Apple on 25th January began to rollout the iOS 17.4 Beta 1 update. Here’s a quick rundown of everything new so far. Since this is a major update, we can observe a few changes as we progress through the current beta testing process. The final public release of the iOS 17.4 is expected in March or April of 2024.
Apple introduced new and colorful little emojis like the phoenix, a brown mushroom, lime and a broken chain as a part of the update. Apart from this, we can also observe variations of existing emojis too. Some emojis now feature different skin tones and are simply turned towards a different direction. The adjusted emoji includes people walking, running, kneeling, using wheelchairs and using white canes. The update also features four new gender-neutral family group emoji.
Messaging with Siri
The update tweaks the “Automatically Send Messages” setting in Siri & Search and renames it to “Messaging with Siri”. Along with this, the added option to change what language Siri reads incoming messages are also added. The languages include Spanish, French, German, Chinese and others. This feature is limited to only the message playback, and won’t change the language that Siri listens to and responds in.
Stolen Device Protection
The iOS 17.4 update includes a change for the “Stolen Device Protection” feature. Now, users can choose to always require a security delay when changing security settings when compared to the previous update. The only option before was to enact the delay when away from familiar locations.
Game streaming apps
Apple has finally made improvements into Game streaming apps. They were previously only allowed on iOS as web apps, but now Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now will be available as standalone apps in the App Store. This change also allows for the new “mini-app”. Mini-games, chatbots and plug-ins can be used with Apple’s in-app purchase system. Apart from these major changes, we can also observe smaller changes as follows.
App Store changes
The biggest change coming on iOS 17.4 involves Apple finally enabling alternative app stores and app installation from places other than the Apple App Store, only in the EU. This is because the laws there have forced for this decision of Apple. However this wont be seen globally unlike the other major features.
Additionally, we can also notice a few noticeable changes. In the Settings app, we can see a new “Identifiable Region” label in the “General” > “About” section. The address bar in Safari is slightly wider than it was in iOS 17.3. There is also new “Contactless & NFC” menu in the “Privacy” category that does not do anything yet. And finally, the ability to say “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri” has expanded till Germany.
Finally, the sneak peek into the iOS 17.4 beta indicates Apple’s plans to enhance the powers of iOS, and portrays the company’s passion in technological evolution.
iOS 17.4 Beta 1 supported devices list
The supported devices include the iPhone 15, 14, 13 and 12 series. Along with this, the update is supported on older iPhones like the X series, iPhone 11 series and finally, the second and third generations of the iPhone SE.