iOS 17.5 beta 1: All the new features and changes


iOS 17.5 beta
iOS 17.5 beta 1 is light on changes.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Following a lull of a few weeks, Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 17.5 to developers Tuesday. While iOS 17.4 was a big release, iOS 17.5 beta 1 packs relatively minor (albeit important) changes.

Below are all the changes we have spotted in the first iOS 17.5 beta.

iOS 17.5 beta 1: What’s new and changed

iOS 17.5 likely will be Apple’s last major iOS 17 release before WWDC24 in June. So, the absence of a headlining new feature is not surprising. Instead, the OS will build on the EU-specific changes iOS 17.4 introduced.

Directly sideload apps from developer websites

In early March 2024, Apple announced Web Distribution, allowing EU devs to offer users a way to install apps directly from their websites. This feature is present in iOS 17.5 beta 1.

Devs must accept the new App Store business terms to distribute apps directly from their website. Among other things, this includes paying a Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for every app install after the initial 1 million limit is exhausted. All apps will also have to adhere to Apple’s notarization guidelines.

Third-party tile tracking

After a bit of confusion, Lufthansa says it won't ban AirTags from checked baggage.

9to5Mac unearthed code in iOS 17.5 beta 1 pointing to new anti-stalking features. It appears the Find My app will gain the ability to track non-Apple tracking tags and devices used for stalking. You apparently can disable such devices and prevent them from sharing their locations.

In May 2023, Apple and Google joined forces to fight location-tracker abuse. The new Find My feature could be a part of that network.

Small changes in iOS 17.5, big changes in iOS 18

Barring the two notable changes above, iOS 17.5 beta 1 packs minor interface tweaks. The relatively light changes are not surprising. Future beta releases are also unlikely to change this, with Apple instead focusing on iOS 18 for later this year. We expect big changes like AI integration, additional iPhone Home Screen customization options, upgraded Apple Maps with custom routes and more in iOS 18.

If your iPhone is on the stable iOS 17.4 build, there’s no reason for you to install the latest beta given the lack of headlining new features.

Since the iOS 17.5 beta cycle has just begun, its stable build should land in May.


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