iOS 17.5 Beta Brings New ‘Quartiles’ Word Game to Apple News+

iOS 17.5 Quartiles
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While the first iOS 17.5 beta has been a bit thin on new features, puzzle fans will be glad to know Apple is adding a new puzzle feature for Apple News+ subscribers: a new word game, “Quartiles.”

In Quartiles (first discovered by Gadget Hacks), players are faced with a grid of 20 tiles, of which up to 4 can be used to create a word. Use four tiles to create a word and you create a quartile. There are five quartiles in each puzzle; find all five in the puzzle and earn a 40-point bonus. CHA-CHING!

Quartiles is the third puzzle game to be included as a feature for Apple News+ subscribers, being preceded by Crossword and Crossword Mini in iOS 17.0. The iOS 17.5 beta also now allows all three games to integrate with Game Center and its leaderboards feature.

Here’s how to play Quartiles on an iPhone with the iOS 17.5 beta installed:

  1. Open the Apple News app
  2. Tap the Following tab at the bottom of the app screen,
  3. Tap Puzzles on the Following screen.
  4. Tap the Quartiles button at the top of the Puzzles page. You might need to scroll to the right to see this button on an iPhone.

Quartiles is also available on the iPad with the iPadOS 17.5 beta and on the Mac running macOS 14.5.

The game is based on quartiles, which divide a dataset into four equal parts, each containing one-quarter of the data. Quartiles help users understand the distribution of a dataset and identify central tendencies and variations. Really, all you need to know, though, is that Quartiles is an enjoyable and challenging word game.

If the above doesn’t make sense, you’ll be glad to know that a tutorial will show you how everything works the first time you open a Quartiles word puzzle on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

If you want to hit the ground running, here’s how the puzzle works: You will start with 20 tiles and combine them to create words made up of one, two, three, or four tiles. Each puzzle has five quartiles in it, each of which scores 8 points. Players that find all five quartiles score a 40-point bonus for a total of 80 points. You can also score a single point for one-tile words, two points for two-tile words, and four points when you create a three-tile word.


Once you’ve built a word on the Quartiles board, simply tap the checkmark button to tally its score. If you haven’t created a valid word, the game will tell you. Tap the shuffle button to scramble the tiles to give yourself a fresh perspective.

The total score for the current game is displayed above the words you’ve already found, and you can expand the list to view the words you’ve already assembled. To view your current rankings for Quartiles, simply tap the ellipsis (…) button and tap on Rankings. Each game has five tiers ranging from 0 to 100 points.

Although Apple News+ is currently available in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the UK, the new puzzle games are currently only appearing for users in the US and Canada. iOS 17.5 will likely be released to the public sometime in May.

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