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iOS 17.5 Beta 1: Your iPhone Could Get These New Features Soon

 iOS 17.5 Beta 1: Your iPhone Could Get These New Features Soon

Apple released the first iOS 17.5 beta to public beta testers on April 4, two days after the company released the beta to developers and about a month after the release of iOS 17.4. The latest beta brings a handful of new features — like more ways for people in the European Union to download apps — to the iPhones of some developers and beta testers.

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We recommend downloading a beta only on something other than your primary device. Because this isn’t the final version of iOS 17.5, these features might be buggy and battery life may be short, and it’s best to keep those troubles on a secondary device.

If you’re a developer or public beta tester, here are some of the new features you might find in iOS 17.5 beta 1. Note that the beta is not the final version of iOS 17.5, so there could be more features landing on your iPhone when iOS 17.5 is released. There’s no word on when Apple will release iOS 17.5 to the public yet.

Read more: You Should Really Download iOS 17.4.1 Right Now

Download apps from sites… but only for people in the EU

According to MacRumors, iOS 17.5 beta 1 introduces the ability to download apps right from a developer’s website instead of through an app store. However, this feature will only work for people in the EU. Apple announced this capability on March 12, alongside other EU-specific developer features, like the ability to choose the design of in-app promotions.

This is the latest EU-specific feature to come to the iPhone. When Apple released iOS 17.4 in March, a big part of that update was allowing people in the EU to download alternate app stores in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act. 

Podcast widget changes color

The Podcast widget turned grey when listening to You're Wrong About The Podcast widget turned grey when listening to You're Wrong About

The Podcast widget can change color to match what you’re listening to.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

With iOS 17.5 beta 1, your Podcast widget will change color depending on the artwork of whatever podcast you’re listening to at the moment. So if the podcast you’re listening to has red artwork, the widget will turn red. 

This aesthetic feature was in some early iOS 17.4 betas, but Apple removed it from that update’s public release. In iOS 17.4, Apple also brought transcripts to podcasts, which makes the audio media more accessible for more people.

Books app counter tool

It appears iOS 17.5 beta 1 also wants to help people achieve their reading goals. With the update, the Books app gets a counter in the top right corner of the app’s homepage. If you tap this counter, the app takes you to your Reading Goals menu. This menu shows you how much time you’ve spent reading today. There’s also a button here that reads Explore the Book Store which opens the Book Store

At first, Books sets your daily reading goal for five minutes a day, but you can change this goal to anywhere between 1 minute or the absurd 1,440 minutes (24 hours) a day — I like to read, but that feels a little aggressive.

Reading Goals in the Books app Reading Goals in the Books app

The Books app wants to help you reach your reading goal.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

New puzzle game Quartiles for Apple News Plus subscribers

Apple’s iOS 17.5 beta 1 also introduces a new puzzle game to the News app for Apple News Plus subscribers, called Quartiles. At the start of each puzzle, you are given a grid of 20 tiles that have parts of words on them, like “te” and “tra”. You then have to combine these tiles to form different words. Words can be between one and four tiles long, but each grid can be made into five four-tile words — you get the most points by combining the tiles this way.

If you are an Apple News subscriber, which costs $13 a month, you can find Quartiles by going to News > Following > Puzzles and swiping the carousel at the top of the screen. You can also scroll down the Puzzles page to find Quartiles below the Crossword Minis.

Read more: How to Play Daily Crossword Puzzles in Your iPhone’s News App

Those are a few of the new features some developers and beta testers will see in the first iOS 17.5 beta. That doesn’t mean these are the only features coming to the next iOS update, or that these changes will stick when iOS 17.5 is released to the public. As of now, there’s no word on when Apple will release iOS 17.5.

For more on iOS 17, here’s what to know about iOS 17.4.1. You can also check out what was included in iOS 17.4 and our iOS 17 cheat sheet.

Watch this: Latest iOS 18 Rumor Roundup: New Designs, AI Tricks

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