Apple is working on iOS 17.3 by releasing the various betas. The update doesn't bring as many new features as iOS 17.2, so the testing period may be shorter than usual.
Apart from surprises, The final version of iOS 17.2 will be released the week of January 22nd, while the next one will be dedicated to the RC version. We've had three betas, two of which didn't add anything particularly noteworthy, suggesting there's not much left to test. If Apple plans to roll out the update on January 22nd or 23rd, we can expect to see the candidate version on January 15th.
Apple may also release iOS 17.3 the week of the 29th, but that is an important period when visionOS and the Vision Pro headset will be released. Apple sometimes releases updates to its software versions together, but this is a completely new operating systemIt is unlikely that visionOS will be accompanied by further updates.
Last year, Apple released iOS 16.3 on January 23rd and in 2022 released iOS 15.3 on January 26th, so the iOS 17.3 release date of January 22nd would be in line with the company's previous release schedules.
The biggest new feature in iOS 17.3 is Stolen Device Protection, a feature that prevents a thief who somehow gains access to your iPhone and passcode from accessing sensitive information. The feature blocks several features that can only be activated via Face ID, preventing a thief from viewing iCloud Keychain passwords and more.
In addition to protecting against stolen devices, iOS 17.3 adds Apple Music shared playlists.