April 18, 2024

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Apple released iOS 17.5 beta 1 for developers on Tuesday, allowing them to test some new features in the build.

As 9to5Mac pointed out, there aren’t many major changes with iOS 17.5 beta 1, but there are some tweaks that, in part, appease the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) rules implemented by the EU.

3 new features in iOS 17.5 beta 1

If you have a developer account, you can explore the new features for yourself — navigate to Settings > General > Software Updates > Beta Updates to download iOS 17.5 beta 1. As mentioned at the outset, don’t expect any jaw-dropping updates — the new feature set is relatively minor.

1. Anti-stalking utility

9to5Mac claims that it spotted some code in iOS 17.5 beta 1 that reveals a new system that addresses the dark side of tracking gadgets. (This is no surprise since Apple, alongside Google, announced that they’re working on a new industry standard to find a solution for stalking.)

A new string added to the Find My app says the following:

“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.”

In other words, the Find My app will start recognizing tracking gadgets that aren’t Apple-certified. Plus, users will have the option to disable them, too.

2. New MDM perk

For users who are mobile device managers (MDMs), which typically involve some sort of business organization that remotely manages and control their employees’ Apple devices, beta versions can now be enforced during automated device enrollment, according to Aaron Perris on X.

3. Web distribution

In March, Apple announced that, in compliance with the EU’s DMA rules, developers will have the option to distribute their apps from a website (as opposed to the Apple App Store).

With iOS 17.5 beta 1, Apple is putting this plan into action, enabling support for web installation in the new update.

However, keep in mind that Apple isn’t allowing iOS to be the Wild, Wild West here. The Cupertino-based tech giant will still require developers to meet certain guidelines to protect the operating system’s integrity. Plus, as Apple stated in its announcement, apps can “only be installed from a website domain that the developer has registered in App Store Connect.”

And finally, in addition to three new features, iOS 17.5 beta 1 has a few minor design changes:

  • Apple Books – The “reading goal” icon has been redesigned

  • Settings app – “Passkeys Access for Web Browsers” has a new icon

  • Apple Podcasts – The widget has a new dynamic design, changing to align with the artwork of the show you’re listening to

Wondering when the official release of iOS 17.5 will roll out to the greater public? We’re expecting it to drop some time in May before iOS 18 is revealed in WWDC 2024.



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