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Apple Says iOS 17.5 Coming ‘Soon’ With These New Features for iPhones

Apple today announced that iOS 17.5 will be released to the public “soon,” following over a month of beta testing. While the software update is relatively minor, it does have a few new features and changes, as outlined in the list below.



“The new Pride Radiance watch face and iPhone and iPad wallpapers will be available soon with watchOS 10.5, iOS 17.5, and iPadOS 17.5,” said Apple, in its press release introducing a new Pride Edition band for the Apple Watch.

Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 betas so far.

Web Distribution



Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU directly on the web, instead of through the App Store or an alternative app marketplace.

“Web Distribution” is limited to larger developers based in the EU. To qualify for this distribution method, Apple says the developer must be a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more, and have an app that had more than one million annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year.

“Web Distribution” builds upon the alternative app marketplaces that Apple already allows on the iPhone in the EU starting with iOS 17.4. Apple has made these app-related changes to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Quartiles



iOS 17.5 includes a fun addition for Apple News+ subscribers: a daily word game called Quartiles.

Quartiles tasks you with combining tiles to form words and earn points. Each puzzle starts with a grid of 20 tiles, and words can be formed with one to four tiles. A quartile is a four-tile word, and if you find all five in each puzzle, you earn a 40-point bonus. The website Gadget Hacks shared a walkthrough of the game with more details.

Quartiles is the third puzzle game included with an Apple News+ subscription, alongside Crossword and Crossword Mini. Starting with the iOS 17.5 beta, all three games integrate with Game Center to display leaderboards.

On an iPhone updated to the iOS 17.5 beta, Quartiles can be found in the Apple News app under the Following tab → Puzzles. The game is also available on the iPad and Mac starting with the iPadOS 17.5 and macOS 14.5 betas.

Apple News+ is available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K., but the puzzle games seem to be limited to the U.S. and Canada for now.

Repair Mode



iOS 17.5 introduces a “Repair State” option that lets an ‌iPhone‌ be sent in for service without deactivating Find My and Activation Lock.

Color-Changing Apple Podcasts Widget

While listening to a podcast on the iOS 17.5 beta, the background color of the Apple Podcasts widget changes to match the podcast’s cover art. This feature was first added in the iOS 17.4 beta, but it was removed before that update was released.

Mobile Device Management

As noted by Aaron Perris, MDM solutions can enforce an iOS beta version during Automated Device Enrollment starting with the iOS 17.5 beta.

Code Changes

Battery Health Menu for Future iPads



The first iPadOS 17.5 beta added several new references to a Battery Health menu on the iPad, but the feature is not actually visible yet. The menu is expected to show an iPad battery’s maximum remaining capacity and charge cycle count.

A sample of the code strings added in the iPadOS 17.5 beta:

  • “iPad must be regularly used while not connected to power to show maximum capacity.”
  • “This is the number of times iPad has used your battery’s capacity.”
  • “The iPad battery is performing as expected.”
  • “iPad batteries, like all rechargeable batteries, have a limited lifespan and may eventually need to be serviced or replaced.”
  • “The original battery was designed to retain X capacity at X cycles under ideal conditions. Actual battery performance depends on a number of variables, including how iPad is used and charged regularly. The one-year warranty includes service for defective batteries in addition to rights provided under local consumer laws.”

There is no visible Battery Health menu on any existing iPad models running the iPadOS 17.5 beta, leading us to believe that the menu may be limited to the new iPad Pro and iPad Air models that are expected to launch this month, and likely other new iPads released in the future. Apple has shown battery capacity information on iPhones for many years, but cycle count information is currently limited to the latest iPhone 15 series.

New Apple Pencil



In the iPadOS 17.5 beta, there are potential references to a new fourth-generation Apple Pencil, amid rumors that the accessory will be updated soon.

The beta includes a hidden code reference to a “V4” version of the Apple Pencil:

NumberOfApplePencilV1ConnectionsCount

NumberOfApplePencilV2ConnectionsCount

NumberOfApplePencilV3ConnectionsCount

NumberOfApplePencilV4ConnectionsCount

A new Apple Pencil is rumored to launch alongside updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models this month. Apple refers to the USB-C version of the Apple Pencil released last year as the third-generation Apple Pencil in iOS code, so the fourth-generation model would be a new version that would likely succeed the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Additional code in the iOS 17.5 beta suggests that the Apple Pencil could gain a “squeeze” gesture for certain actions, and haptic feedback is also expected.

Third-Party Item Tracker Alerts



Apple and Google last year jointly announced a proposed industry specification to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth item trackers for unwanted tracking of individuals. As part of this initiative, Apple promised to expand AirTag-like “Found Moving With You” alerts to third-party item trackers in a future software update, which turns out to be iOS 17.5.

The first iOS 17.5 beta added references to alerts for third-party item trackers. For example: “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.”

Tile, Chipolo, Samsung, Eufy, and Pebblebee all expressed support for the industry specification, according to Apple’s announcement last year.

In related news, Google launched its own Find My Device network last month.

Block All Participants in Group FaceTime Calls

iOS 17.5 beta code indicates that there may be a new “Block All Participants” option for group FaceTime calls, which could help users to fight spam.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

This article, “Apple Says iOS 17.5 Coming ‘Soon’ With These New Features for iPhones” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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