iOS 17 beta 4 is coming — here’s all the new features for your iPhone

iOS 17 logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s software betas keep coming, and now the iOS 17 beta 4 is starting to become available. Only for developers right now, but we expect the public beta to arrive very soon. That means you'll be able to update the software, and experience some of the upcoming features before the official release later this year. 

Every new version of iOS 17’s beta has come with a variety of changes, and a bunch of new features to test. Far more than you’d get than in, say, iOS 16.6 beta, which was a pretty minor upgrade by comparison. At this point you may be wondering what new features are actually available in iOS 17 beta 4, so let’s run down everything that’s new and what that means for your iPhone experience.

Just remember that you will need the beta software to experience any of this new stuff. Be sure to check out our guide on how to install iOS 17 public beta if you haven’t done that already.

A disable NameDrop toggle

NameDrop is the new feature that allows AirDrop transfers to be initiated by bringing two devices closer together. The iOS 17 beta 4 now includes an option that lets you switch this feature off. Head to Settings > General > AirDrop and you’ll see a toggle for Bringing devices together. Switching this off means NameDrop transfers won’t initiate

New iMessage app icons

The iMessage app menu can be accessed by typing the ‘+’ button in the Messages app, and iOS 17 beta 4 has tweaked the icons of all the apps slightly. Camera now has a camera icon, Photos swaps a preview of your latest photo for the Photos app icon, Audio swaps the black wave from for white, Cash has a black circular background, and Location has a green emblem designed to look more like the Find My app.

New animations in Mental Wellbeing

If you’re logging your mood in the Mental wellbeing section of the Apple Health app, you may notice there are some fresh new animations going on. They’re now softer, play more smoothly and look a little bit more like flowers than before.

Standby’s Notification Preview toggle

If you’ve already been using Standby mode, you’ll want to know there’s a new settings toggle related to notification previews. Found in the Standby section of the settings menu, this toggle prompts Standby to hide notification previews until you tap the screen — which will be helpful if you want to keep everything for your eyes only.

New Home Screen & App Library settings icon

Rather minor in the grand scheme of things, but the Home Screen & App Library icon in the settings app has been changed. Instead of offering a white iPhone on a blue background, it’s now a representation of the Home Screen itself — with a range of colored icons on a purple background.

New Apple TV Remote Icon

In a similar change, the remote icon in the Apple TV app has had a minor change: it now showcases an up to date version of Apple’s streaming remote, including the clickwheel.

New AirPlay Picker animation

As minor as things go, the new animation for picking an AirPlay device has now been tweaked slightly.

More from Tom's Guide

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.