iOS 17.4 Beta 2 Features: What’s New and Improved

Devendra Chande

Apple recently released the second beta version of iOS 17.4 for developers and public beta testers. This major update to iOS brings several new features and improvements over the previous iOS versions. Let’s look at some of the most notable iOS 17.4 beta 2 features.

iOS 17.4 Beta 2 Is Just Released

The iOS 17.4 beta 2 update comes with build number 21E5195e and is around 1GB in size for compatible iPhone models already on the first beta.

Along with the iOS update, Apple also released iPadOS 17.4 beta 2, watchOS 10.4 beta 2, macOS 14.4 beta 2, tvOS 17.4 beta 2, and the first-ever VisionOS 1.1 beta 1 for the new Apple Vision Pro AR/VR headset.

Refinements in Existing Features

While beta 2 doesn’t add many radically new user-facing features, it does refine some of the functionality introduced in beta 1:

Podcast Transcriptions

The podcast transcription feature introduced in iOS 17.4 beta 1, which shows real-time subtitles for podcasts like song lyrics, has been improved and made more accurate in the latest beta. The text size also appears slightly larger.


A new City Digital Clock widget has been added to the Clock app’s widget selection. This shows the time in a specific city in digital format.

Splash Screens

The App Store and Apple Music apps have new launch splash screens in beta 2, highlighting their trustworthiness and collaborative playlists, respectively.

Removals and Interface Changes

iOS 17.4 beta 2 removes a couple of mysterious interface elements that didn’t do anything in beta 1:

  • The non-functional Identifiable Region menu item in Settings => General => About.
  • The blank Contactless and NFC menu in Settings => Privacy & Security.

It also adds a new Passkey Access menu in the same location for managing Passkey access.

Under-the-Hood Improvements

While subtle, beta 2 brings some notable enhancements under the hood:

Modem Firmware

The modem firmware on iPhone 15 devices has been updated to version 1.5.0 in this release.

Siri Compatibility

Code findings indicate a new Siri compatibility mode that may help with microphone issues in certain cars.

Bug Fixes and Performance

Beta 2 resolves some notable bugs from beta 1 like missing Messages app sticker packs. It also brings small tweaks to Siri language options and iCloud Keychain security key support.

In terms of performance, iOS 17.4 beta 2 benchmarks similarly on Geekbench to beta 1, indicating excellent performance so far. Battery life is also expected to remain consistent.

What’s Next for iOS 17.4

We can expect to see a few more incremental beta releases over the coming weeks before iOS 17.4 reaches general availability:

  • iOS 17.3.1: Potential minor update with bug fixes before 17.4 beta 3.
  • Beta 3: Expected on February 13th based on Apple’s usual biweekly beta cadence.
  • Beta 4: Likely coming the week of February 19th.
  • Release Candidate Build: Expected in the final week of February.
  • Public Release: Predicted for the week of March 4th based on historical timing.

So, iOS 17.4 beta 2 builds on the foundation of beta 1, refining some of the key new user features like podcast transcriptions while fixing bugs and improving performance. The next few beta versions will add further polish before the public spring release.

A First Look at VisionOS for Apple Vision

In addition to the iOS 17.4 beta, developers also got the first-ever beta release of VisionOS 1.1 for Apple’s new Vision augmented reality headset. Even in this initial beta state, VisionOS shows promise:

Easier Interaction with AR Scenes

Release notes indicate updated volumetric boundary handling that lets users position AR scenes closer for easier interaction.

New Accessibility Features

VisionOS adds options like passcode screen recording protection and enhanced voice control for system tasks like device shutdown.

However, since this is the raw first beta, it does come with numerous known issues that early adopter developers can expect to encounter. But it marks an exciting milestone for bringing VisionOS to life ahead of the consumer Vision launch.


iOS 17.4 beta 2 builds incrementally on the foundation of beta 1, continuing Apple’s steady march to refine iOS 17 ahead of its landmark spring release. It polishes up some significant new iOS 17 features like podcast transcription, fixes lingering bugs, and lays the groundwork for future enhancements.

The update also gives an early glimpse into the future of AR headsets with the first-ever VisionOS beta for developers. As Apple continues testing over the next couple of months, we can expect additional refinements and a public iOS 17.4 launch in early March.

So while not radically innovative, iOS 17.4 beta 2 represents an important incremental step toward Apple’s broader goals this year across all platforms to boost user features, privacy, and augmented reality capabilities.

Share This Article
Devendra is a full-time writer at ConsideringaApple and he is fond of new things in the tech world. He loves to read novels and write poems. This adventure-seeking guy is a hodophile who has an aim to explore all the beautiful mountains, oceans, cultures, traditions, and foods this world has to offer. Since the release of the first iPhone, he believes in Jobs' vision and praises every Apple product.
Leave a comment

You cannot copy content of this page