iOS 17.5 beta 1 changes and features + new iPad Pro details
11 mins read

iOS 17.5 beta 1 changes and features + new iPad Pro details

In this hands-on video, we review all the new things in the initial iOS 17.5 developer beta. We also discuss how iOS 17.5 beta 1 reveals new details about the 2024 iPad Pro launching next month. Check out our in-depth walkthrough, and Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more information.

iOS 17.5 beta changes and features

iOS 17.5 includes a number of new changes and features and some notable under-the-hood updates that provide evidence for upcoming hardware releases. Although the update was released last week, new additions, such as the new Apple News+ Quartiles game, were discovered recently.

Take a look at everything new so far in the early iOS 17.5 developer beta.

Video: What's new in iOS 17.5 beta 1?

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build number

For those keeping score at home, iOS 17.5 beta 1 comes with build number 21F5048f.

New quartile puzzle game for Apple News+ subscribers

Apple News+ subscribers will be treated to a new game added to the puzzle collection within the News app called Quartiles. The premise of this word game involves creating as many words as possible from a set of 20 tiles. Words can be between one and four tiles long, and the score increases when multiple tiles are used for a word.

Each game also includes five quartets, which are words consisting of four tiles. Players get a 40-point bonus for finding all four quartets.

Game Center Leaderboard integration for Apple News+ games

Game Center leaderboard integration with Quartiles is launching in the Apple News app. The Game Center integration applies not only to Quartiles but also to other games like crossword puzzles. Gamers can compete with their friends or see how they stack up against worldwide leaderboards.

Game Center Leaderboard Apple News+

new unwanted tracking system

iOS already has provisions to alert users to unknown AirTags following them, but iOS 17.5 lays the groundwork to expand these alerts to include trackers that aren't part of the Find My network . Users will be alerted when a tracker follows them and asked to visit the tracker manufacturer's website to find out how to disable it.

Web installation for apps in EU

For EU users, iOS 17.5 implements the ability to install apps directly from a website. Of course, this process is more involved than simply making an app available for download, as Apple has strict requirements for providing website-based app downloads.

Color-Matching Podcast Widget

If you have an Apple Podcasts widget on your iOS home screen, you'll notice that the background of the widget will once again match the color of the playing podcast artwork.

iOS 17.5 color-matched podcast widget

Books app reading goal updated design

The Books app is enjoying a subtle makeover in iOS 17.5 thanks to a redesigned reading goal indicator in the upper right corner. Reading goals help track how much time you've spent reading each day, and you can adjust the goal directly within the app.

Books app reading goal

passkey access glyph for web browser

Allow Passkeys access for web browsers under Settings → Privacy & Security has been updated in iOS 17.5 to include the corresponding glyph.

Passkey Access for Web Browser iOS 17.5

new 2024 ipad pro details

iOS software releases have provided a lot of information about the upcoming iPad Pro hardware, and iOS 17.5 is no exception.

New iPad models added in iOS 17.5

For example, four new iPad models have been added to the initial iOS 17.5 beta, and they presumably correspond to the two sizes of iPad Pro with Wi-Fi and cellular versions.

Model identifiers for the new iPad Pros include:

  • iPad 16,3 and iPad 16,4
  • iPad16,5 and iPad 16,6

Based on previous model identifier nomenclature, the iPad16.3 is the 11-inch 2024 iPad Pro (Wi-Fi), and the iPad16.4 is the 11-inch 2024 iPad Pro (Wi-Fi + Cellular). The iPad16.5 is the 13-inch 2024 iPad Pro (Wi-Fi), and the iPad16.6 is the 13-inch 2024 iPad Pro (Wi-Fi + Cellular).

The new iPad Pro will have new display technology

It has long been rumored that the new iPad Pro will use an OLED display for the first time. Confirming this, new display firmware has been identified in iOS 17.5, and these new firmware files are only added for the aforementioned 2024 iPad Pro models.

iOS 17.5 iPad Pro Display Firmware

2024 ipad pro code name

Thanks to iOS 17.5, the code names of the new iPad Pro models have also been revealed. Vinca, a flower in the periwinkle family, matches DP875, while Gennari, a Korean goldenbell tree, matches STUUP1.

OLED panel supplier

iOS 17.5 confirms that the upcoming iPad Pro refresh has two suppliers for OLED displays, which is no surprise. Display firmware has been identified for both LG (LGD) and Samsung (SDC).

ipad pro 2024 lgd firmware

11-inch iPad Pro in short supply

Analyst Ross Young previously reported that Samsung will initially only make 11-inch iPad Pro panels, which could mean limited supply for the 11-inch iPad Pro models. Interestingly, the Samsung firmware (STUUP1) is present only for the 11-inch iPad Pro model identifiers iPad16.3 and 16.4, while the LG firmware (DP875) is present for all model identifiers.

display parity

Thanks to the adoption of OLED on both the smaller and larger iPad Pro models, the lineup should once again achieve display parity between the two models. The initial 2018 iPad Pro models had identical displays between the 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, but the 2020 refresh revealed a dramatic difference between the two.

The 12.9-inch 2020 iPad Pro received a Liquid Retina XDR display with Mini LED technology, 1600 nits of brightness for HDR content, and approximately 2600 full array local dimming zones. Although not an OLED panel, the Liquid Retina XDR display was a major upgrade over the previous display, which the 11-inch model still had.

With the 2024 iPad Pro refresh, users won't have to choose between inferior display technology or a larger display, which could lead more users to opt for a smaller tablet.

OLED displays have come a long way

Apple has been using OLED displays on iPhones for years (since the iPhone Several notable releases in the iPhone lineup have led to the upcoming launch of the 2024 OLED iPad Pro.

We can see how Apple's display technology has improved on the iPhone and how that might translate to the iPad Pro. The 2024 iPad Pro display will likely be marketed as a Super Retina XDR display. However, don't overlook Apple revealing a secret or two regarding display technology, so that could result in some fancy new marking names as well.

iPhone X

The OG OLED display for the iPhone, iPhone However, the device lacked support for HDR content and had a maximum brightness of only 600 nits. The iPhone

iPhone 11 Pro

The iPhone received HDR support with the release of the iPhone 11 Pro, which had 800 nits of normal brightness and 1200 nits for HDR. It also features a remarkable contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. As a result of these benefits, Apple branded the iPhone 11 Pro display as a Super Retina XDR display.

iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro gains iPad Pro Motion support for the first time and increases the maximum specific brightness to 1000 nits.

iPhone 14 Pro/iPhone 15 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro saw a significant jump in peak brightness for HDR, from 1200 to 1600 nits. It gained the ability to shine even more when exposed to sunlight up to 2000 nits.

new apple pencil 3

It is largely expected that a new Apple Pencil will launch alongside the new iPad Pro models. As we mentioned earlier, the Apple Pencil 3 will feature Find My Network compatibility to make it easier to recover if lost.

There are also rumors of interchangeable magnetic tips for various artistic applications and an update to PencilKit, PencilKit 3, which will add new capabilities to the Apple Pencil. Few people outside Apple know what those capabilities are, but some features will likely require the new Apple Pencil 3 hardware.

squeeze apple pencil gestures

The second-generation Apple Pencil includes a double-tap gesture to switch between existing tools and the eraser, show ink features, color palettes, etc. The Apple Pencil 3 will enhance this functionality by including pressure-sensitive gestures for the first time. ,

iOS 17.5 Apple Pencil Squeeze Gesture

New events found in IOKit indicate that the Apple Pencil 3 will support multiple pressure-sensitive “squeeze” gestures, including squeeze, longsqueeze, and doublesqueeze. It looks like the Apple Pencil 3 will be a significant upgrade over the second-generation Apple Pencil, unlike the awkward USB-C Apple Pencil release we saw last year.

new magic keyboard

Details are sparse, but as previously reported, we'll also get a new Magic Keyboard Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. This new keyboard will reportedly be more laptop-like and have a larger trackpad.

In my video walkthrough Above, I talk about how Apple might do this. Apple could eliminate the double-hinge of the first-generation Magic Keyboard and create a new single-hinge design that allows the iPad to always rest perfectly on the back of the second-generation Magic Keyboard. This will move the keys forward towards the display, freeing up space for a larger palm rest and larger trackpad.

14-inch MacBook Pro vs. iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

Gurman says the base of the updated Magic Keyboard will be made of aluminum, providing a more solid base. With the iPad Pro's low weight, this may be enough to resolve any imbalance issues that may arise from adopting a single hinge design.

Of course, the new iPad Pro should also include a landscape camera like the one 10th generation ipad, which will further support its laptop aspirations. Now, we need more bandwidth between the Magic Keyboard and the iPad Pro to support higher capacity USB-C connections to power our laptop goals.

9to5Mac's take

There are a number of new user-facing changes and features in iOS 17.5 that iOS users should enjoy, but the big story is the latest details on the iPad Pro that these updates reveal. According to reports, Apple will launch the iPad Pro in the second week of May, which means we will get the iOS 17.5 update shortly after.

What do you think about iOS 17.5 beta 1? Express your views in the comments.

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