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Dive into iOS 17.4 Beta 2: What’s New for Your iPhone and iPad?

Apple’s latest beta release for iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 offers a glimpse into exciting new features and functionalities expected to reach iPhones and iPads soon. While still under development, the second beta iteration sheds light on potential improvements across various aspects of the user experience. Let’s explore the key highlights revealed in this update:

Key highlights:

  • App Store Revamp: Compliance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act paves the way for alternative app stores and sideloading on iPhones and iPads within the EU region. Users might gain more control over app discovery and installation methods.
  • Podcast Enhancements: Transcripts are now available for podcasts, similar to the real-time lyrics feature in Apple Music, improving accessibility and searchability. The Now Playing bar also receives a design refresh, aligning with the Music app for a cohesive experience.
  • Siri Multilingual Messaging: Siri expands its linguistic prowess, allowing users to request message reading in different languages than their default Siri language. This caters to multilingual users and enhances communication flexibility.
  • New Emoji Bunch: Express yourself further with seven new emoji additions, including a heart with a bandage, a face exhaling, and a face in the clouds. These playful emoticons add variety to your digital conversations.
  • Live Activity for Stopwatch: Keep track of your workout progress directly on the lock screen with the new Live Activity for Stopwatch. This eliminates the need to constantly unlock your device to check elapsed time.
  • SharePlay with HomePod: Extend your shared entertainment experience to your HomePod speaker with SharePlay support. Enjoy movies, music, and other content in sync with friends and family on your favorite Apple devices.
  • Security Key Compatibility: Enhance your login security with support for physical security keys on iOS 17.4. This update enables using FIDO-certified security keys for logging into iCloud and other compatible accounts, offering an extra layer of protection.

iOS 17.4 Feature Orange

The beta update also includes various under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes. Developers receive new tools and functionalities, like baseline reviews for apps and the ability to request additional hardware and software features from Apple. While the final release date remains unconfirmed, the widespread rollout is expected in March 2024.

Siri Expands Horizons: Bridging Language Barriers

Multilingual messaging with Siri opens doors for seamless communication across different languages. Imagine requesting Siri to read messages in your preferred language even if it differs from your default Siri language. This can be particularly useful for multilingual families or individuals interacting with international contacts.

New Emoji: Expressing More with Nuance

The new emoji additions, especially the heart with a bandage and the face exhaling, cater to specific emotional nuances often encountered in daily communication. They offer users more expressive options to convey subtle emotions in their digital interactions.

Live Activity for Stopwatch: A Glimpse into Fitness Integration

The Live Activity for Stopwatch hints at deeper fitness integration on future iPhones and iPads. Live Activities provide dynamic updates directly on the lock screen, and integrating this functionality with the Stopwatch suggests future possibilities for tracking workouts and monitoring fitness data without unlocking the device.

SharePlay with HomePod: Expanding the Entertainment Sphere

The ability to share content with HomePod using SharePlay paves the way for a more immersive entertainment experience within the Apple ecosystem. Imagine enjoying a movie or listening to music in sync with friends and family, extending the shared experience beyond individual devices. This could be particularly appealing for casual gatherings or virtual parties.

It’s important to remember that beta software can be unstable and contain bugs, so it’s not recommended for everyday use on primary devices. However, for curious users and developers, the iOS 17.4 Beta 2 offers a valuable sneak peek into the future of iPhone and iPad software.