Yesterday Apple released iOS 17.3 with the main feature of protection against stolen devices. This feature, which helps protect your device from being hacked by thieves, makes updating to iOS 17.3 a breeze. But additional features like Apple Music collaborative playlists and Emoji reactions make this release even sweeter.
Watch our full how-to video where Jeff breaks down the ins and outs of protecting against stolen devices and takes a look at other new changes and features in iOS 17.3. If you haven't already, subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos.
Stolen device Protection
The main feature of version 17.3 is protection against stolen devices, and rightfully so. This is a feature that will help prevent unauthorized access by thieves.
Before iOS 17.3, a thief could use your device password to access your Apple ID and other sensitive settings. With iOS 17.3 Stolen Device Protection, your iPhone will now require biometric authentication to access these settings, and even then, unless the device is in a sensitive location such as work or home, a one-hour security delay is introduced. before any security changes can be made.
In my how-to video below, I walk you through the entire process of setting up anti-stolen device protection, and also check out what it's like to try changing your security setting away from a familiar location.
Video: what's new in iOS 17.3?
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In short, Stolen Device Protection protects your iPhone's security settings in two significant ways. First, it forces users who try to change security settings while away from a familiar location to use biometric authentication. In most cases, the thief will not have access to your facial data to authenticate with Face ID, so he will not be able to proceed. Second, even if a person can identify themselves using biometrics, iOS will introduce a one-hour delay before any changes can be made.
While the one-hour delay is active, users can still use the device as usual, they just cannot change important security settings such as passcode, password, or turn off stolen device protection. Users will receive a time-based notification after a one-hour delay. Alternatively, if the device returns to an important location, the delay will be automatically paused and you will receive a notification.
With all this in mind, you need to enable location services. to properly use protection against stolen devices. In particular, you need to make sure that the important locations under Settings → Privacy & Enhancement; Security → Location Services → System Services is turned on because that's what iOS uses to get information about places you frequent, such as home or work.
Stolen Device Protection is a feature that can legally protect you from having your iPhone seriously compromised by a thief who knows your iOS passcode. While it's unlikely that a thief will steal your password and your physical device, it has happened many times before. Since this feature causes minimal inconvenience to legitimate iPhone users, it's easy to recommend turning it on.
Over a dozen new security patches
Apple typically fixes bugs and security issues with every new iOS release, and iOS 17.3 is no exception. This release includes more than a dozen new documented security fixes, including fixes to address flaws that could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. This is another important reason why it is highly recommended to update as soon as possible.
Have you ever taken your Apple TV with you? while traveling so you can enjoy AirPlay and watch content in your hotel? I have! But with iOS 17.3, you can leave your Apple TV at home when you check into participating Kimpton, IHG and Indigo hotels.
Apple has partnered with LG to release new TVs that natively support AirPlay using a simple QR code. In other words, there are no passwords, no apps to download, and no clunky hotel TV interface to wade through. It will take some time to roll out, but it will be worth the wait.
Apple Music Collaborative Playlists
Collaborative playlists had a bit of a false start during the iOS 17.2 beta period, but the feature is returning in iOS 17.3. Collaborative playlists are just what they sound like: they allow you to invite others to join the playlist using a link or QR code. Collaborators can add, remove, or change the order of tracks in a playlist, and avatars help show who made each change.
New emoji in Apple Music
Emoji Reactions, a companion feature to collaborative playlists, allows collaborators to react to a specific track with any available emoji in iOS 17.3. This feature reminds me a lot of the Soundcloud feature that allows users to comment on a track at specific points in time. While reactions to emojis aren't as deep in iOS 17, they're still a fun way to interact with others.
Discover a great song thanks to a fellow co-writer? Reply to the song with an emoji 🔥. Reactions are displayed inside the playlist tracklist and in the current playback interface, complete with animated emojis for added emphasis.
Unity Bloom Wallpaper for iPhone and iPad
On iOS 17.3 includes the new Unity Bloom wallpaper pack, which includes several different color schemes and stunning dynamic animations that look different every time you lock or unlock your device. You can learn more about the Unity Bloom wallpaper in our previous how-to post.
AppleCare Warranty Updates
Finally, when you go to Settings → General → AppleCare & Guarantee: You'll see all devices assigned to your Apple ID, not just local devices like iPhones and paired AirPods. Items in this section are ordered by warranty status, with AppleCare+ items at the top, Limited Warranty items at the bottom, and Expired Warranty items at the bottom.
9to5Mac& #8217 ;At a Glance
iOS 17.3 isn't the beast that iOS 17.2 was, which included over 50 new changes and features, but it's an important release with several noteworthy new features. I highly recommend upgrading to security patches and stolen device protection, but Apple Music's new features are also a great reason to upgrade.
What's your favorite new feature in iOS 17.3? Sound off in the comments below.