iOS 17.5 Debuts with a Major Privacy Enhancement for Your iPhone

Simon Lewis

By Simon Lewis


Apple has rolled out the iOS 17.5 update, packed with new features that enhance both usability and security for iPhone users. One of the most significant updates is the introduction of Web Distribution for European Union residents. This new capability allows users to sideload apps directly from the internet, bypassing the App Store.

But the standout feature of this update is the Cross-Platform Tracking Detection notifications. This crucial safety tool alerts users if an unknown tracker is moving with them. In previous versions, Apple only included this feature for its own AirTag trackers, addressing concerns about stalking and car theft using hidden AirTags. However, iOS 17.5 expands this functionality to trackers from other manufacturers.

According to the iOS 17.5 release notes, “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.”

Collaboration Between Tech Giants

This safety feature is part of a joint effort by Apple and Google. In 2023, both companies released a draft specification for a detection protocol aimed at preventing the misuse of Bluetooth-based trackers. Known as the Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers protocol, this initiative places the Bluetooth protocol at the forefront of alerting users about unknown devices tracking their movements.

The protocol extends beyond Bluetooth, potentially incorporating GPS-based devices and those using Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This comprehensive approach ensures that users are protected from various tracking devices, not just Bluetooth-enabled ones.

In response to rising privacy concerns, Apple has already made adjustments to the AirTag alert system, but the introduction of a standardized Bluetooth tracker protocol in iOS 17.5 provides a more robust solution. iPhone users can now detect hidden trackers from multiple brands, including Samsung and Tile.

Additional New Features

iOS 17.5 also brings the Repair State feature, which lets users keep the Find My tracking system active while their device is being repaired. This ensures that your device remains traceable and secure, even when it’s not in your hands.

For users globally, the Apple News+ app now supports offline mode. This means you can access the News+ tab and the Today feed without an internet connection, ensuring you stay informed no matter where you are.

Alongside iOS 17.5, Apple has also released iOS 16.7.8 for older devices which addresses a serious flaw said to have been exploited by hackers.

How to Update

To update your iPhone to iOS 17.5, open the Settings app, navigate to General, and select Software Update. The update should appear within a few seconds.

Stay ahead of the curve and enhance your iPhone’s security by downloading iOS 17.5 today.