The upcoming iOS 17.4 beta has been released and comes packed with some major changes for iPhone owners.

The beta usually shows what’s in store for when the official update drops a few weeks later. Not all features make the release though.

Firstly, Apple announced a change in the way individuals can download apps in the EU. The company confirmed for these users, new app marketplaces will be opened, meaning there will be others ways to download apps.

This will also allow new in-app payment methods outside Apple’s system.

There are also updates to Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, Siri, Stolen Device Protection, as well as more emojis.

The Podcast app is being improved yet again, adding in new automatically generated transcripts for episodes.

“Apple automatically generates transcripts after a new episode is published. Your episode will be available for listening right away, and the transcript will be available shortly afterwards.”

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“There will be a short delay while we process your transcript. If portions of your episode change with dynamically inserted audio, Apple Podcasts will not display the segments of the audio that have changed since the original transcription. Music lyrics are also not displayed in the transcripts.”

Also redesigned is the Now Playing bar, and the Listen Now tab has been renamed to Home. The same has been done with Apple Music.

Apple are also set to offer new emoji characters, 118 in total, however, the new ones are listed below. The others are variances of existing emojis with diversity and direction considerations.

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

In iOS 17.4, the user can now choose additional languages to read messages in Siri. They will just need to go to Settings > Siri & Search > Messaging with Siri, then scroll down to the Read section.

Finally, Apple have chosen a change for the new Stolen Device Protection feature which was only launched this week in iOS 17.3.

Instead of requiring the new hour-long Security Delay when changing an essential security setting in only unfamiliar locations, the user can choose to require it in any setting.

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