iOS 17.4 released: New emoji, third-party app stores, Podcast transcripts and more

Apple has finally released iOS 17.4, with many new features and enhancements. The update is especially noteworthy for users who live in the European Union (EU), as it brings about significant modifications to the App Store and the app distribution environment.

iOS 17.4 beta

iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 – What’s new?

For EU residents, iOS 17.4 is more than just a routine update—it’s a response to the Digital Markets Act, a regulatory framework aimed at fostering competition and fair practices in the digital market. Apple’s latest update brings about significant changes to comply with these regulations, introducing new APIs and tools for developers to offer their iOS apps through alternative app marketplaces.

Additionally, iOS 17.4 introduces support for alternative browser engines, allowing developers to utilize browser engines other than WebKit for browser apps and in-app browsing experiences.

Moreover, the update grants access to NFC for mobile payment systems, enabling users to utilize alternative payment methods for in-app purchases. While this move has sparked debate among developers, it marks a significant shift in Apple’s approach to app monetization and distribution within the EU.

Recognizing the potential risks associated with downloading apps from alternative sources, iOS 17.4 introduces robust safety measures to protect users. The implementation of notarization for iOS apps ensures a baseline review for all apps, regardless of their distribution channel, thereby enhancing platform integrity and user security.

Furthermore, the update introduces app installation sheets that provide comprehensive information about apps before download, including developer details and functionality descriptions. These measures aim to empower users to make informed decisions and mitigate the risks associated with downloading apps from non-App Store sources.

Beyond the EU-specific changes, iOS 17.4 brings several new features and enhancements for users worldwide. These include:

Final Release


  • New mushroom, phoenix, lime, broken chain, and shaking heads emoji are now available in the emoji keyboard
  • 18 people and body emoji add the option to face them in either direction

emoji 15

Apple Podcasts

  • Transcripts let you follow an episode with text that highlights in sync with the audio in English, Spanish, French and German
  • Episode text can be read in full, searched for a word or phrase, tapped to play from a specific point and used with accessibility features such as Text Size, Increase Contrast, and VoiceOver

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:

  • Music recognition lets you add songs you have identified to your Apple Music Playlists and Library, as well as Apple Music Classical
  • Siri has a new option to announce messages you receive in any supported language
  • Stolen Device Protection supports the option for increased security in all locations
  • Battery Health in Settings shows battery cycle count, manufacture date, and first use on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models
  • Call Identification displays Apple-verified business name, logo, and department name when available
  • Business updates in Messages for Business provide trusted information for order status, flight notifications, fraud alerts or other transactions you opt into
  • Apple Cash virtual card numbers enable you to pay with Apple Cash at merchants that donât yet accept Apple
  • Pay by typing in your number from Wallet or using Safari AutoFill
  • Fixes an issue where contact pictures are blank in Find My
  • Fixes an issue for Dual SIM users where the phone number changes from primary to secondary and is visible to a group they have messaged

iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 compatible iPhone and iPad models?

If you already have a release of iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 installed on your device, this means that it is compatible with the new beta release.

For those on older devices, here is the list of compatible devices:

  • iPhone 15 
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th-gen, 5th-gen, 4th-gen, 3rd-gen, 2nd-gen)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (4th-gen, 3rd-gen, 2nd-gen, 1st-gen)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (6th-gen, 7th-gen, 8th-gen, 9th-gen, 10th-gen)
  • iPad Air (3rd-gen, 4th-gen, 5th-gen)
  • iPad mini (5th-gen, 6th-gen)

Install iOS 17.4 on iPhone/install iPadOS 17.4 on iPad

Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Make sure your device is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  2. Do a complete iCloud backup of your device.
  3. Charge your device to at least 50% battery capacity.
  4. Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  5. Tap Download and Install.
  6. Enter your passcode or use Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.
  7. Your device will download and install the update. This may take some time.
  8. Once the update is complete, your device will restart.
About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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