RC of iOS 17.4 & iPadOS 17.4, macOS Sonoma 14.4 Beta 5, Released for Testing

Feb 29, 2024 - Leave a Comment

New betas for iOS 17, macOS Sonoma 14, and iPadOS 17

Apple has issued Release Candidate builds for iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, along with beta 5 of macOS Sonoma 14.4 and tvOS 17.4. Separately, a new beta of VisionOS 1.1 is available for Apple Vision Pro beta testers.

Beta updates and RC builds are available to any users who are actively participating in the Apple beta system software programs.

What is an RC build anyway?

RC, which stands for Release Candidate, is a version of system software that is expected to be free of significant bugs, and is therefore a candidate for being the final release that is issued to the general public. Assuming no critical issues or bugs are discovered in the RC builds, they tend to become the final release.

RC builds typically signal the end of the beta cycle for that particular version of system software, in this case, iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4.

How to Download iOS 17.4 RC, iPadOS 17.4 RC, macOS Sonoma 14.4 beta 5

If your Apple ID is enrolled in the beta programs, it is easy to get the latest beta updates:

iPhone and iPad users can find iOS 17.4 RC from Settings > General > Software Update on any device enrolled in the beta programs.

Mac beta testers will find macOS Sonoma 14.4 beta 5 available from a Mac enrolled in the beta program by going to  Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software Update.

Beta updates for other system software are available through their respective software update mechanisms as well.

What is new with iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, & macOS Sonoma 14.4?

Each of these new versions of system software will include new Emoji icons, that include everything from a mushroom, to shaking head, lime, broken chain, and phoenix.

Transcription features come to Podcasts app, and there is now support for SharePlay with HomePod.

The most significant change arrives only to European users with iOS 17.4, and that is due to new regulations enacted by the EU that mandate another method for installing apps onto the iPhone, bypassing the App Store. This feature is limited to users in the European Union, and is unlikely to come to the USA (absent any major regulation, which does not seem likely in the USA). The alternative App Store approach is expected to be used to return Fortnite to the iPhone, but only for EU users (disappointing, we know!).

These software updates will also include the typical array of bug fixes, and security enhancements.

iOS 17.4 RC Release Notes

Release notes accompanying iOS 17.4 RC build for US users are the following:

– New mushroom, phoenix, lime, broken chain, and shaking heads emoji are now available in the emoji keyboard
– 18 people and body emoji add the option to face them in either direction

Apple Podcasts
– Transcripts let you follow an episode with text that highlights in sync with the audio in English, Spanish, French and German
– Episode text can be read in full, searched for a word or phrase, tapped to play from a specific point and used with accessibility features such as Text Size, Increase Contrast, and VoiceOver

This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:
– Music recognition lets you add songs you have identified to your Apple Music Playlists and Library, as well as Apple Music Classical
– Siri has a new option to announce messages you receive in any supported language
– Stolen Device Protection supports the option for increased security in all locations
– Battery Health in Settings shows battery cycle count, manufacture date, and first use on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models
– Call Identification displays Apple-verified business name, logo, and department name when available
– Business updates in Messages for Business provide trusted information for order status, flight notifications, fraud alerts or other transactions you opt into
– Apple Cash virtual card numbers enable you to pay with Apple Cash at merchants that don’t yet accept Apple Pay by typing in your number from Wallet or using Safari AutoFill
– Fixes an issue where contact pictures are blank in Find My
– Fixes an issue for Dual SIM users where the phone number changes from primary to secondary and is visible to a group they have messaged
Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

When are iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS Sonoma 14.4, available for everyone?

Apple has previously stated that iOS 17.4 will debut in March.

It’s assumed that iPadOS 17.4, macOS Sonoma 14.4, tvOS 17.4, and watchOS 10.4 will debut at or near the same time, as Apple usually releases a bunch of system software updates at the same time.

With the RC build already available, we might expect iOS 17.4 to be available as soon as next week.

What are the latest stable versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS?

At the moment, the latest stable builds of system software available to the general public are iOS 17.3.1, iPadOS 17.3.1, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1, tvOS 17.3, watchOS 10.3, and visionOS 1.0.1.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in News

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