Apple releases iOS 17.4 with podcast transcripts, new emojis, and EU app store changes | Laptop News

Credit: Jason Hiner/ZDNET.

Apple has kicked off the latest update for the iPhone with the release of iOS 17.4. Now available for all iPhone users, the new version comes with a smattering of new features, enhancements, and the usual bug fixes. But most significant are the changes imposed on Apple by the European Union.

With the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) going into effect on March 6, Apple has officially opened the door with iOS (and iPadOS) 17.4 to alternative app stores. That means users in the EU will be able to sideload apps from other marketplaces and use third-party payment systems when purchasing apps and services.

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Naturally, Apple had to be dragged kicking and screaming to comply with the new regulations and has imposed strict requirements for third-party stores and providers. But this is the cost if the company wants to keep doing business in the EU.

Moving beyond the shores of Europe, iOS 17.4 adds a transcript feature to the Apple Podcasts app. Those of you who catch podcasts through the app will be able to read the transcript of an episode as you listen to it. You can even search for specific text within the transcript and play with the size and contrast of the text screen.

Next on the list are new emojis. Ones for a mushroom, a phoenix, a lime, a broken chain, and shaking heads are now accessible through the emoji keyboard. You’ll also be able to tweak 18 different emoji of people and bodies to place them in different directions.

Otherwise, the update offers a slew of random changes across the board.

A music recognition feature lets you add songs that you’ve identified to your playlists and library in Apple Music and Apple Music Classical. Siri can now announce incoming…

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