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iOS 17.5 is here with Repair State & EU Web Distribution

iOS 17.5 has been released

Last updated

Apple's EU DMA compliance is the focus of iOS 17.5, which adds Web Distribution as a method of sideloading apps — available now.

The initial compliance with the Digital Markets Act in the EU only allowed users to obtain apps from officially certified alternative app marketplaces. The EU stated that Apple's implementation wasn't compliant, and that it must allow sideloading from the web.

The feature is now available with the release of iOS 17.5. Apple calls it Web Distribution, and like with alternative app marketplaces, it isn't a free-for-all.

Developers who want to distribute apps via the web must meet similar requirements for creating alternative app marketplaces. The developer must agree to the new EU business terms, have been in the Developer Program for two consecutive years, and have an app with more than one million first installs annually in the EU.

It is assumed that developers who do not meet the time or installation requirements will still be able to apply but with a standby letter of credit of one million Euros.

Apps distributed via a website still go through an initial review from Apple for security and technology misuse. Otherwise, the developer is responsible for preventing fraud or other problems associated with the app.

Other features in iOS 17.5

Very few significant new features exist outside of the DMA changes. One is called Repair State, which is a new function for Find My.

Customers who need to send in an iPhone for repair are asked to turn off Find My. That changes with iOS 17.5 with Repair State, which keeps Find My enabled throughout the repair process.

Code hinted at the implementation of Apple and Google's cross-network functionality for anti-stalking tools. Apple hasn't announced when it will be officially launched, but the feature is ready to go.

How to update to iOS 17.5

Updating an iPhone is straightforward and doesn't require much user intervention. Generally, if the user has automatic updates enabled, the update will install overnight without prompt.

If, for some reason, the update doesn't install automatically or if the user wants to install it manually, that is done via the Settings app.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap "General"
  3. Tap "Software Update"
  4. The software update will appear here when available

Apple tends to release iOS updates on a rolling basis, so the update may not immediately appear for everyone. Web Distribution and alternative app marketplaces are only available in the EU, where the DMA is in effect.