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Apple Releases Major iPhone Software Update: iOS 17.5

TL;DR: Apple releases iOS 17.5 with new features and security fixes, but some users report deleted photos reappearing. Update recommended despite minor bugs.

Apple has just released the latest iPhone software update, iOS 17.5, on Monday, May 13. This article will examine how the new release has been received and whether you should upgrade your iPhone.

Zombie Photos Issue

One curious effect of the update is that some users have complained about long-deleted photos reappearing in their photo streams. This issue is becoming more complicated, as it now affects both iPhone and iPad users.

One particularly concerning example was reported by a Redditor who had wiped their iPad in September 2023 and sold it to a friend. After updating to iPadOS 17.5, the friend began seeing old photos from the previous owner.

Apple has not yet commented on this issue, but it’s likely that the photos were not completely overwritten when deleted, and the new software has somehow revived them.

Should You Upgrade?

Despite the zombie photos issue, my interim verdict is still to upgrade. The chances of experiencing this problem seem slim, and at worst, you may need to delete unwanted photos again.

Compatible Devices and How to Update

iOS 17.5 is compatible with all iPhones launched in 2018 or later, including:

  • iPhone XS and XR
  • All models of iPhone 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 series
  • iPhone SE second and third-generation

To update, go to the Settings app, select General, and then Software Update. If you have automatic updates turned on, the update will install on its own.

New Features

The update includes new features, some of which are specific to users in the European Union, such as the ability to download apps from the web.

For all users, there are improvements to tracking notifications, alerting you if someone places a compatible Bluetooth tracker in your bag without your knowledge.

There are also new offline features for News+, including games, although these are not yet available everywhere.

Security Fixes

iOS 17.5 addresses 15 security vulnerabilities of varying severity, including issues with the iPhone’s Kernel and a vulnerability in Voice Control.

Initial Reactions

Initial reactions to the upgrade were positive, with users reporting fantastic performance. However, some users mentioned issues with battery life.

The reappearance of deleted photos has caught many by surprise, but the reason behind this bug is still unclear.

Final Thoughts

The security fixes alone make upgrading to iOS 17.5 an urgent matter. While the zombie photos bug is certainly concerning, it doesn’t seem to be widespread at this point.

Keep an eye out for any unexpected images, especially if you purchased your device second-hand, but don’t let this issue deter you from updating your iPhone.


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