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Workshop: changes and features of iOS 17.4 beta 4 [Video]

Yesterday, Apple released the fourth beta version of iOS 17.4, which includes several new changes and notable features. Watch our hands-on video as we walk through everything new in iOS 17.4 beta 4, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more.

What's new in iOS 17.4 beta 4?

iOS 17.4 beta 4 has build number 21E5209b for those keeping score at home. The update is now available to both developers and public beta testers.

Video: changes and features of iOS 17.4 beta 4

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Quantum Computer Protection for iMessage

Perhaps the biggest update to iOS 17.4 is the inclusion of Apple's new product Quantum Computer Protection for iMessage. All iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS users who update to the latest beta will automatically be upgraded to Apple's post-quantum cryptographic protocol, called PQ3, to secure iMessage.

PQ3 is an update to the end-to-end encryption Apple currently uses for iMessage. The encryption update aims to prevent future “collect now, decrypt later” attacks, where hackers would stockpile encrypted data in the hope that future quantum computers with sufficient processing power could break the encryption and provide access to the encrypted data.

Security researchers estimate that quantum computers capable of such attacks are still about a decade away, but the goal here is to stay ahead of potential attackers. In addition to the updated PQC encryption protocols, Apple has also implemented PQ3 persistent rekeying, which should further improve security by automatically issuing new keys so that even if one key is compromised, the conversation data is again protected by the updated key.

Read all the details in our article on securing a quantum computer for iMessage.

Updated ‘Hello’ Screen

After updating to iOS 17.4, users will see an updated Hello screen with the profile photo associated with the user's Apple ID. This photo won't appear on a clean install because iOS doesn't yet know who owns the device, but users who update to the latest version of iOS will be able to enjoy the updated interface.

New CarPlay instrument cluster for Apple Maps

<р >Apple is rolling out an update to the CarPlay instrument cluster in iOS 17.4. While this update is not part of the next generation of CarPlay, it does provide more customization options for cars like the Polestar 2, which supports two screens.

In iOS 17.4, Apple Maps will allow users to switch their desired display type between the Home screen and the instrument cluster screen. The map settings button in the top right corner allows users to switch the display type, placing navigation information on the instrument cluster display and giving more space on the CarPlay home screen for other apps and activities.

Battery Health Updates

Apple has made several changes to battery health information in iOS 17.4 beta 4. First, battery health and charging optimization information are now separated, and each now appears in their respective preference panels in the “Settings” → “Battery” section.

Also changed is the simplified battery status, which allows users to know the status of their battery at a glance. Statuses include Normal; but it will also most likely indicate “Service Required”; if the way the Mac manages battery health is something Apple makes changes to iOS after.

Other important battery information, such as number of cycles, manufacturing date, and first use data, has been moved from Settings → About and moved to the more appropriate Settings → Battery Health panel “

Finally, Apple has updated the battery life of the iPhone 15 line. Due to several factors, Apple now says that users can expect to achieve up to 1,000 battery cycles before the battery drops to 80% charge. , which is double the previous forecast. This change only applies to iPhone 15 line devices, so iPhone 14 and earlier devices will still be rated for 500 cycles.

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iOS 17.4 is already a huge update due to the EU DMA changes which we have discussed in detail. However, Apple remains focused on changes that are not directly related to mandatory updates for users in the European Union.

The iMessage encryption update is particularly interesting and shows that Apple perceives quantum computing as a real threat to current encryption schemes. Companies like Signal have already started taking preventive measures, but we'll likely see other companies introduce similar encryption updates now that Apple has made this move.

What do you think of iOS 17.4? Sound off in the comments below.

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