iOS 17.5: new features, release date and more details

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Apple has officially begun beta testing iOS 17.5 with developers and public beta users. The update brings a number of new features and changes and is expected to be released sometime next month. Head below for everything we know now.

When will iOS 17.5 be released?

Based on previous years of iOS updates, I expect iOS 17.5 to be released to everyone sometime in mid-May. Here's a summary of previous iOS x.5 update release dates:

So far, four beta versions of iOS 17.5 have been released as of April 17.

  • April 2: iOS 17.5 beta 1, build number: 21F5048f
  • April 16: iOS 17.5 beta 2, build number: 21F5058e
  • April 23: iOS 17.5 Beta 3, Build Number: 21F5063f
  • April 30: iOS 17.5 Beta 4, Build Number: 21F5073b

What's new in iOS 17.5?

Although iOS 17.5 is not as big an update as other iOS 17 updates, it still includes its fair share of new features and updates.

Online distribution in the European Union

Within the European Union, the latest iOS 17.5 update introduces the ability to install apps directly from the developer's website. Apple unveiled its new “Web Distribution” feature last month, explaining that it allows developers to distribute their iOS apps directly from their websites.

To take advantage of this functionality, developers must subscribe to the App Store's updated business terms, which require paying a core technology fee of €0.50 for every first annual installation exceeding 1 million in the previous 12 months.

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Any application published over the web will still need to adhere to Apple's authentication guidelines. Apps can only be installed from the website domain that the developer has registered with App Store Connect. Apple will also provide a set of APIs for developers to integrate with system functions.

Apple has confirmed that the iOS 17.5 beta includes support for web distribution. However, there are currently no developers offering their apps via the new web distribution feature. We don't expect this to change until the public release of iOS 17.5 in May.

New Quartiles game for Apple News+

In the Apple News app, Apple News+ subscribers in the US and Canada will find a new “Quartiles” word game after the update to iOS 17.5. The game asks players to choose from a grid of tiles to form words.

Quartiles is the third game to arrive on Apple News+, following the addition of crossword puzzles and daily mini crosswords added last year.

iOS 17.5 also adds Game Center integration to all three Apple News+ games. With this feature, you can now see the leaderboards for each of the three games for daily resolution time and daily score stats.

Design changes

The first beta of iOS 17.5 also includes a few small design changes that are worth noting:

  • The podcast widget has been updated to have a new dynamic color that changes based on the artwork of the podcast you're currently playing.
  • In the Apple Books app, Apple has redesigned the Reading Goal icon in the top navigation bar.
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  • In the Settings app, there's a new glyph for the Access passkeys for web browsers menu under Privacy & Security.

Check for updates on my network

Based on the code he discovered 9to5MaciOS 17.5 appears to include a new system centered around anti-stalking capabilities for accessories like AirTags. This development comes after Apple announced last year a partnership with Google to collaborate on “new industry specifications to combat unwanted tracking.”

Strings added to the Find My app reveal that iOS will be able to identify tracking extensions, even those not approved by Apple or Find My, and help users disable them.

One new thread states, “This item lacks reliance on the Apple Find My network. You have the option to disable this item and prevent it from sharing its location with the owner. To continue, follow the instructions provided on the website by the manufacturer of this item.”

These changes come as Google started rolling out New Find My Device network for Android on April 8.

New “Repair Status”.

iOS 17.5 Repair Status Find My

In the fourth beta of iOS 17.5, Apple added a new Repair Status feature to Find My. This feature allows users to confirm with their Apple ID and password that they are about to send their iPhone in for repair. As a result, Apple technicians can confirm that the person owns the iPhone and then continue the repair process without having to turn off Find My Device and Stolen Device Protection.

Essentially, this ensures that users can still track their device using Find My while it's being repaired. Previously, Apple asked users to completely disable Find My.

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Other iOS 17.5 changes

It is contained

It remains to be seen if Apple has more changes planned for iOS 17.5 beyond what was launched today. The focus is clearly on the European Union, as Apple continues to adapt to the European Commission's Digital Markets Act.

More about iOS 17.5:

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