarce.

Apple first previewed the next-generation CarPlay experience in June 2022, promising deeper integration with the instrument cluster and climate controls, support for multiple in-dash displays, a dedicated FM radio app , widgets and more. The interface can be tailored to each specific vehicle model and the automaker’s brand identity.

When it first introduced next-generation CarPlay, Apple said committed automakers included Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Renault and Volvo . Beyond the addition of Aston Martin, it’s unclear if this list has changed since that initial announcement.

Satellite roadside assistance outside the US

Apple roadside assistanceApple roadside assistance
Starting with iOS 17, all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models offer a satellite roadside assistance feature that allows users in the US to contact AAA roadside assistance company for vehicle service when they are out of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

Apple said the feature is available “from the beginning” in the US, so it will likely expand to some additional countries starting in 2024.

RCS Support

General application messagesGeneral application messages
In November 2023, Apple announced that it will support the RCS cross-platform messaging standard in the iPhone’s Messages app starting “later next year,” so it will likely be an iOS 18 feature based on that time frame.

RCS support should result in the following improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhone and Android devices:

  • Higher resolution photos and videos
  • audio messages
  • Writing prompts
  • Read receipts
  • Wi-Fi messaging between iPhones and Android devices
  • Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users.
  • Improved encryption compared to SMS

These modern features are already available for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with blue bubbles, via iMessage, and many of the features are also available in third-party messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Support for RCS on iPhone will expand features to green bubbles in the Messages app.

Siri smarter

iOS 18 Mock Siri Feature DecorationsiOS 18 Mock Siri Feature Decorations
BloombergMark Gurman expects iOS 18 to include generative AI technology that “should improve the way Siri and the Messages app can answer questions and complete sentences automatically.” He said Apple has also explored generative AI features for other apps on its platforms, including Apple Music, Pages, Keynote and Xcode.

Information reported that Apple plans to build large language models into Siri to allow users to automate complex tasks, a feature that would involve deeper integration with the Shortcuts app. The report says that this feature is expected to launch in an iPhone software update due in 2024, which would likely be iOS 18.

Generative AI gained popularity in late 2022 when OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a chatbot that can answer questions and other prompts. Google and Microsoft launched similar chatbots last year, as more companies jump into the space. Chatbots are trained on large language models, allowing them to respond like a human.

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