Apple Says These New iOS Features Are Coming Later This Year

Apple has previously announced three new iOS features that it said are coming to the iPhone later this year, as outlined below.

iPhone 15 General Feature Green
The new features include the ability to install iPhone apps on the web in the EU, RCS support in the Messages app, and next-generation CarPlay.

Web Distribution

apple ios app store safari changes
Apple recently announced that eligible developers will soon be able to distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website they own. Apple said this new "Web Distribution" feature will be available starting "later this spring" with an upcoming software update for the iPhone, which presumably refers to iOS 17.5.

"Web Distribution" will be limited to larger developers based in the EU. To qualify for this distribution method, Apple says the developer must be a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more, and have an app that had more than one million annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year.

"Web Distribution" builds upon the alternative app marketplaces that Apple already allows on the iPhone in the EU starting with iOS 17.4. Apple has made these app-related changes to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act.

The first beta of iOS 17.5 could be released as early as this week.

RCS Support in Messages App

General Apps Messages
In November, Apple announced that it would support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting "later" in 2024, 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

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.

Next-Generation CarPlay

Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1
Apple's website says the first vehicle models with support for next-generation CarPlay will arrive "in 2024," but it has yet to provide a more specific timeframe.

Next-generation CarPlay will feature deeper integration with a vehicle's instrument cluster, climate controls, FM radio, and more. It will also support multiple displays across the dashboard, and offer a variety of personalization options.

For more details: Here's Everything We Know About Apple's Next-Generation CarPlay

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