The Second iOS 17.4 Beta Is Out | Here’s What’s New

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Over the past couple of days, Apple has released a second beta of iOS 17.4, first for developers and now for members of the public beta program to try out. While the first beta already revealed the bigger changes coming in iOS 17.4, Apple still has to refine some of those things, and as usual, subsequent betas make smaller tweaks and adjustments, too.

While the most significant changes in iOS 17.4 won’t affect anybody outside of the European Union since they revolve around new App Store and app distribution rules, there are still some fun new features coming for the rest of us.

This includes auto-generated transcripts in Apple Podcasts, 118 new emojis, and the ability to use SharePlay to create a party mix on your Apple TV or HomePod. We’ve also seen some smaller tweaks to iOS 17.3’s new Stolen Device Protection, the ability to have Siri read incoming messages in multiple languages when you’re in the car or wearing AirPods, and some groundwork for the CarPlay 2.0 features coming to new vehicles later this year.

What’s Changed in iOS 17.4 Beta 2

The good news is that most of those features appear to be the same in the second beta of iOS 17.4, with Apple mostly making smaller changes, such as improving the accuracy of podcast transcriptions and cleaning up the list of language selections under the new Messaging with Siri section.

Nevertheless, a few other interesting things have popped up in beta 2, including a new Digital Clock Widget that lets you see the time in a specific city.

Apple added the Digital Clock widget in iOS 17.2, but unlike the analog versions, you could only see your local time. iOS 17.4 rectifies that with a new “City Digital” widget.

The App Store and Apple Music apps get new splash screens — or at least bring up the standard ones after installing the beta. It’s unclear if the wording has changed, but Apple’s emphasis on the App Store as “a safe and trusted place” seems like an oblique swipe at the new rules it’s being forced to implement in the EU.

MacRumors contributor aaronp613 picked on some interesting code changes, although they don’t appear to be fully implemented yet. This includes a Siri Compatibility Mode for dealing with certain car mics and support for veteran status on Digital Drivers Licenses in the Wallet app.

According to MacRumors, it may also soon be possible for individual apps to turn off gesture-based reactions on video calls, regardless of whether the user has enabled them. Hopefully, this will help prevent embarrassing moments in calls where floating balloons or fireworks aren’t appropriate, such as telehealth apps or business calls.

A new “Pass Keys access for web browsers” setting now appears in the Privacy & Security section of the Settings app. While the purpose of this isn’t entirely clear, we suspect it’s related to the opening up of third-party browser engines in the EU, which will likely need to request permission to access this information.

If so, it will likely disappear in other regions in a future beta. The first beta also had a Contactless & NFC setting here that’s since disappeared — at least outside of the EU, where third-party apps will soon be able to directly access the iPhone’s NFC hardware.

Naturally, the second iOS 17.4 also fixes a few bugs from the first one, including problems with missing stickers and some in-app purchases, and also polishes things up by removing some settings that appeared in the first beta, such as the “identifiable region” in the About screen.

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