iOS 17.5 beta is out – these are the most important innovations

Apple has released iOS 17.5 beta 1 for developers. Compared to iOS 17.4 it is a small update, but there are a few things worth mentioning.

iOS 17.5 beta is out

iOS 17.5 beta 1 is now available to registered developers. We list the most important innovations of iOS 17.5 beta 1.

Web Distribution

In the European Union, iOS 17.5 beta includes support for installing apps directly from a developer’s website. Apple announced this new ‘Web Distribution’ feature last month. To use the feature, developers must agree to the App Store’s new business terms. These can cause major costs if an app unexpectedly becomes a huge success with many installations.

Any app distributed over the web must still adhere to Apple’s guidelines. Apps can only be installed from a website domain that the developer has registered in App Store Connect. Although the iOS 17.5 beta lays the foundation for this feature, there are currently no developers offering their apps via this new Web Distribution. We don’t expect this to change until iOS 17.5 is released to the general public in May.

iOS 17.5 beta

Changes in design

iOS 17.5 beta also has some minor design changes. We list these below

books
In Apple Books, the Reading Objective icon in the top navigation bar has been redesigned.
passkeys
In the Settings app, there is a new icon for the ‘Access passkeys for web browsers’ menu under ‘Privacy & security’.
podcast widget
The Podcasts widget has a new dynamic color that changes based on the artwork of the podcast you’re currently playing.

New anti-stalking feature

According to code that by 9to5Mac has been found, the first iOS 17.5 beta appears to include a new system based on anti-stalking features for accessories like AirTags. Apple announced a partnership with Google last year to tackle unwanted tracking. Code added to the Find My app reveals that iOS recognizes tracking accessories even if they are not certified by Apple or Find My.

The code states, in part: ‘This item is not certified for the Apple Find My network. You can disable this item and prevent it from sharing its location with its owner. To do this, follow the instructions on the website of the manufacturer of this item’.

What’s next in iOS 17.5?

Whether Apple has more changes planned for iOS 17.5 than what has now been launched remains to be seen. The focus is clearly on the European Union, where Apple continues to adapt to the Digital Markets Act enforced by the European Commission.

iOS 17.5 will likely be released to the general public in mid to late May. It’s the final iOS 17 update before Apple unveils iOS 18 at WWDC in June.

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