iOS 17.5 Beta: These are the new features

What's new in iOS 17.5? Our guide lists all changes in the European Union and interesting features of Apple's operating system.
Apple App Store iOS

Apple is currently testing iOS 17.5, the fifth major update to the iOS 17 operating system that came out last September. Like iOS 17.4, iOS 17.5 focuses primarily on regulatory changes in the European Union, but there are a few other features worth mentioning. This guide summarizes everything found so far during the iOS 17.5 beta testing phase.

App downloads from websites (EU only)

iOS 17.5 introduces support for web app downloads in the European Union, allowing developers to make their apps available for download directly on their websites. From the second beta, apps can be downloaded from websites in the EU.

As with the iOS 17.4 changes that added alternative app marketplaces, this functionality is limited to iPhone and can only be used in the EU. Developers must be members of the Apple Developer Program for at least two consecutive years and have more than one million initial installs on iOS in the previous year to make an app available for download.

All apps downloaded from websites to iPhones must go through Apple’s review process. And although there is no commission to be paid to Apple, Cupertino charges a core technology fee of 0.50 euros.

Podcast widget

The Podcasts widget for the home screen or lock screen now has a background that changes depending on the type of podcast being played.

Mobile device management

MDM solutions can force beta during automatic device enrollment. Automatic device registration is intended to simplify the initial device setup.

Apple News+

Apple News+ includes a new daily word game called Quartiles. The game requires players to combine tiles to form words and score points. Quartiles is limited to customers who have a paid Apple News+ subscription.

Code changes

There are several code changes in iOS 17.5 that hint at features that could be available later in the beta or when the update launches.

Third Party Tracking Notifications

iOS 17.5 also includes support for third-party tracking, a feature Apple has been working on since last year.

Apple and Google have developed a cross-platform solution to unwanted tracking notifications, and it looks like iOS 17.5 will let iPhone users know when a third-party tracker is nearby. “You can disable this item and stop it from sharing its location with the owner. To do this, follow the instructions provided on a website by the manufacturer of this item.”

Google activated its Android-based Find My Device network earlier this month.

FaceTime

FaceTime may gain the “Block all participants” option for group ‌FaceTime‌ calls as an anti-spam measure. However, this function does not appear to be functional at the moment.

iPad battery health

There is evidence of a Battery Health menu on the iPad, a feature that is currently unavailable. This is not currently an option in the beta and may be limited to the new iPads that Apple is rumored to unveil in May.

The Battery Health menu would probably show the maximum remaining capacity and the number of charge cycles. Similar to the same menu on iPhone.

New Apple Pencil

There are hints of an Apple Pencil V4 in the iOS 17.5 code. The software also mentions a “Squeeze” feature that could potentially add support for completing actions with a squeeze on the new Apple Pencil.

Release date

Apple is expected to release iOS 17.5 in early May. New iPads are also planned for May. The update could appear at the same time as the new Apple tablets.

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