By Julie Clover
Apple today released the first beta versions of iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 to developers, bringing with it several sweeping updates to iPhone and iPad in Europe. Most of the major changes will only affect users in the EU, but there are also updates to the operating system that are available worldwide.
In this article, we've rounded up everything new in iOS 17.4 beta 1.
Apple has implemented several important changes to how the App Store and the apps operate in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act. These changes are included in iOS 17.4, but generally only apply to countries in the European Union.
Alternative app stores and new app store terms
App developers in the EU can offer alternative app stores or install your apps through alternative stores, and Apple has an entirely new fee structure to accommodate this change. Developers can choose a new business structure that applies to both apps distributed in the App Store and applications distributed by alternative methods.
App developers using the new system will have to pay a standard fee of €0.50 per user per year, with the first million installations offered free of charge. Apps distributed through alternative app stores will not have any commission. Applications distributed through the App Store will pay a reduced fee of 17 percent or 10 percent for small business program members or for user subscriptions older than a year.
Developers can opt out of the new system and can use the existing system for the same 15/30 percent fee , which is available in other countries around the world. Apple has a fee calculator that helps developers determine how much they will pay on an existing setup, a new setup, a new setup using alternative app stores, and a new setup using the App Store.
If desired, users can set their preferred alternative app store as the default app store on their device. EU users will see this option in the Settings app.
There are a ton of behind-the-scenes changes that enable this feature in the EU, including updates to all sorts of system messages. For example, users in the EU will receive a pop-up warning when an app from an alternative app store contains malware, and there will also be new screens for checking information from an alternative app.
The Screen Time setting will allow parents to decide whether they can their children's devices to install apps from alternative app stores.
Alternative payment methods
Apple also allows apps to use alternative payment methods in their apps, and there is no longer a need to use in-app purchases . Developers who distribute applications through the App Store and use an alternative payment method, receive a three percent discount in your App Store fees.
Developers who distribute through alternative applications and also use an alternative payment method will not pay any fees to Apple other than the established fee of €0.50 per user.
With alternative payments, purchases of digital goods and services may made directly within the app, or the developer can choose to link to their website so the user can make a payment. Apple requires developers to use a reputable and secure payment provider.
Third-party browser updates
After updating to iOS 17.4, EU users who open Safari will see a pop-up that allows them to choose a new default browser option from a list of the most popular browsers on iOS.
Apple also allows alternative browser engines and will not limit browsers like Chrome to the WebKit engine.
Third-party payment apps and banks have access to the NFC chip in the iPhone in iOS 17.4 and can offer contactless payments directly to iPhone without using Apple Pay or the Wallet app in the European Economic Area. Users can set a default contactless payment provider, which is activated on tap payment terminals or by pressing the side button on iPhone pressed twice.
The option to set a default contactless payment provider is available in the Settings app in the EU, and this section will also provide information about all apps that have requested and accessed contactless payments.
EU users can also do this. change the default Wallet app to iPhone.
Changes to game apps
Streaming game apps are now allowed in the App Store worldwide, meaning services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce NOW can be offered as separate iPhone and iPad apps.
Apple previously allowed only cloud gaming services to be offered over the Internet, but now special apps are allowed that allow users to stream games from servers.
Mini-apps, mini-games, chat -Bots and plugins can now also use the in-app purchase system.
iOS 17.4 beta adds new emoji symbols, including lime, edible brown mushroom, phoenix, broken chain, vertical head shake (as in nodding “yes”) and horizontal head shake (“no”).
These emoji are part of the Unicode 15.1 update, approved in September 2023.
Messaging with Siri
Automatic The Send Messages option under Siri & Search has been renamed to Messages with Siri, and the ability to set Siri read incoming messages in a specific language, such as Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and many others.
This change does not update the primary language in which Siri listens and responds, but is limited to playing messages.
Podcasts and Music
The Listen Now tabs in Apple Music and Podcasts have been renamed Home.
The Podcasts app now offers transcripts, similar to how song lyrics work in the Apple Music app.
Safari's URL/search bar is now wider than before.
Stolen Device Protection
In the Stolen Device Protection section of the Settings app, you now have the option to require a security delay always or only when away from familiar locations.
Next generation CarPlay
The next generation of CarPlay is scheduled to launch in the US later in 2024, with the code contained in links to iOS 17.4. eight new CarPlay Programs.
An image in the iOS 17.4 beta shows that CarPlay a “Goodbye” screen will also likely be displayed after the driver turns off the car.
SharePlay music control expands to HomePod and Apple TV with iOS 17.4 and tvOS 17.4. With this feature, the user's family and friends can control the music played on the HomePod or Apple TV, if the user has granted permission.
The person who owns the HomePod or Apple TV must have Apple Music subscription, but the person shared with SharePlay can play music using Apple Music without subscription.
Connect to HomePod or Apple TV To use SharePlay, you can scan the QR code on your iPhone device owner. (for HomePod) or Apple TV. Users can connect to the device while in the same location or remotely.
Know something new in iOS 17.4 that we didn't mention? Let us know in the comments below.
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