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Apple releases iPadOS 17.4 with compliance for EU Digital Markets Act

iPadOS 17

Despite being a distinct fork from iOS, iPadOS is still developed in tandem with iOS, meaning iPadOS 17.4 has arrived with all the changes to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act.

The latest versions of iOS and iPadOS have been released just in time to meet the EU's deadline of March 6 to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Significant changes across the operating system are mostly related to what Apple did for iOS 17.4 rather than iPad-specific updates.

Apple had to release over 600 new APIs, expanded app analytics, functionality for alternative browser engines, and more across iOS and iPadOS for the DMA. These changes allow third-party developers to distribute apps outside Apple's App Store using alternative marketplaces.

There isn't much else in iPadOS 17.4, especially for iPad. Many changes are related to iPhone features like Stolen Device Protection, Spatial Video Capture, Apple Wallet, CarPlay, and Battery Health.

Here's what's left that made it to iPadOS:

  • Developers can make video reactions set to off by default
  • Apple Podcasts automatically transcribes podcasts
  • Siri can respond or read back messages in multiple languages

Another significant, if invisible feature is included in iOS 17.4 called PQ3, or post-quantum computing level 3. It's a defense against a potential future where quantum computing can crack iMessage encryption.

To manually update devices to iPadOS 17.4, navigate to Settings, General, then Software Update. Those with automatic updates enabled will see it installed within the next few days if no action is taken.