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iOS 17.4 is here with podcast transcripts, new emoji and huge EU changes

Apple has released the final version of iOS 17.4, introducing some major changes for EU users and some happy tweaks to staple apps for eveyone else.

After a few weeks in beta testing Apple has dropped one of the last major updates for iOS 17 before iOS 18 is revealed in June.

However, the changes reflected in iOS 17 will carry users through to iOS 18’s release in September this year.

iOS 17.4 can be downloaded on compatible devices now. You can download the iOS 17.4 update by heading to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone. Here are the documented changes.

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App Store changes in the EU

The new Digital Markets Act in the Euopean Union ensures Apple will have to make the biggest changes to its iOS ecosystem since the very early days of the iPhone.

Apple will now how to offer third-party app marketplaces, meaning the App Store is no longerr the only game in town. Apple will also allow new in-app payment methods for outside of the official Apple payments ecosystem. The company is also opening up the iPhone’s Near Field Communication (NFC), so alternatives to Apple Pay can be deployed.

The chances, which Apple announced them on January 25 will not alter things situation for users in the UK and the United States. But

Apple Podcasts transcripts

Apple is improving its Podcast app again in iOS 17.4. First of all, there’ll be automatically-generated transcripts for episodes. Here’s how it’ll work.

“Apple automatically generates transcripts after a new episode is published. Your episode will be available for listening right away, and the transcript will be available shortly afterwards.

“There will be a short delay while we process your transcript. If portions of your episode change with dynamically inserted audio, Apple Podcasts will not display the segments of the audio that have changed since the original transcription. Music lyrics are also not displayed in the transcripts.”

The company says that Episode text can be read in full, search within or tapped to play from a specific point. There are also accessibility options to increase text size and contrast.

New emoji

Apple will introduce some new emoji characters in iOS 17.4. The brand new ones are listed below, while there are 118 in total. The others are variances on existing emoji with diversity and direction considerations (via Emojipedia).

They include:

  • Head Shaking Horizontally
  • Head Shaking Vertically
  • Phoenix Bird
  • Lime
  • Brown Mushroom
  • Broken Chain

Apple Music

The Music recognition service Shazam will now let you add identified songs to Apple Music Playlists and Library as well as Apple muisc classical


In iOS 17.4 you can choose additional languages to read messages in beyond the default. You’ll need to head to Settings > Siri & Search > Messaging with Siri and browse down to the Read section.

Battery Health

You’ll now be able to see how many battery cyles your phone your current cell has been through.

Apple Cash

Apple Cash now offers virtual card numbers so you can pay for good as services that don’t accept contactless Apple Pay payments. You can simply type in the number from Wallet or use Safari Autofill.

Stolen Device Protection

Apple has already decided upon a change for its new Stolen Device Protection feature launched in iOS 17.3 this week. It’s a user friendly change too. Instead of users requiring the new hour-long Security Delay when changing an essential security setting (like the Apple ID Password) in only unfamiliar locations, users can choose to require it in any setting. Effectively it means you need to re-authenticate a change an hour later before it takes effect.

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