iOS 17.3

Apple’s iOS 17.3 Launches with Innovative Stolen Device Protection

Apple has released iOS 17.3 and iPadOS 17.3, bringing a handful of useful new features to iPhone and iPad users. While not a major overhaul, the update adds welcome capabilities like enhanced theft protection.

The key addition is Stolen Device Protection, which debuted in the iOS 17.3 developer beta. If an iPhone or iPad running 17.3 is stolen, this feature lets owners remotely lock the device to Touch ID or Face ID, even if the thief has the passcode. It forces a 1-hour security delay before passcode changes if the device is in an unfamiliar location, hindering access to personal data. While it won’t stop theft, it makes life harder for thieves. The tool works on both iPhones and iPads.

Beyond theft protection, the update enables collaborative playlists in Apple Music, allowing shared contribution to playlists among friends and family. There is also expanded AirPlay support for hotels, optimized crash detection, and new wallpapers celebrating Black History Month.

While not the biggest or flashiest iOS update, it brings helpful additions just a month after iOS 17.2’s release. As usual, devices as old as the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max from 2018 are eligible. It also works on newer models including iPhone 11 and up, SE 2nd/3rd gen, and all iPhone 12-15 variants. For iPadOS 17.3, compatible models include 5th-gen iPad mini and up, 6th-gen standard iPad and up, 3rd-gen iPad Air and up, and all iPad Pros.

For Apple fans, today is a banner day for operating system updates, with watchOS 10.3 and macOS Ventura 14.3 also released. Like iOS 17.3, incremental but positive changes improving the overall user experience.