iOS 17.5 Beta 2 is here, and in addition to enabling sideloading, it also hints at new Pencil 3 features

Fourteen days after the last update, Apple has now pushed out the iOS 17.5 Beta 2 update.

According to an announcement on Apple’s official developer website, compared to the iOS 17.5 Beta 1 version, most of the updates this time can be said to be “minor fixes”:

  • Battery health setting options optimized.
  • Added reminder for automatic labeling function of memo.
  • Optimize the details of apps such as reading and podcasting.
  • SDK and some detail bug fixes.

However, the highlight of this update is yet to come. Apple has brought a long-awaited feature: distributing apps through the web.

▲ iOS sideloading preview, picture source: ZOLLOTECH

Developers who want to distribute app downloads through their website need to meet some specific conditions:

First, developers must join the Apple Developer Program for more than two consecutive years. And in the past year, its App needs to have at least more than 1 million first-time installs in the EU.

In addition, Apple requires developers to go through Apple's notarization process and publish a transparent data collection policy.

▲ Privacy options for downloading apps from web pages in settings, picture source: ZOLLOTECH

When a user downloads an App from the website for the first time, the system will have multiple pop-up windows explaining in detail the functions of the App and the required permissions. When downloading again later, the pop-up window will not continue.

Last week, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney retweeted a tweet on X saying that installing an iOS app distributed on the web requires 15 steps. The tweet was widely circulated online.

But in today's iOS update, it can be found that this is not the case. It takes eight steps to install the app through the web for the first time, and only three steps to install it again. The entire installation experience is relatively simple.

Although not distributing through the App Store can save developers huge "Apple tax" commissions, Apple is still prepared to continue to charge developers.

Apple's new business terms stipulate that developers need to pay 0.5 euros ( The core technology fee is approximately RMB 3.8).

But for non-profit organizations, accredited educational institutions and government units, Apple will not charge this fee.

Unfortunately, like the third-party app market added on iOS 17.4, web sideloading is limited to iPhone and only available in the EU.

Although the sideloading function is not available to us for the time being, iOS 17.5 still has many small updates that are relevant to us.

For example, the Podcast App has received a series of optimizations. The widget can now dynamically change its color based on the podcast cover.

▲ The background of the Podcast App widget changes. The picture on the right shows the effect of iOS 17.5. Image source: Gearrice

Apple has brought a "translate text" function to podcasts on iOS 17.4, but it does not initially support the Chinese iPhone.

Now, after upgrading to iOS 17.5, Chinese iPhones can also support the "Text Text" function. We will be able to visually preview podcasts through text and search for content.

However, the current support for Chinese in "Translated Text" is still being optimized.

In the previous beta version of iPadOS 17.5, 9to5Mac also discovered multiple pieces of code, implying that the new Apple Pencil will have an important update: a new "squeeze gesture".

The new squeeze gesture allows users to quickly perform some simple interactions, making it more convenient and flexible for users to add shapes, signatures, stickers, or text in various operations.

Presumably, the gesture will be triggered by pressing the surface of the Apple Pencil barrel.

There is no specific time yet for the official update of iOS 17.5.

Judging from current news, iOS 17.5 will most likely be released in May together with the new iPad.

Finally, if you want to experience the iOS 17.5 Beta 2 version, you only need to download Apple Developer and log in to your Apple ID. Then you will see the download entrance for the iOS Beta version in the system update interface.

The iPhone XR and Xs series, as well as iPhone models launched after that, support the update.

However, after all, this is only the second beta version of iOS 17.5, and many of its features are not yet stable. Except for early adopter experience, it is not recommended for daily use by ordinary users. In addition, please be sure to back up important data before upgrading.

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