iOS 17.5 beta is live — here’s the new features for your iPhone

iOS 17 logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Apple’s just launched the first iOS 17.5 developer beta, possibly heralding the last set of changes to iOS 17 before it's replaced. But the changes that have been spotted so far are already quite interesting.

For one, it appears that the ability to download apps from developer websites for iPhone users in Europe is now live. This is one of several measures Apple is taking to comply with the EU's new DMA anti-tech monopoly law.

Apple had originally said only approved third-party app stores could sell apps outside of the official Apple App Store. But now sufficiently successful developers that agree to Apple's terms can offer iPhone users their products straight from their own site.

iOS 17.5: Tracker detection gets an upgrade

An Apple AirTag, held between a user's fingers in front of a blurred green background

(Image credit: Apple)

Another big addition is updated anti-stalking measures for non-Find My trackers, found in new code within the Find My app by 9to5Mac. Although the feature seems to be disabled even for dev beta users currently, there are text strings present which will pop up to warn the user of the tracker's presence, and prompt them to check the manufacturer's website if they wish to disable it.

Since launching its AirTag tracker, Apple has faced a lot of pressure to reduce the potential for harm these can cause. Apple has made strides to limit their use for stalking, but since its changes only apply to Find My-certified trackers, Apple has also been working with Google to create a unified system to alert users if someone else's tracker has been following them around. Hopefully this means we'll see the equivalent system appear on Android phones soon, perhaps with Android 15's upcoming launch.

iOS 17.5 meanwhile should soon see a public beta, and likely a stable release within the next few weeks. The next generation of iPhone software, iOS 18, is tipped to be on its way though, and should launch at WWDC 2024, which starts on June 10.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.