Beta 1 of iOS 17.4 & iPadOS 17.4 Available for Testing
Apple has released the first beta versions of iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 to users enrolled in the developer beta testing programs for iPhone and iPad system software.
There are some significant changes for European users arriving in betas for iOS 17.4, including changes to the App Store, and adding the ability to install apps through alternative app stores in order to comply with new European Union regulations. The functionality to install apps from alternative app stores is expected to be limited to the EU, and is unlikely to expand to the Americas or elsewhere (without similar government regulations from those other regions, anyway).
Aside from the region-specific EU compliance changes, iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 beta also includes new Emoji icons, and a variety of small changes and improvements to things like Apple Music and Podcasts.
If you’re a developer enrolled in the beta testing programs for Apple system software, you can find the latest beta version of iOS 17.4 beta 1 and iPadOS 17.4 beta 1 from the Settings app > General > Software Update.
Apple typically releases several beta versions before issuing a final release to the general public, and Apple has stated that iOS 17.4 with the various EU regulatory compliance changes will apparently be released in March.
The most recent stable version of system software for iPhone and iPad is currently iOS 17.3 and iPadOS 17.3.