Apple released iOS 17.4 beta. For iOS developers and public beta testers, download MacOS 14.4 beta 2, watchOS 10.4 beta 2, and tvOS 17.4 beta 2. Apple updated iOS 17.4 for the iPhone and App Store to comply with 27 EU countries’ Digital Markets Act.
When will iOS 17.4 be available?
Apple is expected to release iOS 17.4’s final version in the first week of March 2024. The final reveal window was scheduled to comply with Apple’s EU legal obligations.
The Digital Markets Act requires Apple to update the iPhone and App Store by March 6. Based on that, Apple may release iOS 17.4 before March 6.
iOS 17.4 Update
Transcripts of Apple Podcasts
Podcast transcripts were added to Apple Podcasts in iOS 17.4. This feature lets users read the entire episode transcript, search for a word or phrase, and tap on text to jump to a section. As an episode plays, every word is highlighted like Apple Music lyrics.
Apple automatically generates transcripts for new episodes. For archived episodes, podcast transcripts will be added in English, French, German, and Spanish.
For HomePod, SharePlay
With iOS 17.4, Apple has added HomePod speakers to the SharePlay music control list.
If you grant permission, family members and friends can use this feature to choose what music plays on your HomePod. It’s only available on the Music app for the time being, and anyone else can participate without having to have an Apple Music subscription.
You can request access to music playback controls by having someone else scan a QR code with their iPhone or Android smartphone while you’re enjoying a song on your iPhone by tapping the SharePlay icon at the bottom of the screen. All it takes to give access to anyone in the world remotely is a screenshot of the QR code.
Last year, Apple introduced a feature similar to this for CarPlay, enabling anyone within the vehicle to manage music playback through SharePlay with authorization.
A broken chain, a brown mushroom, a head shaking vertically and horizontally, a lime, and a phoenix are among the new emoji added to iOS 17.4.
Capability of sideloading games and apps
Although iOS 17.4 is finally opening the door for third parties to have their own iPhone app store, users will still not be able to download any app from the internet and install it on their devices. This will enable users in the European Union to install apps from sources other than the official App Store. Since the iPhone’s launch, Apple has prohibited users from sideloading or installing non-App Store apps without jailbreaking their device. The iOS 17.4 update has changed this.
Payment gateways operated by third parties
App developers can now include their own payment gateways with this feature, which is again exclusive to Europe. As a result, subscription apps like Spotify may become much more affordable. Additionally, it may make it possible for platforms like Netflix to finally allow users to sign up for their services directly from the app. As a result of this development, some apps and games may now be more affordable because developers are no longer required to pay up to 30%. Furthermore, users in Europe should be able to make contactless payments using other wireless payment services that resemble Apple Pay thanks to this modification.
Third-party engine-equipped browsers
With iOS 17.4, developers will be able to create web browsers free from the constraints imposed by web kit. This particular policy modification will support the creation of completely unique web browsers by brands for iPhones. Opera has already declared that it is developing a web browser with AI capabilities that will be accessible for iPhones soon.
Protection against stolen devices
Along with adding new “stolen device protection” guidelines with iOS 17.4, Apple is also making your iPhone much more secure. According to these guidelines, in order to remove an Apple ID from an iPhone or perform a factory reset, you may need to provide both a pincode and a Face ID/Touch ID biometric authentication.
ID for the region
The new regional identifier in iOS 17.4, which allows Apple to automatically determine a user’s specific region and likely help the company limit several previously mentioned features to the Europian region, may make it slightly more difficult to change the country or region on an iPhone, even though it was previously fairly simple to do so.
Stopwatch for real-time events
The stopwatch can now be accessed through the live activity feature of an iPhone running Dynamic Island. Just launch the app for the clock. When you return to the home screen after starting the stopwatch, Dynamic Island’s timer will be visible. You must either own an iPhone 14 Pro or an iPhone 15 series device in order to use this feature.
Siri gets more powerful
Siri is also becoming much smarter with iOS 17.4, as the personal assistant can now use the Message with Siri service to send messages in multiple languages. This lets users send messages through iMessage while simultaneously receiving straightforward audio prompts in multiple languages.
A revamp for the music app
With iOS 17.4, Apple is also making changes to the user interface of the music app. The listen now button has been replaced with the home button, which will direct you to a new menu that includes recently played music and recommendations, especially if you are a subscriber.