Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

One week before EU's DMA kicks in, iOS 17.4 & iPadOS 17.4 release candidates are out

iOS 17

One week before the European Union's Digital Markets Act kicks in, Apple's release candidate betas of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, tvOS 17.4, and macOS Sonoma 14.4 incorporating changes for the law are available.

Developers participating in Apple's beta program can get the new builds via the Apple Developer Center or more directly by updating their hardware already running the betas via their respective Settings apps. The public beta versions usually turn up shortly after the developer versions, and can be signed up to through the Apple Beta Software Program.

The release candidates of iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, tvOS 17.4, and macOS Sonoma 14.4 replace the fourth betas from February 20. The third landed onFebruary 13, while the second developer beta round was on February 6.

The new iOS and iPadOS betas have build number 21E217 replacing the previous build, number 21E5209b. The fifth RC build of tvOS 17.4 and the HomePod operating system has build number 21L5225a replacing the fourth, 21L5222a.

The RC macOS Sonoma 14.4 build is number 23E5211a, replacing the fourth, 23E5205c.

Alongside the release candidates for the current-gen operating systems, Apple is also bringing out similar RC builds for older iOS, iPadOS, and macOS versions.

The RC build of iOS and iPadOS 15.8.2 is build number 19H384, while the RC for iOS and iPadOS 16.7.6 is build number 20H320.

RC4 of macOS Monterey 12.7.4 is biold 21H1122, and macOS Ventura 13.6.5 RC4 is build 22G620.

The main changes in iOS 17.4 include App Store alterations designed to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act, coming into force in March. Podcasts gains a new dialogue box icon in the lower-left corner, Music changes Home to Listen Now, Stolen Device Protection is added, Safari gets some message-reading language support, there's additional game streaming app support, and a load of new emoji are also on the list.

Apple Music SharePlay was removed from the third beta round, and wasn't restored in the fourth beta round.

The fourth iOS 17.4 beta added a sub-menu for Battery Health in the Settings app, holding data such as the cycle count and the maximum capacity percentage. CarPlay also gained new instrument cluster data points for compatible vehicles.

The patch notes for the RC build includes a number of fixes, including cases when certain App Store product sheets show a "Cannot Connect to iTunes Store" error, a missing symbol in BrowserEngineKit, and blank Messages stickers. Maps fixes a problem when incorrect map modes are displayed for walking and cycling routes.

HomeKit has a fix for viewing live camera feeds, which sometimes didn't work while away from home. PassKeys issues for some websites are ficed, as is the issue with Podcasts relating to Recently Searched entries.

Among the new features in the RC beta, Siri now can respond in a combination of English and Hindi, depending on the primary language used to interact with Siri, if English & Hindi is selected under the Language settings for English (India).

The updates for tvOS don't tend to offer much beyond performance improvements and bug fixes, so it's unlikely we'll see any new feature changes for tvOS 17.4's debut to the public.

Lastly, macOS Sonoma 14.4's alterations largely consists of support for new emoji characters.

AppleInsider and Apple strongly suggest users don't install test operating systems or other beta or RC software on "mission-critical" or primary devices, as there is the small chance of issues that could result in the loss of data. Testers should instead use secondary or non-essential hardware and ensure they have sufficient backups of their critical data at all times.

Find any changes in the new builds? Reach out to us on Twitter at @AppleInsider or @Andrew_OSU, or send Andrew an email at [email protected].