The calendar has changed to 2024, and several new iOS 17 and iOS 18 features are likely to be released over the year.
Eight new iOS features—including shared Apple Music playlists, 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—are summarized below and are anticipated to launch in 2024.
Stolen Device Protection Aims to Thwart iPhone Theft
Apple plans to help iPhone users better protect personal data if their device is stolen. A new opt-in feature called Stolen Device Protection will require biometric authentication to access sensitive information. It adds an extra security delay for certain actions, like changing passwords. The tool aims to make stolen iPhones less valuable to thieves, even if they guess the passcode.
Apple Music Upgrades With Collaborative Playlists
Groups of friends will soon be able to jointly build Apple Music playlists. Multiple users can add, reorder, and delete songs in real-time from any location. Animated emoji reactions allow playlist members to share opinions on song choices. This long-awaited feature will finally arrive in 2024.
Hotel TVs to Get AirPlay Capabilities
iPhone users staying at participating hotels will be able to wirelessly stream content from their device directly to in-room TVs. Travelers must scan a posted QR code to connect, similar to Google’s Chromecast feature. Major hotel chain IHG plans to provide initial support once the update rolls out sometime in 2024.
Sideloading Mandated in EU App Stores
To satisfy new EU regulations, Apple will permit iPhone app installations from third-party stores in Europe. Rather than going through Apple’s App Store review process, users can directly download apps. This controversial change gives consumers alternative options but raises security issues. The update should appear in the first half of 2024.
Deeper CarPlay integration is coming
Automakers like Aston Martin will launch models in 2024 featuring Apple’s next-generation in-vehicle software. Deeply embedded into the car’s own interface, the updated CarPlay promises widgets, customization, and tools not dependent on a connected iPhone. Porsche, Polestar, and Volvo are among other committed brands aiming to unveil new combo dashboard designs.
Global Satellite Emergency Services
A recently introduced iPhone 14 feature allows stranded motorists in the US to contact emergency services via satellite when cell coverage is unavailable. A successful domestic rollout suggests Apple might expand the potentially lifesaving SOS tool to additional countries by the end of 2024.
Cross-Platform Messaging with RCS
Seeking improved texting between iPhones and Android devices, Apple announced plans to adopt the RCS messaging standard in 2024. This should upgrade image resolution, enable typing indicators, and allow users to read receipts in group conversations. It will also enhance encryption over traditional SMS. The change will likely coincide with iOS 18.
Smarter Assistants Through AI Advances
Apple is exploring ways to enhance Siri’s capabilities using generative AI, according to reports. Integration of powerful language models could let iPhone users automate complex, multi-step tasks. Asking smarter questions with Siri may also become possible thanks to machine learning that helps predict responses and suggest full sentences.