Most Important Features of the New iOS 17.5 Release

The latest iOS 17.5 update, from Apple introduces a range of features and security enhancements aimed at enhancing user experience on iPhones. While not as extensive as updates this release brings improvements across various aspects of daily usage. From upgraded Bluetooth tracking capabilities to features for Apple News+ and enhanced security measures iOS 17.5 offers a host of upgrades. 

Enhanced Bluetooth Tracking Features

One of the highlights of iOS 17.5 is the upgraded Bluetooth tracking functionality, for individuals who use tools like AirTags to keep tabs on their belongings. AirTags utilize Bluetooth technology to connect with Apples Find My network allowing users to pinpoint lost items accurately. This network, consisting of billions of Apple devices globally ensures that even if an AirTag goes beyond Bluetooth range nearby Apple devices can pick it up and send its location back to the owner through the Find My app.

iOS 17.5 brings a safety addition; notifications for detecting platform tracking. This feature automatically detects if theres a tracker traveling along with you irrespective of the devices operating system its paired with. Initially rolled out for AirTags this feature was created in light of incidents involving stalking and vehicle thefts related to concealed AirTags. The joint effort between Apple and Google in 2023 resulted in a specification on a detection protocol for Bluetooth based trackers to prevent misuse.

The Cross Platform Tracking Detection system not spots Bluetooth based trackers. Also has the ability to identify GPS based devices as well, as those using Wi Fi and cellular networks.

This new method allows iPhones to identify tracking devices from a variety of brands, like Samsung and Tile ensuring users are fully protected against trackers from known companies.

Alongside these security enhancements the Bluetooth tracking improvements in iOS 17.5 enable users to monitor their belongings confidently. The incorporation of Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology in iPhone models further improves the accuracy of Bluetooth tracking. UWB enables location tracking over shorter distances providing directional and distance details that can lead users straight to their misplaced items. This feature is especially handy in settings where pinpoint accuracy’s crucial.

In summary the upgraded Bluetooth tracking capabilities, in iOS 17.5 coupled with safety measures and the integration of UWB technology give users accuracy and peace of mind when keeping tabs on their personal possessions.

Turning on the Bluetooth settings on mobile phone.

Current State of Bluetooth Tracking

When using AirTags for Bluetooth tracking the typical operating range is 30 feet under conditions. However this range may vary due to obstacles such, as walls or physical barriers that can interfere with the Bluetooth signal.

The true power of AirTags lies in how they work with the Find My network connecting to billions of Apple devices worldwide. Through this network users can easily locate their AirTags over distances as nearby Apple devices pick up the signal and relay the location information back, to the owner via the Find My app.

With the introduction of Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology in iPhone models Bluetooth tracking has become more precise. UWB enables location tracking within a close range offering directional guidance and distance details that lead users straight to their misplaced items. This feature proves handy in settings where exact positioning is crucial.

Web App Distribution in the EU

One addition in iOS 17.5 is the implementation of Web App Distribution for applications within the European Union. This feature empowers developers to distribute their iOS apps directly from their websites bypassing the App Store route. Developers are required to adhere to Apples notarization guidelines and a small fee is applicable for app installations exceeding one million annually. This change provides developers in the EU with freedom and control enabling them to connect with users directly.

Improvements to Apple News+

For subscribers of Apple News+ iOS 17.5 introduces several exciting enhancements. The latest addition is a word game named “Quartiles” integrated into the Apple News app offering users a way to engage with the platform. Furthermore an Offline Mode has been introduced, allowing subscribers to download and access content, without an internet connection. This feature ensures that users can enjoy their magazines, newspapers and narrated articles when offline.

Updates, in Design

iOS 17.5 comes with some design changes aimed at enhancing user experience. The Podcasts widget now showcases colors that adjust based on the artwork of the podcast currently playing. The Apple Books app has a revamped icon for the “Reading Goal” in the navigation bar and a new symbol has been added to the “Passkeys Access for Web Browsers” section under “Privacy & Security” in the Settings app.

Fresh Pride Wallpapers

In line with its commitment to diversity and inclusion Apple has introduced Pride themed wallpapers in iOS 17.5. These wallpapers. Support the LGBTQ+ community reflecting Apples initiatives towards equality and backing global movements advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.

Return of Stopwatch Live Activity

A feature making a comeback in iOS 17.5 is the activity, for Dynamic Island and lock screen usage. This feature, briefly removed during beta testing enables users to monitor time from their lock screen or Dynamic Island providing a way to manage time related tasks easily.

Improvements and Additions

iOS 17.5 brings more responsive Siri functionality.Siri now has the capability to handle tasks and questions making it a more valuable virtual assistant, for everyday use. The latest update brings improvements in voice recognition and the ability to efficiently address follow up inquiries.

Improved battery management is a feature of iOS 17.5 recognizing the significance of battery life for devices. These enhancements optimize background processes to extend battery life and provide users with insights into their usage patterns. With these advancements iPhones can sustain power throughout the day under usage.

Apple remains committed to advancing Augmented Reality (AR) evident in the updates to ARKit in iOS 17.5 that boost performance and realism in AR experiences. This is particularly exciting for developers and users who enjoy AR apps and games as the enhanced ARKit delivers immersive interactions.

In line with Apples focus on privacy iOS 17.5 introduces refined privacy settings that empower users with control over their data. These updated settings allow users to manage app permissions precisely and receive reports, on data usage practices.

In summary

The latest iOS 17.5 update is a release that introduces a range of features and enhancements to improve the iPhone user experience. The upgraded Bluetooth tracking capabilities, supported by the robust Find My network and UWB technology provide accuracy and convenience. Security improvements ensure the protection of user data while additions, like Apple News+ features, design tweaks and the return of the stopwatch feature further enhance the functionality and enjoyment of the system.

Whether you’re an enthusiast of Apples tracking tech a subscriber to Apple News+ or simply someone who values notch security iOS 17.5 has something, for everyone. Make sure to update your device to access these additions and make your iPhone experience more secure, efficient and delightful.


  • Yukio McDonough

    Yukio McDonough, co-founder of TechWithTech, combines his expertise in audio engineering and tech entrepreneurship to lead a tech blog dedicated to offering actionable tech advice. After success in tech repair and IT with Tech Medic, he now aims to make TechWithTech a top source for understanding and leveraging technology to enhance daily life.

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