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iOS 17.5 Unknown iPhone Feature Leaks With Benefit For Millions Of Users

We’re a long way into the current iPhone software cycle and most features we were expecting have launched. But the latest beta version of iPhone software, iOS 17.5, reveals something nobody had predicted: a new state for the phone to be in when it’s sent to be repaired.

Appropriately enough, it’s called Repair State, and it looks like a useful added convenience.

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The new element was spotted by 9to5Mac combing through the code of iOS 17.5 beta 4, now available to both developers and as a public beta. The report says, “This new mode seems to be partially working for beta users and it changes the requirements for sending an iPhone in for repairs.”

Currently, if you are sending your iPhone off to be fixed, either to Apple or to an authorized repair center, you have to remember to turn off Find My, which is done by going to the Settings app.

However, the excellent Stolen Device Protection feature which helps protect users whose iPhone has been stolen by someone who know their passcode, has complicated how you do this.

Find My is one of the settings deemed sensitive and to change it, a time delay has been added if they’re not in a location the iPhone deems familiar and safe.

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Imagine, then, arriving at the Apple Store to drop off your iPhone for repair, without having turned off Find My, only to learn that Stolen Device Protection required them to wait an hour before disabling Find My.

The essence of Repair State is that a new mode is added where, as 9to5Mac puts it, “users confirm with their Apple ID and password that they’re about to send their iPhone in for a repair. As a result, Apple technicians can confirm that the person owns the iPhone and then proceed with the repair without the need to turn off Stolen Device Protection and Find My.”

In the beta, a message reads, This iPhone is linked to your Apple ID and cannot be removed while it’s online, but you can still prepare it for repair.” This is followed by a notification that the iPhone is ready for repair and remains, “fully functional.” The new feature is coming for iPhone but not iPad.

This is a useful added convenience without reducing safety. The general release of iOS 17.5 is coming soon, perhaps as early as next Monday, May 6 or Tuesday, May 7.

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