iOS 17.5: What's New

Credits: Apple

Apple has just launched iOS 17.5, the latest iteration of its operating system. For iPhone users residing in the European Union, notable alterations have been introduced, while those outside the EU will notice more modest updates.

This article compiles all the new features and changes present in iOS 17.5.

App Downloads From Websites (EU Only)

With iOS 17.5, Apple introduces support for web-based app distribution specifically within the European Union, enabling developers to offer their applications for direct download from their websites. iPhone users within the EU can now access iOS apps directly from supported websites without relying on the App Store.

Similar to the alterations introduced in iOS 17.4, which allowed for alternative app marketplaces, this feature is exclusive to the iPhone and restricted to EU territories. To be eligible to provide apps for download, developers must have been part of the Apple Developer Program for a continuous period of two years or more and must have garnered over one million initial installations on iOS in the preceding year.

All applications downloaded from websites onto iPhones are subject to Apple’s notarization process. While there are no commissions payable to Apple, developers are charged a 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee. Although this functionality is presently limited to the iPhone, Apple plans to extend the same capability to the iPad later this year.

Apple News+

Apple News+ introduces an offline mode, enabling users to access the Today feed and the News+ tab without requiring a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

Additionally, Apple News+ debuts Quartiles, a new daily word game where players combine tiles to create words and accumulate points. Quartiles is exclusively available to subscribers with a paid Apple News+ subscription.

The scoreboard feature in Apple News+ Puzzles now incorporates updated player data for Crossword, Mini Crossword, and Quartiles. Users can track their statistics and streaks over time, mirroring the functionality found in The New York Times gaming app.

Third-Party Item Tracker Alerts

In iOS 17.5, Apple introduces support for third-party item trackers, a feature it has been developing since the previous year.

Apple, in collaboration with Google, has devised a cross-platform solution to alert users about unwanted tracking. With iOS 17.5, iPhone users will receive notifications when a third-party tracker is in close proximity. According to the update’s code, users can opt to disable the tracker and prevent it from sharing its location with its owner by following instructions provided on the manufacturer’s website.

Apple’s release notes explain that the Cross-Platform Tracking Detection feature is designed to notify users if a compatible Bluetooth tracker, not owned by them, is detected nearby, regardless of the operating system it is paired with.

Google debuted its Android-based Find My Device network in April, coinciding with the initial rollout of Cross-Platform Tracking Detection.

Repair State

In iOS 17.5, there’s a new repair state option that allows an iPhone to be sent in for servicing without disabling Find My and Activation Lock.

A new feature called “Remove This Device” has been introduced in Find My. When used with an iPhone, it activates a repair state mode for the device. Historically, sending a device for repair necessitated turning off Find My, as a means for Apple to verify ownership of the iPhone.

However, the repair state option retains Find My activation, allowing continued tracking of the iPhone via the Find My app during the repair process. An iPhone in repair state is listed as “Ready for Repair” in the Find My device section, and it remains functional while in this state.

Podcast Widget

The Podcasts widget, which can be added to the Home Screen or Lock screen, now boasts a dynamic background that changes according to the artwork of the podcast currently being played.

Mobile Device Management

MDM solutions now have the capability to enforce a beta version during automated device enrollment, a process aimed at streamlining initial device setup.

Code Changes

In the iOS 17.5 beta, we discovered some code modifications that hint at a potential iPad battery health feature, possibly applicable to the latest iPad models. Although Battery Health isn’t listed as a feature in iPadOS 17.5, it remains uncertain whether it’s currently available or slated for a later release.

An iPad Battery Health menu would likely display metrics such as maximum remaining capacity and charge cycle count, akin to the Battery Health menu on iPhone.

Additionally, there were indications of a “Block All Participants” option for group FaceTime calls, potentially useful for blocking spam; however, this feature has yet to be implemented.

Sad :pensive:! nothing exciting for me…:dizzy_face:

Maybe iOS 18 will be.

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Looking forward to it.

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