iOS 17.4 Beta Update Adds Podcast Transcripts and a Smarter Siri


Today, Apple is rolling out the first beta of iOS 17.4 to developers and testers today a week after the definitive iOS 17.3 update was shipped. Aside from the huge App Store and iOS changes planned for EU users already announced by Apple, iOS 17.4 Beta also adds a plethora of changes that all users could take advantage of.

Transcripts in Apple Podcasts app

With the iOS 17.4 Beta 1, Apple is adding auto-generated transcripts support for the Apple Podcasts app on iPhones and iPads (iPadOS 17.4), which is similar to what Spotify introduced to its streaming app last year.

Listeners can open up and play transcripts alongside when listening to a podcast by tapping the message-like button on the bottom-left portion. The transcripts will automatically scroll and align to the podcast the same as when listening to regular songs and tracks in Apple Music.

Apple Music Sing feature launches to iPhones, iPads, Apple TV 4K
Apple Music Sing karaoke duet feature coming to iPhone, iPad, and new Apple TV 4K. / © nextpit

Another related change happening inside the Apple Music and Podcasts apps is the rebranding of the Listen Now tab to Home. Both apps will now show Home as the first section and it sits alongside the Browse, Radio, Library, and Search bar.

Messaging with Siri

Apple’s voice assistant is getting a new trick with this software as well. Siri will now be able to read incoming messages in different languages apart from the device’s system language. Users can add more languages, including French, Chinese, Italian, and German, among others, by going to Siri & Search in the settings.

New emojis

Apple continues adding more emojis to its Unicode 5.1 collections. iOS 17.4 Beta introduces new characters including an edible mushroom, a broken chain, a sliced of lime, a phoenix, and a shaking head. These new emojis can be used in messages in addition to static and live stickers.

A wider search bar on Safari

A small yet impactful iOS touch is found in Safari. The browser’s search bar is now slightly widened compared to the previous version, adding more estate for many users and reducing accidental touches within the browser.

Apple adds Stolen Device Protection on iOS 17.3
Apple’s new Stolen Device Protection adds an extra layer of security when your iPhone and passcode are stolen. / © Apple

New option on Stolen Device Protection

Debuted on iOS 17.3, Apple is also updating the Stolen Device Protection feature. The iPhone maker now lets users set security delays based on familiar locations or at all times.

For starters, Stolen Device Protection adds security measures for stolen iPhones, especially with those compromised PIN codes. Essentially, when enabled, it requires Face ID or Touch ID is one of the methods to protect thieves and hackers from accessing and applying changes to accounts and passwords.

Overall, iOS 17.4 Beta appears as a big update to push the App Store and iOS changes that Apple is deploying in accordance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. Perhaps we might be seeing major changes to iOS 17.4 in the next beta versions.

Have you enrolled in Apple’s developer program? If not, our colleague prepared a nifty guide here on how to download and install Apple’s latest iOS 17 beta software updates.


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