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iOS 17.5 Features: New iPhone update available to download now

Apple has dropped the iOS 17.5 update, which brings another game to the News+ service and greater protection against stalking via item trackers.

The relatively minor update for UK users is a bigger deal in the EU where Apple is now allowing apps to be side-loaded from the developer’s website, in order to adhere to the Digital Markets Act across the bloc.

Here’s what’s new for everyone else…

Apple News+ gets game

Apple is looking towards the New York Times model for increasing engagement with its news content. The News+ service now includes a game called Quartiles which is a “new and original daily word game”.

Essentially, it sounds like Apple’s attempt to have a Wordle-like pull to the News app every day, where users can build streaks.

In a post on the Apple Newsroom blog, Apple explains the game “challenges players to form words by selecting tiles containing two to four letters, and users collect points based on word length. New puzzles are available each day, and players can also choose to share a Quartiles puzzle with other News+ subscribers.”

iOS 17.5 also includes a new Puzzles Scoreboard where users can keep tabs on their records in Quartiles, as well as the daily crossword and mini crossword Apple added to the News+ proposition in iOS 17.

Elsewhere, News+ gets an Offline Mode in iOS 17.5 where subscribers can access “recent and personalised News content” when they’re not connected to the web.

Apple News Quartiles game

Cross-platform anti-stalking

Apple has finally added the key piece of the puzzle to allow its Find My network to play nice with trackers designed for Google’s equivalent Find My Device platform – and vice versa. This means iPhone users will be alerted when a non-AirTag tracker is following them, for example.

iOS 17.5 release notes

The full iOS 17.5 release notes are as follows:

Apple News

  • Offline mode in Apple News+ gives you access to the Today feed and News+ tab, even when you don’t have an internet connection.
  • Quartiles is a new and original daily word game that is now available in Apple News+.
  • Scoreboard in News+ Puzzles gives you access to new player data for Crossword, Mini Crossword and Quartiles, including stats and streaks.

Tracking Notifications

  • Cross-Platform Tracking Detection delivers notifications to users if a compatible Bluetooth tracker they do not own is moving with them, regardless of what operating system the device is paired with.

This could be the last major update before Apple reveals iOS 18 at WWDC next month.

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