iOS 17.5: Security Boost, Sideloading, Offline News, and Tracker Detection

by Voinea Laurentiu

Apple's latest update for iPhones, iOS 17.5, is a game-changer, introducing features that enhance both security and user experience.

For users in the European Union, the update unlocks the ability to "sideload" apps, meaning they can download apps directly from the internet, bypassing the App Store. This provides more flexibility in app selection and installation.

Another significant addition, "Repair State," allows users to send their iPhones for repair while keeping the Find My tracking feature active. This ensures that the device remains traceable during the repair process, enhancing security.

A global improvement for iPhone users is the offline mode in the Apple News+ app. Even without an internet connection, users can access the News+ tab and Today's feed, providing uninterrupted news consumption.

However, the most impactful feature is the "Cross-Platform Tracking Detection" system. This groundbreaking safety feature alerts users if an unknown tracking device is moving with them. It goes beyond Apple's AirTags, covering a wide range of Bluetooth trackers, regardless of the operating system they use.

This advancement is the result of a joint effort between Google and Apple. In 2023, both companies initiated a standardized protocol to detect and prevent the misuse of Bluetooth trackers. This protocol extends beyond Bluetooth, encompassing GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular-based tracking devices.

iOS 17.5 marks a significant step towards enhanced user security and convenience. To download the update, navigate to the Settings app, tap General, and then tap Software Update.

With iOS 17.5, iPhone users can enjoy a safer and more versatile smartphone experience.