Apple has launched iOS 17.3 with the forefront Stolen Device Security attribute. This characteristic, which safeguards your device against being jeopardized by robbers, is why switching to iOS 17.3 is a solid choice. In addition, new features such as Apple Music Collaborative Playlists and Emoji Reactions enhance this release even further.
Observe our complete hands-on video where Jeff dissects the details of Stolen Device Protection and demonstrates the other fresh iOS 17.3 alterations and features. For additional videos, be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube.
The primary attraction of 17.3 is the Anti-Theft Alert, and deservedly so. This is the feature that will help prevent unauthorized access from thieves.
Up to iOS 17.3, a crook could utilize your device passcode to access your Apple ID and other delicate settings. Now with iOS 17.3’s Anti-Theft Alert, your iPhone will necessitate biometric verification to access these settings. Additionally, if the device is not in a familiar location like work or home, a security delay of one hour is put in place before any security changes can be made, even with biometric verification.
In my hands-on video below, I go through the complete process of setting up Anti-Theft Alert and examine what it’s like to attempt to change a security setting while away from a familiar location.
Video: iOS 17.3 Features
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Significant Locations in Settings → Privacy & Security → Location Services → System Services needs to be enabled to use Anti-Theft Alert effectively. This is crucial, as iOS uses this to become familiar with areas you frequent.
The Anti-Theft Alert is a feature that can genuinely defend your iPhone from being seriously compromised by a thief. Given that this feature hardly inconveniences legitimate iPhone users, it’s strongly recommended to activate it.
Over a dozen new security patches
As is customary, Apple addresses bugs and security patches with every new iOS release, and iOS 17.3 is no different. Over a dozen new documented security patches are included in this release, including fixes to prevent attackers from executing arbitrary code with kernel privileges. It’s one of the key reasons why updating promptly is highly advisable.
Have you ever taken your Apple TV with you while traveling so that you could enjoy AirPlay and watch your content at your hotel? I have! But, thanks to iOS 17.3, when you check in at participating hotels from Kimpton, IHG, and Indigo, you can leave your Apple TV at home.
Apple has joined forces with LG to introduce new televisions that support AirPlay natively via a simple QR code. In other words, there are no passwords, no apps to download, and no clunky hotel television interface to navigate. The rollout will take some time to complete, but it’ll be worth the wait.
Apple Music Group Playlists
Group Playlists experienced a bit of a false start during the iOS 17.2 beta period, but the feature makes a return in iOS 17.3. Group playlists allow you to invite others to join a playlist via a link or QR code. Collaborators can add, remove, or reorder tracks in a playlist, and avatars help showcase who made each change.
New emoji responses in Apple Music
An associate feature to group playlists, emoji reactions allow collaborators to respond to a particular track with any available emoji in iOS 17.3. This feature adds an element of interaction with fellow contributors.
Respond to a great song with a 🔥emoji. Reactions appear inside the playlist tracklisting itself and on the now-playing interface, complete with animated emoji to add extra emphasis.