Here's Everything New in iOS 17.5 Beta 1 So Far

Apple this week made the first betas of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 available to developers for testing. The upcoming software updates include only a few new user-facing features so far, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities.

iOS 17
Below, we have recapped everything new in the first iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 betas so far.

Web Distribution

apple ios app store safari changes
Starting with iOS 17.5, iPhone users in the EU will be able to download iOS apps directly from the websites of select developers.

Apple previously announced that "Web Distribution" would be available starting "later this spring" with an upcoming software update for the iPhone, and the first beta of iOS 17.5 includes newly-added code to support the feature.

"Web Distribution" will be limited to larger developers based in the EU. To qualify for this distribution method, Apple says the developer must be a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more, and have an app that had more than one million annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year.

"Web Distribution" builds upon the alternative app marketplaces that Apple already allows on the iPhone in the EU starting with iOS 17.4. Apple has made these app-related changes to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act.

Color-Changing Apple Podcasts Widget

While listening to a podcast on the iOS 17.5 beta, the background color of the Apple Podcasts widget changes to match the podcast's cover art. This feature was first added in the iOS 17.4 beta, but it was removed before that update was released.

Mobile Device Management

As noted by Aaron Perris, MDM solutions can enforce an iOS beta version during Automated Device Enrollment starting with the iOS 17.5 beta.

Code Changes

Battery Health Menu for Future iPads

iPad Battery Feature
The first iPadOS 17.5 beta includes several new references to a Battery Health menu on the iPad, but the feature is not actually visible yet. The menu is expected to show an iPad battery's maximum remaining capacity and cycle count.

A sample of the code strings added in the iPadOS 17.5 beta:

  • "iPad must be regularly used while not connected to power to show maximum capacity."
  • "This is the number of times iPad has used your battery's capacity."
  • "The iPad battery is performing as expected."
  • "iPad batteries, like all rechargeable batteries, have a limited lifespan and may eventually need to be serviced or replaced."
  • "The original battery was designed to retain X capacity at X cycles under ideal conditions. Actual battery performance depends on a number of variables, including how iPad is used and charged regularly. The one-year warranty includes service for defective batteries in addition to rights provided under local consumer laws."

There is no visible Battery Health menu on any existing iPad models on the first iPadOS 17.5 beta, leading us to believe that the menu may be limited to the new iPad Pro and iPad Air models that are rumored to launch in May, and likely other new iPads released in the future. Apple has shown battery capacity information on iPhones for many years, but cycle count information is currently limited to the latest iPhone 15 series.

New Apple Pencil

apple pencil
The first beta of iOS 17.5 potentially references a new fourth-generation Apple Pencil, amid rumors that the accessory will be updated soon.

The beta includes a hidden code reference to a "V4" version of the Apple Pencil:

NumberOfApplePencilV1ConnectionsCount
NumberOfApplePencilV2ConnectionsCount
NumberOfApplePencilV3ConnectionsCount
NumberOfApplePencilV4ConnectionsCount

A new Apple Pencil is rumored to launch alongside updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models in May. Apple refers to the USB-C version of the Apple Pencil released last year as the third-generation Apple Pencil in iOS code, so the fourth-generation model would be a new version that would likely succeed the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Additional code in the iOS 17.5 beta suggests that the Apple Pencil could gain a "squeeze" gesture for certain actions, but details are slim.

Third-Party Item Tracker Alerts

AirTag and iPhone Notification Feature
Apple and Google last year jointly announced a proposed industry specification to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth item trackers for unwanted tracking of individuals. As part of this initiative, Apple promised to expand AirTag-like "Found Moving With You" alerts to third-party item trackers in a future software update, which may be iOS 17.5.

The first iOS 17.5 beta adds references to alerts for third-party item trackers. For example: "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."

Tile, Chipolo, Samsung, Eufy, and Pebblebee all expressed support for the industry specification, according to Apple's announcement last year.

Block All Participants in Group FaceTime Calls

iOS 17.5 beta code indicates that there may be a new "Block All Participants" option for group FaceTime calls, which could help users to fight spam. We have not confirmed if the feature is functional yet in the first beta.

Wrap Up

iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 will likely be released to the public in May.

If you find any other new features or changes in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 betas, let us know in the comments section, or by emailing tips@macrumors.com.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

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Top Rated Comments

Fuzzball84 Avatar
16 weeks ago
New iPad battery monitoring leverages the power of M3 and advanced ML to bring you battery capacity remaining and cycle count.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thejadedmonkey Avatar
16 weeks ago
So what's the rationale for only letting "special" developers host apps that can be installed via the web, instead of via a store? Why can't Apple just let people install apps, like they do on macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and freakin' NeXT‽



I swear if they limit the battery health feature to the new iPads only like they did the iPhone 15.
It requires the power of an M3 SoC.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
16 weeks ago
Well that is a little sleepy. Maybe there should be some bug fixes too.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Octavius8 Avatar
16 weeks ago
1st time I will actively NOT "update" my version. Bluetooth issue was finally solved for me in ios 17.4, I dont want to have it broken again for free.
No compeling reason to "update" for me.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
number16 Avatar
16 weeks ago
man that OLED iPad better come out soon. i can't bear it anymore......
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DanteHicks79 Avatar
16 weeks ago
Ya know, my biggest complaint with iOS since day one is that the podcast widget didn't change color depending on the artwork of the pod I'm listening to...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)