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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

We are trying out iOS 17.4 beta 4 and here are a few features you need to keep an eye on

There are plenty of changes coming for users in the EU but those are restricted and will not affect users globally

Mathures Paul Published 22.02.24, 10:24 AM
File picture of iPhone 15 series on display in Apple Park, Cupertino.  

File picture of iPhone 15 series on display in Apple Park, Cupertino.   Picture: The Telegraph

Apple released iOS 17.4 beta 4 on Wednesday and updates continue to roll in. This is a beta version, meaning you don’t need to download it now. Not being the final version of iOS 17.4, these features could be buggy, and it’s best to keep beta updates to a secondary device. In case you are wondering when the final version will appear, there is no word on that. Here are a few features that we have enjoyed over the last few beta releases. There are plenty of changes coming for users in the EU but those are restricted and will not affect users globally.

Easier to read battery health

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It will be easier to track your iPhone 15’s battery life and overall health. The new software update will make it easier to read the battery sub-menu and understand your battery’s overall health. At the moment, on iPhone 15 models there is a section named Battery Health & Charging that opens a screen showing your battery’s capacity as a percentage. Now there is a Battery Health listing that displays the battery’s condition. For example, if the battery has no issues, the listing displays ‘Normal’. Further, tapping the Battery Health listing shows a section that displays the Maximum Capacity, Cycle Count, Manufacture Date and First Use.

Apple has updated the iPhone 15’s battery lifespan. The latest iPhones can retain 80 per cent of their original charging capacity after 1,000 cycles — double the company’s previous estimate — without any new hardware or software updates.

Some of the features that may come with iOS 17.4 update.

Some of the features that may come with iOS 17.4 update. Picture collage: The Telegraph

Podcast transcripts

The Podcast app will offer transcripts in English, French, German and Spanish for podcast episodes. They can be auto-generated, or podcast publishers can supply their own. To see the transcripts, go into Podcasts and start listening to a show. Next, tap the show’s banner across the bottom of your screen. At the bottom of the show’s title card, you’ll see a new button that looks like a speech bubble with quotes inside it. Tap and you’ll see the transcript of the show you’re listening to.

New emoji

If you like to pack text messages with emoji (Unicode Consortium uses the s-less plural), get ready to enhance your graphic vocabulary with a pack of 118 new ones, including a phoenix, a shaking head, lime, a broken chain and four gender-neutral families. Although 118 new emoji sound like a lot, there are plenty of variations of emoji that already exist, with different skin tones or simply turned in a different direction.

More options for Stolen Device Protection

Apple already has a number of options for Stolen Device Protection. Users will be able to choose ‘always require a delay’ when changing security settings, not just when away from familiar locations. Apple introduced Stolen Device Protection with iOS 17.3, and the idea is to protect your data if your device is stolen or falls into the wrong hands.

New CarPlay feature

Customers of compatible vehicles can view specific information from CarPlay in the instrument cluster. In iOS 17.4, with supported CarPlay vehicles, Apple Maps will present a new instrument cluster experience with information about upcoming manoeuvres. Users can swap the desired display type between the main and instrument cluster screen by tapping the map configuration button on the upper right of the Maps main screen.

Europe-focussed features

Apple is making several changes to Safari, the App Store and iOS for people in the EU. This is being done to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. Users there will be able to download an alternative app store and apps from outside the App Store. Further, users there will be given new default app controls.

The company says it’s removing homescreen apps for users in the EU because bringing them into compliance with DMA would involve “an entirely new integration architecture” that’s “not practical” to build on top of the other changes it’s been forced to make. One of these changes requires Apple to let third-party browsers use their own engines on iOS.

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