iOS 17.4 beta has been available to developers and beta testers since last month, and it brings a lot of significant changes such as App Marketplaces for installing apps outside the App Store in the EU. As the Digital Markets Act (DMA) antitrust legislation deadline is approaching, it seems that Apple is getting ready to release iOS 17.4 RC as soon as tomorrow.

iOS 17.4 RC coming soon ahead of DMA deadline

According to X user @aaronp613, who has become known for posting tidbits about Apple software updates, the company has been quietly rolling out some changes to the App Store backend to officially enable support for App Marketplaces. The EU has set March 6, 2024 as the deadline for tech companies to comply with the DMA.

When it comes to Apple, the company has been forced to allow iPhone users to install apps from alternative app stores, which will be possible with iOS 17.4. The update also enables web browsers to have their own engine instead of using Apple’s WebKit, something that was also required by the EU with the DMA.

Apple typically distributes Release Candidate (RC) builds a few days before the official release of a major update to make sure everything is working as intended. If iOS 17.4 RC becomes available tomorrow for beta testers, the final version is likely to be released to everyone next Monday or Tuesday.

App Store EU sideloading App Marketplace iOS 17.4

More about iOS 17.4

For non-EU users, iOS 17.4 also brings some other changes and new features. For instance, the update improves Stolen Device Protection with a new option to always require the security delay, not just in unknown locations. It also adds new emoji, transcriptions in Apple Podcasts, and enhancements to CarPlay.

Along with iOS 17.4, Apple is also expected to release watchOS 10.4, tvOS 17.4, and macOS Sonoma 14.4.

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