iOS 17.4 RC: Your iPhone Could Get These New Features Soon – CNET

Apple released the iOS 17.4 RC (release candidate) to public beta testers and developers on Tuesday. This release comes more than a month after iOS 17.3 was released to the general public. The latest iOS RC brings new features, including major changes for people in the European Union and new emoji and bug fixes to the iPhones of some developers and beta testers.

Read more: Why You Should Download iOS 17.3 Now

We recommend downloading the RC on something other than your primary device. Since this isn’t the final version of iOS 17.4, these features might be buggy and battery life may be short, and it’s best to keep those troubles on a secondary device.

If you’re a developer or public beta tester, here are some of the new features you can find in the iOS 17.4 RC. There’s no word on the public release for iOS 17.4 just yet, but Apple has indicated it’ll likely be in March.

Downloading other app stores in the EU

Apple introduced a significant change to Safari, the App Store and iOS with iOS 17.4 beta 1, but only for people in the EU. With iOS 17.4 beta 1, people in the EU can download an alternative app store and apps from outside the App Store. According to CNET’s Katie Collins, this marks one of the largest changes to the App Store since its inception in 2008. People in the EU will also be given new default app controls, giving them more ways to customize their iPhone experience. 


People in the EU will soon have access to other app stores and more.

Angela Lang/CNET

Apple made these changes, which were announced Thursday, to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. The company said these changes will go into effect once Europeans download iOS 17.4 in March or later. There’s no word on whether these changes will be available globally. 

Read more: Apple Will Allow Installation of Rival App Stores On iPhones In Europe

More options for in-app payments

Apple introduced more ways to make in-app payments with the first iOS 17.4 beta. If you go to Settings > Privacy & Security, you’ll see an option called Contactless & NFC, or near-field communication. If you tap the new option, you’ll be taken to a mostly blank page that has a small disclaimer that says the page will show apps that have requested the ability to use contactless and NFC payments in the future. Apple announced these options alongside the changes for people in the EU, and there’s no word on whether this will be utilized by apps outside that region.

At least 100 new emoji

New emoji to come to iPhones with the first iOS 17.4 developer beta

Some of the new emoji coming to iOS 17.4 include a phoenix, a slice of lime and broken chains.


Apple introduced over 100 new emoji to iPhone users with the first beta of iOS 17.4. Those emoji include heads shaking up and down as well as left and right, a phoenix emoji and a slice of lime. These emoji were announced in 2023, and some Android devices, including the latest Samsung phones, already have them.

Improved iMessage security against future threats

With iOS 17.4, your iMessage chats will get a security boost to protect them from cyberattacks that involve quantum computing. According to CNET’s David Lumb, Apple said it hasn’t seen these kinds of cyberattacks yet, but the company wants to get ahead of the potential threat now. 

Read more: Apple’s Next iOS Update Protects iMessage Against Future Quantum Computing Attacks

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