iOS 17 beta 5 released to developers — new features for your iPhone

iOS 17 running on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's been steadily rolling out software betas, and as of Tuesday, developers can finally get their hands on the iOS 17 beta 5. Just update the software, and you'll be able to experience some of the upcoming features for the best iPhones before its latest operating system officially releases later this year. 

This test cycle is limited to registered developers at the moment. There's still no word yet on when we can expect the public beta to arrive, but odds are we shouldn't have to wait long. Be sure to check out our guide on how to install iOS 17 public beta if you haven’t done so already. In addition to iOS 17, Apple also rolled out the fifth developer beta versions of iPadOS 17, tvOS 17, watchOS 10 and macOS Sonoma this week.

So without further ado, let's dive on into what's new with the latest iOS 17 beta. 

Redesigned shortcut icons

First up, the Shortcuts app has some new icons for Safari functions that make it easier to tell at a glance what each action does. Previously, options like Search Web, Filter Archives and Open URL were all represented by the same default Safari icon. With the fifth beta for iOS 17, these have been updated with more specific icons indicating their functions. 

Safari's revamped private browsing

From the first beta, we already knew iOS 17 introduces a security update for Safari, adding enhancements to Private Browsing sessions to keep your internet usage safe and secure. With Private Browsing, users can block all known trackers from loading and remove tracking added to URLs in private tabs (as well as in Messages and Mail). A new addition, Locked Private Browsing, adds the ability to lock your web sessions behind Face ID, Touch ID or a passcode when you're not actively using them.

The latest beta adds a new splash screen for private browsing that pops up when you open a private browser window for the first time after installing iOS 17. The prompt provides a brief description of the feature along with the option to enable Locked Private Browsing. Earlier betas had this option on by default. 

Redesigned Health app

The iOS Health app's new Mental Wellbeing tracking abilities, which were also introduced with the first beta, are getting an update too. 

A new tracking interface lets you describe your current mood with a slider to keep a running log of your mood day-to-day. The second beta introduced a new animation to the slider, assigning a color and shape to reflect how pleasant or unpleasant you're feeling at the moment. This latest beta adds a new graphic that launches when you tap the mood tracking interface, as well as different graphics, colors and symbols that correspond to each mood. 

Tweaks to Live Voicemail and App Store

Apple's made minor revisions to the wording and punctuation used in several of its apps. For instance, Apple is ditching the all-caps button labels in the App Store. The buttons for Download, Get, Open and Update will now be in title case instead. 

The message prompt for Live Voicemail has also been changed, presumably to make it more clear that the caller has reached a voicemail box. Previously, the default voicemail message included language that "the person you're calling may pick up," which could be confusing whether callers should stay on hold or leave a message. Apple's replaced that wording, and the message is now as follows:  

"Your call has been forwarded to voicemail. The person you're trying to reach is not available. At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up."

More from Tom's Guide

Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.