Friday, June 21, 2024

iOS 17.4 Beta: Should You Install It?

Apple’s put its new iOS 17.4 update into beta testing. And while you might be tempted to give it a whirl on your iPhone, most people are better off staying put on stable software.

The iOS 17.4 update is Apple’s fourth milestone upgrade for iOS 17 and it’s expected to stay in beta testing for the foreseeable future.

The final release should come in early March though Apple hasn’t attached an official release date to the software.

If you’re having a rough go of things on iOS 17.3.1, or you’re just interested in trying new iOS software before it’s released to the public, you might be tempted to download the beta.

If you’re considering a move to the iOS 17.4 beta, allow us to take you through the best reasons to try it and the best reasons to skip it and stay put on iOS 17.3.1 or whatever version of iOS your iPhone is currently running.

Help Improve iOS 17.4

The best reason to download the iOS 17.4 beta is a noble one.

By downloading the beta onto your iPhone, you can help Apple weed out bugs and performance issues and help improve the final product.

If you’re tired of dealing with software issues and/or you’re tired of hearing friends and family complain about problems, give the beta a shot.

If you do decide to try the iOS 17.4 beta, make sure you report issues to Apple. This way, the company’s engineers can work on fixes.

Try New Features

If you want to try iOS 17.4’s features right now, download the beta.

iOS 17.4 includes major changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store in the European Union. The changes will comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Apple says these “changes include more than 600 new APIs, expanded app analytics, functionality for alternative browser engines, and options for processing app payments and distributing iOS apps.”

Developers can learn more about the changes for EU apps on the company’s new Apple Developer Support page and developers can begin testing in the iOS 17.4 beta.

iOS 17.4 is set to bring new emoji characters to the iPhone’s keyboard. The new characters include a phoenix, a lime, and an edible mushroom, among many others.

Before you download the beta, note that users running non-beta software like iOS 17.3.1 won’t be able to see these emojis. Instead, they’ll see a box with a question mark.

The iOS 17.4 beta also includes an upgrade to the Podcasts app. The app now features auto-generated transcripts which can be viewed within the app itself.

The software also adds the Clock app’s stopwatch function to Live Activities and Dynamic Island.

Apple may add, or subtract, from iOS 17.4’s feature set as the beta progresses so keep an eye out for changes when the company releases a new version of the beta.

Install If You Work in IT

This almost goes without saying, but if you work in the IT industry, you should probably install the iOS 17.4 beta in order to test apps and services.

We always see complaints about enterprise problems after Apple releases a new version of iOS. iOS 17.4 won’t be any different.

If you’re an IT professional who supports end users at your company, you should install the iOS 17.4 beta on a device and use it throughout the beta process.

Testing the iOS 17.4 beta will help you prepare for support calls and trouble tickets from co-workers and clients who upgrade their iPhones to the software.

Don’t Install on a Primary Device

If you only have one iPhone in your possession, stay put on stable software.

If you rely on your iPhone and the applications on it to get you through the day, avoid the iOS 17.4 beta. You may run into bugs, performance issues, and app compatibility problems.

The apps you use the most might crash, or freeze, on a regular basis. This isn’t ideal if you like to play games, watch shows, or get work done on your device.

If you’ve got a secondary iPhone laying around, use that instead.

In its iOS Beta FAQ Apple “strongly” recommends installing iOS beta software on secondary devices.

Don’t Install If You Can’t Stand Bugs

If you can’t stand dealing with bugs and/or poor performance, or if you’re concerned about potential security issues, avoid the iOS 17.4 beta.

The current list of iOS 17.4 beta problems includes the usual suspects such as abnormal battery drain, issues with Wi-Fi, cellular data issues, UI lag, syncing problems, and various other problems.

Apple will improve the software in future updates, but these updates might have problems of their own. You might be able to fix some issues on your own, but others may require a fix from Apple in a future release.

If you run into trouble on the beta, you can downgrade back to stable software, but only to iOS 17.3.1 or iOS 17.3. The downgrade path to other versions of iOS is closed.

So if you’re having a good experience on iOS 17.2 or below, keep that in mind. Once you move up to iOS 17.4 beta, you won’t be able to go back.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 17.3.1 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 17.3.1 for Better Security

Install iOS 17.3.1 for Better Security

If security is important to you, and you missed older versions of iOS 17, think about installing Apple’s iOS 17.3.1 update right away.

iOS 17.3.1 doesn’t have any security updates of its own, but if you missed iOS 17.3 or older, you’ll get security patches when you upgrade. 

The iOS 17.3 update brought 15 new security patches to iPhone. These will help keep your device and its data protected from harm. 

The software also added Stolen Device Protection to iPhone. It increases the security of your iPhone and Apple ID by requiring Face ID or Touch ID to gain access to passwords, make purchases in Safari, and more.

This is useful if someone gets access to your iPhone and its passcode. 

iOS 17.2 delivered 10 new security patches to iPhone. If you wish to find out more, you can head on over to Apple’s security site for the details.

iOS 17.2 also included iMessage Contact Key Verification which improves the security of iMessage. The company also fixed an exploit that let the Flipper Zero multi-tool lock up iPhones.

iOS 17.1.2 had two security patches on board. Both were related to WebKit. If you want to learn more, you can do so right here.

iOS 17.1 brought 18 security fixes to iPhone. It addressed issues within Weather, Status Bar, WebKit, and more. 

iOS 17.0.3 brought two patches for two security issues Apple identified within the software. If you want to read about the patches, head here.

iOS 17.0.1 delivered three important patches to iPhone. If you’re interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple’s security website.

As for iOS 17 itself, it brought 40+ new security patches with it. A staggering number to say the least. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple

In addition to those patches, iOS 17 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including improvements to Communication Safety beyond Messages.

It now includes content sent by AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, FaceTime, and the systemwide photo picker. You now have an option to blur out sensitive photos and videos before you choose to view them.

There’s also an expanded Lockdown Mode which will help protect you against cyber attacks.

Apple’s also improved sharing permissions and you now have more control over what you share with the apps on your device. 

The company also notes that starting in iOS 17, Voice Memos encrypts the titles of recordings stored in iCloud, in addition to the recordings themselves.

If you skipped older versions of iOS, you’ll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 17.3.1 update as well.


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