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iOS 17.4 beta 1 now available with app sideloading and Safari changes

Published Jan 25th, 2024 1:05PM EST
iPhone 15 Pro showing the App Store ahead of iOS 17.4 beta release
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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After releasing iOS 17.3 with a handful of new features, Apple is starting the testing cycle of iOS 17.4 with beta 1. With this software update, the company is finally enabling App Store sideloading for European users.

The testing starts now because Apple needs to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which will make Cupertino open the iPhone for third-party apps, a.k .a. sideloading. Although this change will be focused on the European Union countries, it’s unclear how Apple is going to implement this change on iOS, as users will be able to download apps from places other than the App Store.

In the US, for example, the company recently announced third-party payments will be accepted besides the App Store. Still, it will require developers to pay a 27% tax, in addition to several other limitations on advertising this change and how Apple will collect a fee for this transaction.

In addition, the company will now let European users choose their preferred web browsing. After installing iOS 17.4 beta 1, they will be asked about their favorite browser.

Lastly, with version x.4, Apple usually adds new emojis. Last year, it was with iOS 16.4 that Apple added over 20 new emojis for users.

Upcoming iOS 17 emojisImage source: Emojipedia

During the beta cycle of iOS 17.4, Apple could add more than 100 new emojis. As revealed last year, Emojipedia has 108 new emojis when you include skin tone modifiers and gender variants that could be available with Unicode’s Emoji 15.1 update.

At that time, the draft list included a Lime, a head shaking vertically, a phoenix bird (Moltres, for Pokémon fans), and four new gender-neutral family emojis intended to be represented via silhouettes.

At the end of the day, Emojipedia says it depends on each vendor (Apple, Google, Samsung, etc.) as to whether or not to follow the design directive the company is giving. “These new direction-specifying emojis are all versions of pre-existing people emojis, but with the addition of explicitly stated directionality,” says the blog post.

BGR will update this article if we learn more about iOS 17.4 beta 1. Apple is also seeding the first test versions of iPadOS 17.4 and tvOS 17.4.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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