iOS 17.5 is out now – here are 4 new features it brings to your iPhone

iOS 17 features displayed on a yellow background
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

It’s been just over two months since Apple released iOS 17.4, so it’s high time we welcomed iOS 17.5 to the party. The latest iPhone-based software update is now available to download on any iPhone newer than the iPhone XR, and although we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of iOS 18, iOS 17.5 brings its own fair share of useful iOS upgrades.

Apple’s newest software revamp further expands the sideloading permissions introduced with iOS 17.4 (in EU countries, at least), while specific apps and settings – including Apple News and Find My – also receive much-needed updates.

In this article, we highlight the four biggest iOS 17.5 features to look out for. Not sure how to update your iPhone? Check out our guide on how to download iOS 17 for a quick tutorial.

Third-party web app downloads (EU-only)

Three iPhones on a green background showing AltStore

Third-party app stores were introduced in iOS 17.4 (Image credit: AltStore)

In a legislation-induced Apple strategy shake-up, iOS 17.4 granted EU residents the ability to download apps from third-party app stores, and iOS 17.5 further expands those permissions by allowing website-based app downloads.

In layman’s terms, that means web developers can now offer apps directly on their websites, with iPhone users in the EU no longer needing to visit an actual app store (Apple’s or otherwise) to download them. It’s not quite an unregulated free-for-all – among other conditions, developers need to have been a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years before offering website-based app downloads – but this change marks another step towards more iPhone owner autonomy (even if Apple disagrees).

Apple News Plus upgrades

Apple News Plus UK

Apple News Plus costs $9.99 / £12.99 / AU$19.99 per month (Image credit: Apple)

Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? For US and Canada-based subscribers to Apple’s premium news service, Apple News Plus, iOS 17.5 introduces a new daily word game called Quartiles, which requires players to combine tiles to form words and earn points. 

iOS 17.5 also brings an offline mode to Apple News Plus, allowing subscribers to access articles, audio reports and games in the absence of cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The type of content that’s made available in this offline mode can be customized in settings.

Third-party tracker alerts

FindMy app

Apple's Find My network can now detect non-certified trackers (Image credit: TechRadar)

iOS 17.5 finally sees Apple roll out its Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers specification, which allows iPhone users to detect and locate third-party object trackers, in addition to Apple’s own AirTags (the latter have been detectable since iOS 14.5).

Your iPhone will now notify you with an “[Item] Found Moving With You” alert if an unknown Bluetooth tracker device – from any manufacturer – is detected on your person. You’ll then be able to trigger a noise and/or disable the tracker in question.

Google's upgraded Find My Device network is now rolling out for Android phones, too, so it’s good to see the major mobile manufacturers putting on a united front against this safety issue.

New Repair State setting

A person fixes an iPhone using one of Apple's Self Service Repair kits on a blue desk mat.

(Image credit: Apple)

iOS 17.5 introduces a new function for Find My called Repair State. Previously, iPhone users who sent their iPhones in for repair were asked to turn off Find My as a means of confirming their ownership of a given device. Now, however, this new Repair State function can leave ‌Find My‌ turned on, meaning iPhones continue to be trackable by their owners during the repair process. It’s a small change, but a welcome one.

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.