Monday, May 13, 2024

iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5

Juli Clover (release notes, security, developer):

There are new features for Apple News+, such as an offline mode, and tracking notifications are now available cross-platform for alerts about Bluetooth trackers regardless of platform.


Update (2024-05-16): Juli Clover:

In this article, we’ve rounded up everything new in iOS 17.5.

Wes Davis:

Apple appears to have a bug that’s dredging up data that iPhone owners thought was gone. Some iPhone owners are reporting that, after updating their phones to iOS 17.5, their deleted photos — some quite old — are popping up again, according to a Reddit thread that MacRumors spotted. iOS beta testers had the same complaints about the bug last week.


The person who started the thread claimed that NSFW photos they had deleted “years ago” were back on their phone.


There’s a chance it’s not specific to photos, either, as one person posted on X that they saw old voicemails come back after the update. Several beta testers said the same thing about earlier iOS 17 betas. Whether the issue implies Apple is secretly holding onto old deleted data or it’s just a quirk of how iOS 17.5 handles that data, it’s not an ideal situation.

Marcin Krzyzanowski:

Google accidentally deletes. Apple accidentally restores old data. they should team to maintain the equilibrium


Update (2024-05-17): Tim Hardwick:

More reports have been trickling in overnight. One said: “I had a random photo from a concert taken on my Canon camera reappear in my phone library, and it showed up as if it was added today.”

It’s not clear what’s happening, but given that some of the photos were apparently taken years ago, this cannot be an issue with recently deleted photos being undeleted. In Apple’s Photos app, deleted photos and videos are kept in the Recently Deleted album for 30 days, so that users can recover or permanently remove them from all devices.

The reports could be down to an indexing bug, photo library corruption, or a syncing issue between local devices and iCloud Photos.

Joe Rossignol:

Over the past few days, some iPhone users have said the “Allow Apps to Request to Track” toggle in the Settings app is suddenly grayed out on their devices.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

I experienced deleted photos reappearing in photos after 17.5. I use iCloud Photo Library and advanced data protection. These were photos in the hidden folder, and saved from Reddit app, or maybe Twitter or Apollo app (not screenshots or taken with my phone). I updated just my iPad and that added some photos, and then the next day when I updated my phone that added a different set of photos. I watched them appear right after the update finished and they popped in 1 at a time. They didn’t appear like blank photos when a large number of photos are taken and then thumbnails downloaded through iCloud Photo Library. Because of this and because updating each device added more photos I think these were not in iCloud but incorrectly deleted and moved to some sort of temp folder on device and the update imported that temp folders contents.

I also notice 2 other discrepancies. On my phone the videos section count is 5 too high, where the bottom of the phone’s recents screen lists the correct number of videos (and iPad and Mac list the correct count of videos.

Lastly my phone once again has the “from my Mac” section of read only photos. It has the people section and has just 1 photo which is also in my iCloud Photo Library. It should not be posssible to even have this section. Plugging in to my Mac via USB and clicking on photos tab in finder is just a message that I can’t sync photos to my phone because I use iCloud Photo Library.

Also I think I would have deleted those photos on the Mac long ago. People have speculated that photos sent through messages were the ones that were restored but I didn’t send any of these photos.

Browsing up through the library I also found a few more previously deleted photos that didn't appear as the newest files at the bottom of recents. I deleted those, and was able to turn off photo syncing on the phone and turn it back on which removed the "from my Mac" section and resolved the miscount of videos.

Turning off iCloud photos temporarily gave me an error that 50 photos / videos that were synced via Finder would be removed. This doesn't make sense as I have been using iCloud Photo Library for a few years. I didn't keep track of how many restored files I deleted, but it was about 50 so this may be a clue as to where the photos came from.


I also got some deleted files reappear. They were all RAW files shot in June of 2022 and deleted at least a year ago. I don't use iCloud Photo Library and never have.

I've seen a few other comments on Mac Rumors of this happening to people who don't use iCloud Photo Library. The 17.5.1 release notes mention "database corruption" which further indicated my theory above is correct, and that these are not coming from iCloud. The category of photos that are returned has been called nudes / NSFW, but I wonder if the origin is that the files were deleted from the hidden folder. Apple still needs to give a more detailed explanation. If there is a process that looks for orphaned files than that should be explained in the app rather than just silently importing them. Something like 'we found X photos, do you want to review and delete all, import all, or select images to import.'

The claim that they can be restored on a device that was wiped is still a very big deal if true.


@Eric The photos that resurfaced for me were some obvious tests, because I never shoot RAW and they all featured the computer keyboard on my desk from some weird angle (no nudity). And I think they were shot using the Halide camera app. I don't even remember if it is at all possible to shoot RAW with the system's camera app...

@TudorminatorMay you can't shoot RAW in the default camera app but you definitely can in Halide.

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