iOS 17.5 is now available: Here’s everything you need to know

by novelcake

Apple has officially released iOS 17.5 to the general public. The update brings a handful of new features and changes for iPhone users. Head below for everything we know right now.

iOS 17.5 is now available

iOS 17.5 is now available to the public. You can head to the Settings app on your device, then choose General, then Software Update to install the update.

What’s new in iOS 17.5?

While iOS 17.5 isn’t quite as big of an update as other iOS 17 updates, it still includes its fair share of new features and updates.

Web Distribution in the EU

Within the European Union, the latest iOS 17.5 update introduces the capability to install applications directly from a developer’s website. Apple unveiled this new “Web Distribution” feature last month, explaining that it allows developers to distribute their iOS apps straight from their own websites.

To utilize this functionality, developers must opt into the updated App Store business terms, which requires paying a Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for every first annual installation exceeding one million in the preceding 12 months.

Any application disseminated through the web will still need to adhere to Apple’s notarization guidelines. Apps can only be installed from a website domain that the developer has registered in App Store Connect. Apple will also provide a range of APIs for developers to integrate with system functionality.

New Quartiles game for Apple News+

In the Apple News app, Apple News+ subscribers in the United States and Canada will find a new “Quartiles” word game after updating to iOS 17.5. The game prompts players to select from a grid of tiles to form words.

Quartiles is the third game to come to Apple News+, following the addition of daily crossword and crossword mini-games that were added last year.

iOS 17.5 also adds Game Center integration to all three of the Apple News+ games. With this feature, you can now see leaderboards for each of the three games for Daily Solve Time and Daily Score stats.

Apple News offline

Also for Apple News+ subscribers, iOS 17.5 introduces a new “Offline Mode.” This feature “makes it easy to access the hundreds of magazines, newspapers, narrated articles, and more included in a News+ subscription — no matter where you are,” according to Apple.

Apple News+ subscribers can now enjoy Offline Mode on iPhone and iPad to automatically download Top Stories, Apple News Today audio briefings, full magazine issues and narrated articles from News+ publishers, and puzzles to access later, without Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. When the device is back online, downloaded content will automatically refresh, and downloads will be optimized to maximize space on the device.

Design changes

iOS 17.5 also includes a few small design changes that are worth pointing out:

  • The Podcasts 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 top navigation bar.
  • In the Settings app, there is a new glyph for the “Passkeys Access for Web Browsers” menu under “Privacy & Security.”

New Pride wallpaper

iOS 17.5 also includes a new Pride Collection of wallpapers for iPhone and iPad users, as is tradition. The new dynamic wallpapers come as part of Apple’s goal to “champion global movements to protect and advance equality for LGBTQ+ communities.”

watchOS 10.5 also includes a new Pride watch face, and there’s an Apple Watch Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop available for Apple Watch as well.

Find My network updates

Apple and Google

As explained by Apple, iOS 17.5 includes a new system centered around anti-stalking capabilities for accessories like AirTags. This development follows Apple’s announcement last year of a partnership with Google to collaborate on a new “industry specification to combat unwanted tracking.”

Strings added to the Find My app reveal that iOS will be able to identify tracking accessories, even those that are not Apple or Find My certified, and assist users in disabling them.

One of the new strings states, “This item lacks certification 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 proceed, follow the instructions provided on a website by the manufacturer of this item.”

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

New ‘Repair State’

iOS 17.5 Repair State Find My

Also in iOS 17.5, Apple has added a new “Repair State” feature to Find My. This feature lets users confirm with their Apple ID and password that they’re about to send their iPhone in for a repair. As a result, Apple technicians can confirm that the person owns the iPhone and then proceed with the repair without the need to turn off Stolen Device Protection and Find My.

Essentially, this ensures that users can still track their device using Find My while it’s being repaired. Previous, Apple required users to disabled Find My altogether.

iOS 17.5’s security fixes

Finally, in addition to all the new features and changes, iOS 17.5 also includes 15 notable security patches for iPhone users. Notably, none of the 15 vulnerabilities were reported as previously exploited.

You can find the full list of these changes in our dedicated coverage. Even if none of the new features in iOS 17.5 are tempting for you, we recommend updating as soon as possible for those security fixes.

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