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iOS 17.5 coming next week: Here are all the new features for your iPhone

The iOS 17.5 beta cycle is just about to end. This might be Apple’s last iOS 17 update for iPhone users before it unveils iOS 18 during the WWDC 2024 keynote on June 10. That said, this roundup includes everything new so far that has been added to the iPhone in Apple’s iOS 17.5 beta.

Exclusive EU features

As previously mentioned, Apple is working to let EU users download apps directly from a developer’s website. This is part of the Digital Markets Act, which has added alternative app marketplaces for EU users. Here’s how Apple describes this new feature:

Web Distribution, available with a software update later this spring, will let authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website owned by the developer. Apple will provide authorized developers access to APIs that facilitate the distribution of their apps from the web, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users’ apps, and more.

With beta 2, Apple is now letting developers add apps directly to their website. Here’s how it works:

  • Developers need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program for at least two continuous years
  • Developers need to accept Apple’s Notarization process
  • Apps need at least one million annual first installs or more on iOS in the EU in the past year.

If the developers meet this criteria, they can add their app to their website. With that, users need to open the website, allow third-party downloads on the iPhone Settings, and then allow the developer’s profile. In total, it will take up to eight taps to make this work and three taps every time the user wants to update the software.

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With beta 3, X user Aaron Zollo discovered that under each app, there’s an indicator where it was installed from with the version, developer, and app store origin.

Beta 1 features

iPhone 15 Pro showing the App Store ahead of iOS 17.4 beta releaseImage source: José Adorno for BGR

Besides this EU-exclusive feature, iOS 17.5 beta 1 brings the following changes:

Podcasts widget change: The Podcasts widget has a new dynamic color that changes depending on what you’re listening to.

Unwanted tracking system: 9to5Mac found references to a new system that can turn off unwanted tracking accessories, such as AirTags or other third-party item trackers. This anti-stalking feature has yet to be made available.

Beta 2 features

New privacy option: On Screen Time settings and the Content & Privacy Restrictions tab, you can allow app installations from the web.

Beta 3 features

Apple Universal Link for eSIM install: This new feature offers a link instead of a QR code to activate an eSIM on your iPhone.

Beta 4 features

Find My improvements: Apple added a Repair State feature to Find My via the iOS 17.5 beta 4 update that will let you continue tracking the handset during repairs. If you enable it, your phone will get a “Ready for Repair” label and a message that reads, “This device remains fully functional in the repair state.” You’ll also get a stethoscope icon in Find My to indicate that the iPhone is still locked to your Apple ID, but it’s in a special Repair State.

Release Candidate features with release notes

These are the features highlighted by Apple with iOS 17.5 Release Notes:

Apple News

  • Offline mode in Apple News+ gives you access to the Today feed and News+ tab, even when you don’t have an internet connection
  • Quartiles is a new and original daily word game that is now available in Apple News+
  • Scoreboard in News+ Puzzle gives you access to new player data for Crossword, Mini Crossword, and Quartiles, including stats and streaks

Tracking Notifications

  • Cross-Platform Tracking Detection delivers notifications to users if a compatible Bluetooth tracker they do not own is moving with them, regardless of what operating system the device is paired with

When will Apple release iOS 17.5 to iPhone users?

Apple seeded the Release Candidate version of IOS 17.5 on May 7, which means this software update could be available as soon as May 13.

iPhone compatibility

iOS 17.5 will be compatible with the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen)
  • iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd gen)
  • iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

BGR will keep updating this article as we learn more about this upcoming operating system update for iPhone.

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