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Huge news this week for iOS users in the European Union, with major changes to Apple's policies coming with iOS 17.4 related to alternative app stores, default browsers, NFC payment options, and more.

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This week also saw the public release of iOS 17.3 with several new features, rumors about upcoming hardware, the end of an era for Apple retail, and more, so read on below for all the details!

iOS 17.4 Introduces Alternative App Marketplaces With No Commission in EU

Apple this week seeded the first developer beta of iOS 17.4, and it comes alongside significant changes, particularly for users in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act that goes into effect in early March.

ios-17-4-major-app-store-changes.jpg

Most notably, iOS 17.4 will allow EU users to install apps from marketplaces other than the App Store. Apple will not charge a commission on purchases for these apps, but there will be a per-install Core Technology Fee.

Other changes coming as part of iOS 17.4 include worldwide support for game streaming apps, allowing EU users to set third-party browsers as default, and opening up the iPhone's NFC capabilities in the European Economic Area to support payments by systems other than Apple Pay and the Wallet app.

Apple Releases iOS 17.3 and iPadOS 17.3 With Stolen Device Protection, Collaborative Apple Music Playlists and More

The initial beta of iOS 17.4 comes just after the public release of iOS 17.3 and related operating system updates this week. iOS 17.3 brings a new Stolen Device Protection feature to help keep your device and accounts secure.

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The update also brings collaborative Apple Music playlists with emoji reactions, support for using AirPlay to stream content directly to select hotel TVs, and more.

New iPad Air, iPad Pro, and MacBook Air Models Likely to Launch in March or April

Apple plans to release new iPad Air, iPad Pro, and MacBook Air models in the spring this year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this time frame, the devices could be released as early as this March or April.

iPad-Air-12.9-Inch-Feature.jpg

The iPad Pro is expected to see a significant redesign including OLED displays, an M3 chip, and perhaps a landscape Face ID camera system. Meanwhile, the iPad Air is expected to see a new 12.9-inch option join the existing 10.9-inch size, while the MacBook Air should see largely internal upgrades such as a move to the M3 chip.

Here's What Apple Vision Pro's Huge Box Looks Like

Apple has yet to officially reveal to the public what the box for the Apple Vision Pro will look like, but MacRumors has seen an internal employee video that offers a glimpse of the packaging and we've created a rendering that approximates the design.

Apple-Vision-Pro-Box-and-Ref-Feature-2.jpg

The box is somewhat larger than might be expected, with the headset, bands, and other various parts all packaged inside a relatively plain white box with a front-on view of the headset on top.

iPhone 7 Users in U.S. Could Receive Up to $349 Payment From Apple

Apple last year agreed to pay $35 million to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit alleging that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were prone to audio issues due to a defective chip in the devices, and it has now started notifying eligible customers by email.

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You may be eligible for a payment from Apple if you are a U.S. resident who owned an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus between September 16, 2016 and January 3, 2023, and reported audio issues covered by the settlement to Apple, and/or paid Apple out of pocket to have your iPhone repaired or replaced as a result of the covered audio issues.

Apple's Infinite Loop Store Permanently Closes

As previously announced, Apple permanently closed its Infinite Loop and Royal Hawaiian retail stores in the U.S. on January 20. Apple said all employees at both stores would be given the opportunity to remain with the company.

Apple-Infinite-Loop-Store.jpeg

Infinite Loop served as Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, from 1993 until 2017, when Apple Park opened nearby. The store on the campus existed in various forms for over 30 years and was located at street level near the entrance to the main office building. In its most recent incarnation, it sold a mix of standard Apple products and unique Apple-branded merchandise, such as shirts, reusable bottles, mugs, and notebooks.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: Top Stories: Major iOS 17.4 Changes, MacBook and iPad Updates, and More
 

Realityck

macrumors G4
Nov 9, 2015
10,645
16,009
Silicon Valley, CA
iOS 17.4 first beta finally showed the world how many different aspects of iOS would be tweaked for meeting the EU DMA requirements.


There were also neat changes to features that are very useful, such transcription of pod casts and option to have Siri‌ to read incoming messages in different language.

 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 68020
Apr 19, 2015
2,389
5,506
My iPhone 13 mini on iOS 17.3 has been amazing on battery life... the new features are ok but nothing beats the features of stability and battery performance.

I wonder what they will do with the old Apple HQ?
 

Shaaanxi

macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2023
4
3
17.4 is full of bugs. makes my phone die without doing anything. moved back to 17.3 Ill wait till the next update actually has something that will benefit me. The Emoji's dont even move.... they are steady. So when i send it, its like...." what is that head even doing"

LAME!!!! TOTALLY LAME!!!!
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: hagar

johnnytravels

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2019
325
827
If the EU wants to regulate some more, make Apple allow the consolidation of different iCloud accounts.
I have one .Mac account with my App Store purchase and one that I have registered when MobileMe was new that now is my iCloud Mail and calendar and storage and I have no idea how to bring these two together since I cannot change the mail address in the .Mac account and I cannot just simply bring all my apps over to the former MobileMe account.
 

hagar

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2008
2,044
5,189
17.4 is full of bugs. makes my phone die without doing anything. moved back to 17.3 Ill wait till the next update actually has something that will benefit me. The Emoji's dont even move.... they are steady. So when i send it, its like...." what is that head even doing"

LAME!!!! TOTALLY LAME!!!!
Thanks for your sacrifice. Did you report all bugs in detail to Apple with the relevant logs?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Luap

hagar

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2008
2,044
5,189
If the EU wants to regulate some more, make Apple allow the consolidation of different iCloud accounts.
I have one .Mac account with my App Store purchase and one that I have registered when MobileMe was new that now is my iCloud Mail and calendar and storage and I have no idea how to bring these two together since I cannot change the mail address in the .Mac account and I cannot just simply bring all my apps over to the former MobileMe account.
I hate that too. But that’s of zero relevance to the EU. They don’t regulate a specific company. The DSA is not about a single individual company or service.

But: there is a supported scenario for your case. You can set up iOS and macOS to use a different Apple ID for purchases, and for your personal iCloud. When you set up a new device, it even asks to set it up like that. Works perfectly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johnnytravels

Motorola68000

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2022
335
328
The point of Beta software is to iron out bugs. If you don't want to join the beta group, don't download it....SIMPLES!

Cannot believe there are complaints about finding bugs in a beta, as that is why its a beta!

We keep two computers set aside for beta testing, and yes on occasions beta software is buggy, which helps to debug the software....the purpose of beta testing!
 

ronno

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2014
338
355
The point of Beta software is to iron out bugs. If you don't want to join the beta group, don't download it....SIMPLES!

Cannot believe there are complaints about finding bugs in a beta, as that is why its a beta!

We keep two computers set aside for beta testing, and yes on occasions beta software is buggy, which helps to debug the software....the purpose of beta testing!
If you don’t want to see feedback about betas, then why read beta threads?
I don’t understand why people are so sensitive about hearing feedback about finding bugs…
 

Motorola68000

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2022
335
328
If you don’t want to see feedback about betas, then why read beta threads?
I don’t understand why people are so sensitive about hearing feedback about finding bugs…
There is a difference between a beta tester reporting back bugs than whining about bugs when no one forced them to beta test isn the first place. I applaud constructive feedback on betas as that is what the job entails. So it has nothing to do with being sensitive about hearing feedback or finding bugs. It was an unprofessional rant. Feedback should in the first instance be to Apple, as that is what Beta testing is about.

What is the Apple Beta Software Program?
  • The Apple Beta Software Program lets users try out pre-release software. The feedback you provide on quality and usability helps us identify issues, fix them, and make Apple software even better. Please note that since the beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software. Be sure to back up your iPhone or iPad and your Mac using Time Machine before installing beta software. Since Apple TV, HomePod mini, and HomePod (2nd generation) data and purchases are stored in the cloud, there’s no need to back up your devices. Install the beta software only on non-production devices that are not business critical. We strongly recommend installing on a secondary system or device, or on a secondary partition on your Mac.

 

ronno

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2014
338
355
There is a difference between a beta tester reporting back bugs than whining about bugs when no one forced them to beta test isn the first place. I applaud constructive feedback on betas as that is what the job entails. So it has nothing to do with being sensitive about hearing feedback or finding bugs. It was an unprofessional rant. Feedback should in the first instance be to Apple, as that is what Beta testing is about.

What is the Apple Beta Software Program?
  • The Apple Beta Software Program lets users try out pre-release software. The feedback you provide on quality and usability helps us identify issues, fix them, and make Apple software even better. Please note that since the beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software. Be sure to back up your iPhone or iPad and your Mac using Time Machine before installing beta software. Since Apple TV, HomePod mini, and HomePod (2nd generation) data and purchases are stored in the cloud, there’s no need to back up your devices. Install the beta software only on non-production devices that are not business critical. We strongly recommend installing on a secondary system or device, or on a secondary partition on your Mac.
Re: “ unprofessional rant” - welcome to internet forums, son. This is Macrumors, not the Apple Beta forums.
You’re gonna get all kinds of commentary, including people asking how the battery life is five seconds after the beta drops 🤣.
Cheers.
 

Motorola68000

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2022
335
328
Re: “ unprofessional rant” - welcome to internet forums, son. This is Macrumors, not the Apple Beta forums.
You’re gonna get all kinds of commentary, including people asking how the battery life is five seconds after the beta drops 🤣.
Cheers.
Thank you for making my day...I'm 72 this year, so to be called son is great.

[However with regards your post 'Apple Beta forums'. It was you that mentioned it:
"If you don’t want to see feedback about betas, then why read beta threads?
I don’t understand why people are so sensitive about hearing feedback about finding bugs…"]
 

johnnytravels

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2019
325
827
I hate that too. But that’s of zero relevance to the EU. They don’t regulate a specific company. The DSA is not about a single individual company or service.

But: there is a supported scenario for your case. You can set up iOS and macOS to use a different Apple ID for purchases, and for your personal iCloud. When you set up a new device, it even asks to set it up like that. Works perfectly.
Yeah I have it set up like that as well.
It’s just annoying because you have two accounts to manage which means that when I subscribe to Apple One through my store account which I also used to make my iTunes purchases and so forth I cannot use the storage on my iCloud account for the iCloud Drive I am using. And when I subscribe through my iCloud account, I start with a fresh iTunes, lose my playlists and everything because my sub is inactive on the iTunes account. Bottom line is I am not subscribing until they give me to option to consolidate everything in one account.
Shouldn’t be too hard to implement, I wonder what Apple’s problem is…
 

hagar

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2008
2,044
5,189
Yeah I have it set up like that as well.
It’s just annoying because you have two accounts to manage which means that when I subscribe to Apple One through my store account which I also used to make my iTunes purchases and so forth I cannot use the storage on my iCloud account for the iCloud Drive I am using. And when I subscribe through my iCloud account, I start with a fresh iTunes, lose my playlists and everything because my sub is inactive on the iTunes account. Bottom line is I am not subscribing until they give me to option to consolidate everything in one account.
Shouldn’t be too hard to implement, I wonder what Apple’s problem is…
I think it will never happen. They preferred to support multiple accounts in iOS rather than merging accounts.

I think you have to use the iCloud account of the account you use for your personal stuff. And the other one for App Store purchases. And if you pay for iCloud you have to do it from the App Store account and share it with your other account.
 
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