iOS 17.5—Game-Changing New iPhone Features Arriving Soon

Apple’s iOS 17.5 is arriving soon, after the first beta of the new iPhone update dropped this week. Hot on the heels of iOS 17.4.1, iOS 17.5 is set to be a major upgrade, adding a bunch of game-changing new features for your iPhone.

Here’s what’s coming in iOS 17.5 and when you can expect the iPhone update to arrive.

iOS 17.5 Comes With Anti-Tracking Protection

AirTags have come under fire in the past, due to their ability to be used for unwanted tracking. Apple has already added various safeguards to prevent AirTags from secretly tracking people and iOS 17.5 will take this one step further. Spotted by 9to5Mac in the internal code of the iOS 17.5 beta, iPhone users will now be able to identify non-Apple tracking devices other than AirTags.

It comes after Apple and Google announced a partnership last year, to work on an industry specification to help stop unwanted tracking.

Strings added to the Find My app in iOS 17.5 show that Apple can now alert you to any unknown Google tracking devices, for example.

9to5Mac cites the example of one of the new Strings, which reads: “This item isn’t certified on the Apple Find My network. 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.”

Apple AirTags technology has “been abused with ease by stalkers,” says Jake Moore, global cybersecurity advisor at ESET. “Enabling the identification of all kinds of tracking devices opens up a much needed breadth of support and security for users,” he says.

iOS 17.5 Allows EU Users To Install Apps Directly From The Developer’s Website

Apple’s iOS 17.4 was a huge update for EU iPhone users, because it opened up iOS to sideloading apps for the first time ever. And iOS 17.5 will take this one step further, because the update allows you to install apps directly from the developer’s website.

Dubbed “Web Distribution,” the new feature can be used by developers who opt into new business terms including a core technology fee.

The new iOS 17.5 move certainly adds choice for iPhone users—at least it will once developers start offering the service—but Apple has been very vocal about the security risks posed by sideloading apps.

The iPhone maker does protect users with notarization, and the developers offering apps will have to meet Apple’s guidelines. They will also have to be approved by Apple.

Installing apps direct from a developer’s website has been “a big no-no” for many years, especially for those concerned about security, says Moore.

However, with the right “due diligence and research of the download before installation,” Moore thinks the new iOS 17.5 feature is perfectly safe. “Any app distributed via a third party on a website will still be required to meet Apple’s guidelines, so people will have that assurance.”

Even so, Moore advises staying alert to avoid rogue apps. I agree. While sideloading can be done safely—just look at Google Android users—it does require increased vigilance. Always check the reviews, keep your apps tidy and delete any you don’t use, and check permissions thoroughly to ensure privacy.

Other New iOS 17.5 Features

Apple’s iOS 17.5 is certainly a bumper update, with new MDM features added for business users.

It also adds some design changes detailed by 9to5Mac, including a Passkeys Access for Web Browsers option in the Settings menu under Privacy and Security.

When Will iOS 17.5 Arrive?

Apple’s iOS 17.4.1 has only been out for a week and iOS 17.5 is on its first beta, so it’s highly unlikely the update will arrive before May. In fact, it’s possible Apple will issue an iOS 17.4.2 update to address any security flaws and iPhone bugs, before releasing iOS 17.5 in mid to late May.

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