Apple today began releasing the second beta for iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 to registered developers. iOS 17.4 beta 2 comes nearly two weeks after the company released the first iOS 17.4 beta. A public version of this beta is expected sometime this week.
iOS 17.4 marks a significant shift for iPhone users in the European Union. In compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple is introducing support for third-party app marketplaces and non-WebKit web browser engines. This means EU users will soon have the freedom to download apps from platforms other than the App Store and utilize alternative browsers besides Safari.
However, Apple prioritizes user safety. While granting more flexibility, the company emphasizes caution with these new options. Users will be prompted with warnings before engaging with non-App Store apps and unfamiliar browsers. Additionally, Apple’s app notarization process, involving automated checks and human reviews, will continue to ensure app security regardless of their origin.
Beyond Europe-specific changes, iOS 17.4 brings a delightful update for emoji enthusiasts. Support for Unicode 15.1 emoji expands the expressive vocabulary with additions like a lime, broken chain, brown mushroom, phoenix, and more.
The update offers an additional layer of security with a new option for Stolen Device Protection. Users can now require a security delay even when their device is in trusted locations like home or work. This optional feature adds an extra hour of wait time before disabling Stolen Device Protection or changing security settings, even within trusted environments.
iOS 17.4 should make its way to the public sometime in March before the DMA’s implementation deadline, offering a set of unprecedented changes to the app ecosystem of iOS through alternative app marketplaces and more.
Apple also released the following new betas across the board:
- iPadOS 17.4 beta 2
- macOS Sonoma 14.4 beta 2
- watchOS 10.4 beta 2
- tvOS 17.4 beta 2
How to install iOS 17.4 beta 2
Last March, Apple introduced a new method to install betas. Now, devices enrolled with a linked Apple Developer Program account or those who signed up with their Apple ID on Apple Developer will see a new menu under Settings -> General -> Software Update that allows users to opt into receiving beta updates. Devices that aren’t enrolled and linked to an Apple Developer account won’t see the menu and therefore aren’t able to install any new beta.
We will keep this article updated with any additional changes that we find in the second beta of iOS 17.4, including references to new features or unreleased products.