iOS 17.4 beta 4 now available as Apple readies early March release

Apple is now seeding iOS 17.4 beta 4 to developers as the company aims to release this upcoming operating system update in early March. There are several changes coming with iOS 17.4, including exclusive functions for European customers, by opening up iOS to third-party payments, app stores, and more. Here’s everything you need to know about iOS 17.4 beta 3.

One of the main changes for all users is the addition of over 100 new emojis. The new emojis include a lime, shaking heads, a phoenix, and four new gender-neutral family emojis intended to be represented via silhouettes. In addition, all iPhone users will be able to take advantage of these four major iOS 17.4 features:

  • Gaming app changes: Streaming game apps will be available on the App Store globally, which includes Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce NOW, offering games inside their own apps.
  • Messaging with Siri: Siri can read incoming messages in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and more.
  • Podcasts Transcripts: The Podcasts app now offers transcripts for every podcast episode.
  • Stolen Device Protection changes: Apple has added an option that a double authentication can always be required instead of only unfamiliar locations.

The new Stolen Device Protection feature coming via iOS 17.3.The new Stolen Device Protection feature. Image source: Apple Inc.

With iOS 17.4 beta 2, Apple added a few other changes, such as:

  • Home tab: Following Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, Apple Books also got a new Home tab. It replaces the old “Read Now” option.
  • Clock Widget: Apple is working on a new widget called City Clock. There are three new options at the moment.
  • AirPods on Android: Apple keeps working on a new notification that shows on your iPhone when your AirPods are being used on an Android device or Windows PC so you can switch the connection back to your phone.

iOS 17.4 opens up the iPhone for European users

Now, for European users, iOS 17.4 beta 4 is adding some important changes, including:

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Marketplaces – or alternative app stores: App developers in the EU can choose to offer their apps in alternative app stores as long as they meet Apple’s criteria for customer experience, support, and fraud prevention, among other changes.

Notarization for iOS apps: A baseline review that applies to all apps, regardless of their distribution channel, focused on platform integrity and protecting users. Notarization involves a combination of automated checks and human review. 

Default browser options: EU users can choose a new default browser from a list of the most downloaded browsers on iOS devices just after they update to iOS 17.4.

NFC third-party access: Banks and third-party payment services can be offered for European iPhones.

More access: Developers can ask for additional hardware and software features for Apple.

BGR will let you know if we find anything different in this beta.


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