Apple has launched the second Beta of iOS 17.4the next big update for the iPhone, with important changes for European users but not only for them.

iOS 17.4 will be one of the versions that will mark a before and after, especially in Europe, where Apple has had to break a good handful of “red lines” required by European regulations on digital markets. But although the most relevant changes will be limited to Europe, there are another good number of news that will reach everyone. This is the list of all of them:

  • Third-party stores may be installed where we can buy and download applications from outside the App Store. These app stores can be set as default instead of the App Store. (Europe only)
  • Payment methods external to Apple will be allowed. Developers may include other payment methods and may even link to other websites to make them. (Europe only)
  • Internet browsing applications will be able to use their own engines instead of being forced to use WebKit, the Safari engine. (Europe only)
  • Banks and payment applications will have access to the iPhone's NFC to be able to use their own payment platforms other than Apple Pay. These payment methods can be configured as default. (Europe only)
  • Cloud gaming applications will be allowed. GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud and other platforms will be able to have their own applications without having to resort to Safari to function.
  • New Emoji including: mushroom, lime, phoenix, broken chain, head saying “yes” and head saying “no.”
  • Ability for Siri to read messages in the language of your choice.
  • The “Listen Now” tab is now “Home” in the Podcasts and Music apps.
  • Podcasts will offer you automatic transcriptions of the podcast you are listening to.
  • Safari's navigation bar is longer.
  • iPhone Theft Protection (released in iOS 14.3) lets you choose whether the 1-hour delay for making some changes is required always or only when you're away from your familiar locations.
  • Improvements in CarPlay (when the new version is released, for now only in the USA).
  • SharePlay can now also be used on HomePod and Apple TV.
  • The timer now has Live Activity on the lock screen.
  • Within the App Store, in your account, you have a Purchase History that includes all purchases made, not just the applications.

In addition to this new Beta we also have the respective ones for watchOS, iPadOS, macOS and even visionOS. The final versions are expected to be released worldwide during the month of March.