Apple Plans to Release These 8 New iOS Features This Year

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

iOS 17 and 18 Feature
Below, we have recapped eight new iOS features expected in 2024, including Stolen Device Protection, collaborative Apple Music playlists, AirPlay on hotel room TVs, app sideloading in the EU, next-generation CarPlay, roadside assistance via satellite outside of the U.S., RCS support in the Messages app, and generative AI for Siri.

Stolen Device Protection

ios stolen device protection
Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported about 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 then change the victim's Apple ID password, turn off 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 additional layer of security in the event someone has stolen your iPhone and also obtained the device's passcode.

When the feature is turned on, Face ID or Touch ID authentication is strictly required for the following actions, with a passcode fallback no longer available:

  • Accessing passwords or passkeys saved in iCloud Keychain
  • Applying for a new Apple Card or viewing an Apple Card's virtual number
  • Turning off Lost Mode
  • Erasing all content and settings
  • Taking certain Apple Cash and Apple Card Savings actions in the Wallet app
  • Using payment methods saved in Safari
  • Using your iPhone to set up a new device

For especially sensitive actions, including changing the password of 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 with Face ID or Touch ID again. However, Apple says there is no delay when the iPhone is in familiar locations, such as at home or work.

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

  • Changing your Apple ID password
  • Updating select Apple ID security settings, including adding or removing a trusted device, trusted phone number, Recovery Key, or Recovery Contact
  • Changing your iPhone passcode
  • Adding or removing Face ID or Touch ID
  • Turning off Find My
  • Turning off Stolen Device Protection

Stolen Device Protection is an opt-in feature that can be found in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode, and it is available for all iPhones that are compatible with iOS 17. iPhone users who update to the iOS 17.3 beta are able to preview the feature.

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

Apple Music Collaborative Playlists

apple music collaborative playlist
A new Collaborative Playlists option for Apple Music subscribers allows multiple people to add, reorder, and remove songs in a shared playlist. Users are able to leave animated emoji reactions next to songs in the 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.

AirPlay on Hotel Room TVs

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

Apple originally said the feature was "coming later this year," but it now says it will be "coming in an update in 2024." Apple did not provide a more specific timeframe, 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 in June said Holiday Inn parent company IHG Hotels & Resorts would be one of the first hotel chains to adopt the feature.

App Sideloading in EU

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in 2022 reported that Apple was preparing to allow app sideloading on the iPhone in order 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 only expected to be made in European Union countries, at least initially.

Gurman recently said that he expects app sideloading in the EU to roll out in an iOS 17 update released in the first half of 2024.

Next-Generation CarPlay

Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1
Apple said that the first vehicles with support for 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 previewed what the next-generation CarPlay experience will look like in some of their upcoming vehicles.

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

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

When first unveiling 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.

Roadside Assistance via Satellite Outside U.S.

apple roadside assistance
Starting with iOS 17, all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models offer a roadside assistance via satellite feature that allows users in the U.S. to contact roadside assistance company AAA for vehicle service when outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

Apple said the feature is available "beginning" in the U.S., so it will likely expand to some additional countries starting in 2024.

RCS Support

General Apps Messages
In November 2023, Apple announced that it will support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting "later next year," so it will likely be an iOS 18 feature based on that timeframe.

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

  • Higher-resolution photos and videos
  • Audio messages
  • Typing indicators
  • 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. RCS support on the iPhone will extend the features to green bubbles in the Messages app.

Smarter Siri

iOS 18 Mock Siri Feature Baubles
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman expects iOS 18 to feature generative AI technology that "should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences." He said Apple has also explored generative AI features for other apps across its platforms, including Apple Music, Pages, Keynote, and Xcode.

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

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

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