Apple has officially announced that the highly-anticipated iOS 17.3 will be released to the public next week. This latest software update for iPhone users will include exciting new features such as Stolen Device Protection and collaborative Apple Music playlists.
In a recent press release, the company subtly revealed the release date for the update while introducing its new Black Unity Sport Band and watch face for the Apple Watch. The new watch face features red, green, and yellow flowers, representing the cultural diversity of Black communities around the world.
iPhone and iPad users can also look forward to a new Unity Bloom wallpaper, available when iOS 17.3 launches next week.
The most anticipated feature coming to iOS is Stolen Device Protection, a security setting that gives an extra layer of protection if there’s ever a time when someone steals your iPhone and also obtains your passcode.
This new feature, which can be turned on through Settings, requires the use of Face ID or Touch ID before sensitive actions can be performed. This includes accessing passwords or passkeys saved in iCloud Keychain, using saved payment methods in Safari, and interacting with certain Apple Cash and Apple Card Savings actions in the Wallet app.
Furthermore, there will be a security delay if sensitive settings are changed, such as creating a new Apple ID password or updating select Apple ID security settings. However, no delay is required if the device is at a familiar location such as home or work.
This new protection feature seems to be in response to a serious problem reported by The Wall Street Journal last year. Thieves were found spying on iPhone users’ passcodes in public places, such as bars, before stealing the device. Having access to the passcode allowed them to quickly change the Apple ID password and access sensitive information stored in iCloud Keychain.
We can also expect to see collaborative Apple Music playlists as part of the iOS 17.3 update, a feature that was originally planned for a delayed 2024 release but later appeared in the beta version of iOS 17.3.
The collaborative playlist feature for Apple Music is exactly what it sounds like – the ability for subscribers to create playlists with others. This is perfect for friends and family bonding over shared musical tastes. Users can even react to song choices in the Now Playing section with emojis.
To enable this feature, simply click on the person-shaped icon in a playlist to generate a link. Multiple people can be added, and everyone has the ability to add, reorder, and remove songs. However, the playlist admin can also choose to approve or reject song requests and can remove other participants or disable the collaboration feature altogether.
In September, Spotify, one of Apple Music’s biggest competitors, launched their own version of a real-time collaborative playlist feature called “Jam.”