iOS 17.3 Will Add These Two New Features to Your iPhone
Apple released the first beta of iOS 17.3 earlier this week, and the upcoming software update includes two new features so far.
iOS 17.3 will likely be released in January like iOS 16.3 and iOS 15.3 were, but February is also a possibility. The update will be compatible with the iPhone XS and newer, but some iOS 17 features require newer iPhone models.
Below, we provide additional details about the new features in iOS 17.3 so far.
Stolen Device Protection
iOS 17.3 adds a Stolen Device Protection feature that can better protect users if someone has stolen their iPhone and also obtained the device's passcode.
Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen reported about instances of thieves spying on a victim's iPhone passcode before stealing the device, often in public places like bars. The thief can then reset the victim's Apple ID password, turn off Find My, view passwords stored in iCloud Keychain for banking and email accounts, and more. All in all, the report said thieves can essentially "steal your entire digital life."
When Stolen Device Protection is turned on, Face ID or Touch ID authentication is required for additional actions, including viewing passwords or passkeys stored in iCloud Keychain, applying for a new Apple Card, turning off Lost Mode, erasing all content and settings, using payment methods saved in Safari, and more. No passcode fallback is available in the event that the user is unable to complete biometric authentication.
For especially sensitive actions, including changing the password of the Apple ID account associated with the iPhone, the feature adds a 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 with Face ID or Touch ID again. However, Apple said there will be no delay when the iPhone is in familiar locations, such as at home or work.
On iPhones compatible with iOS 17.3, the opt-in feature can be turned on in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode → Stolen Device Protection.
Apple Music Collaborative Playlists
A new Collaborative Playlists option for Apple Music subscribers allows multiple people to add, reorder, and remove songs in a shared playlist.
This feature was initially expected to launch with iOS 17.2, but it was removed from that update towards the end of the beta testing period. The feature was re-added in iOS 17.3, and Apple's website confirms that it will return in 2024.