iOS 17.4 beta 1: Here are all the new features and changes

It’s been a very busy day here at 9to5Mac. Apple released the first beta of iOS 17.4 with a slew of changes for the App Store and its ecosystem in the European Union, but there are some other changes that are available for everyone. Head below for a roundup of everything new in iOS 17.4 so far.

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iOS 17.4 details

iOS 17.4 features build number 21E5184i. It’s available now to registered developers, who can update via the Settings app by going to “General” and then choosing “Software Update.” We expect iOS 17.4 to be released to public beta testers sometime later this week or next week. 

What’s new in iOS 17.4?

App Store and EU changes

As I mentioned at the top, iOS 17.4 is chock-full of major changes to the App Store and its broader ecosystem for iPhone users in the European Union. This includes support for third-party app stores for the first time, changes to the rules around default web browsers, game streaming apps, and much more. Here’s a recap of our coverage from today:

Transcripts in Apple Podcasts

The Apple Podcasts app has received a few notable changes in iOS 17.4. First, there’s now support for automatically-generated transcripts. Apple will generate these transcripts automatically, then show them in the Apple Podcasts app itself.

The Now Playing bar along the bottom of the Apple Podcasts app has also been redesigned with iOS 17.4, matching the style of the Now Playing bar in Apple Music.

Finally, the “Listen Now” tab in the bottom row of the Apple Podcasts app has been renamed “Home.”

Apple Music

In the Music app, Apple has renamed the “Listen Now” tab and made it the “Home” tab, with a new house-shaped icon.

Siri

Siri has been upgraded in iOS 17.4 with support for reading messages in additional languages, not just the assigned language used for Siri for all other tasks.

The new option is available in Settings > Siri & Search > Messaging with Siri. Under the READ MESSAGES section, there’s a new Add Language… button that prompts of range of language options.

New emoji

There are new emoji included in iOS 17.4 for the following things:

  • Head Shaking Horizontally
  • Head Shaking Vertically
  • Phoenix Bird
  • Lime
  • Brown Mushroom
  • Broken Chain

You can get a preview of these new emoji options in the image above, courtesy of our friends at Emojipedia. As they explain, there are also changes to the family emojis included in iOS 17.4 as well.

Stolen Device Protection

As we reported this morning, iOS 17.4 includes a change for Stolen Device Protection. Now, users can choose to always require a security delay when changing security settings. Previously, the only option was to enact the delay when away from familiar locations.

More iOS 17.4 tidbits

  • In the Settings app, there is a new “Identifiable Region” label in the “General” > “About” menu.
  • In Safari, the address bar is slightly wider than it was in iOS 17.3.
  • In the Settings app, there’s a new “Contactless & NFC” menu in the “Privacy” category that doesn’t do anything yet.
  • The ability to say “Siri” instead of “Hey Siri” has expanded to Germany.

Wrap up

There’s a quick rundown of everything new in iOS 17.4 so far. This is a massive update, so we expect more changes to trickle in as we progress through the beta testing process. Apple says that iOS 17.4 will be released to the general public in March.

Spot any other changes in iOS 17.4 beta 1? Let us know in the comments! We’ll have more coverage of everything new in today’s updates throughout the rest of the week. 

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