Big changes coming to Apple’s OS

EU logo of stars with iOS 17.4 in the centre.

On 25th January 2024, Apple has released their latest beta of 17.4 which will introduce new changes in their policies in the EU in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act, however these only affect EU areas. Additionally, the next generation CarPlay is coming to the US, so hopefully will be introduced to the rest of the world soon.

EU Changes

There are several big changes happening to the iOS and iPadOS for the EU.

Alternative App Store

As soon as 17.4 is released, users will be able to use one of the alternative app stores, instead of Apple’s App Store, and the percentages that developers have to pay have changed.

The old system offered a 30 percent commision (15 percent if on the small business model) on each app sold but if the developer pays a standard fee of 0.50 euro per user per year they pay at 17 percent commission instead (10 percent if on the small business model. or on subscriptions older than 1 year)

Users will be able to set their default app store in Settings. A pop-up warning will appear if the app contains malware if bought from an alternative app store.

There will be an option in Screen Time to allow parents to control access to alternative app stores.

App Sideloading

Apps can now be sideloaded to the iPhone or iPad. This allows a developer or user to install apps without using an App Store, just by using a computer. This enables apps that are not normally available to the user (for example, an app that is not available in their region) to be added to their phone or tablet.

Alternative payment options

Apple will allow apps to take payment from other sources than just the App Store, and uses can nominate a different wallet app to be their default. Purchases can now be made directly in the app, instead of relying on the App Store for purchases, but developers must use a known secure payment provider.

Third party browser updates

Up until 17.3, Apple restricted the browser engine that a browser could use to their WebKit engine, so even though Google Chrome was a Google browser, it couldn’t use Google’s web engine. As of 17.4 however, Google (and other browser developers) can use their own browser engines.

NFC Access

Near Field Communication or NFC access will now be granted to developers, where previously it was only available to Apple apps. This means that users will be able to make payments easily inside an app and change their default contactless payment provider from the App Store.

Gaming App Changes

Streaming apps will now be available via the App Store worldwide, meaning that services like XBox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce NOW can be offered as a standalone iPhone or iPad app.

Mini-app, mini-ganmes, chatbots and plugins are also able to use the in-app purchase system.

Stolen Device Protection

Apple have extended the Stolen Device Protection to include an option to enable the security delay when the user is away from familiar locations or set it to always. In the event of a home invasion or burglary, the device cannot be compromised.

Podcasts and Music updates

Podcasts and Music have the “Listen Now” icon changed to “Home” and Podcasts gains transcripts like Music has for Lyrics.

Next Generation CarPlay

Next-generation CarPlay will launch later in 2024 for the US market and adds 8 new CarPlay apps.

The new features being added are:

  • Car Camera – The app will display rear-view camera feed.
  • Charge – This app will display battery level, charging status and time remaining until charged for EVs.
  • Climate – Climate controls will be available to CarPlay, allowing the user to adjust the fan speed, temperature, A/C, as well as heated seats and heated steering wheel from one display.
  • Closures – CarPlay will warn the driver if a door is not closed properly.
  • Media – CarPlay will make media access possible, controlling AM and FM radio stations from the CarPlay itself along with other entertainment options like SiriusXM’s Satellite and Internet radio system.
  • Tyre Pressure – CarPlay will be able to accurately display tyre pressure.
  • Trips – This app will provide driving-related data such as time elapsed, distance travelled, fuel/energy efficiency, average speed, etc.


SharePlay music control is expanding to the HomePod and Apple TV, which enables the user’s family or friends to control the music that is played on a HomePod or AppleTV, so long as the user has granted permission. However, the user is required to have  an Apple Music subscription, but the person who is granted access can play music without a subscription.

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