Apple’s iOS 16 is about to launch, with a bunch of exciting new iPhone security and privacy features. So far, the most popular features of iOS 16 include Passkeys, which Apple hopes will mark the first step away from using a password on the iPhone, and a new way to verify that you are not a bot.
Other cool new iPhone features arriving this Fall include Locked Mode, Security Check and the ability to unlock iMessages and emails. Here are all the iOS 16 security and privacy features you need to know about.
iOS 16 fixes the most annoying thing about the internet—CAPATCHAS
Apple is finally fixing the annoying CAPATCHA internet boxes that leave us all trying to guess how many trucks are in a picture. Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the iOS 16 feature will use Private Access Tokens to authenticate you to a website or app. This all happens in iOS 16 through iCloud, which will authenticate your device with an Apple ID in the background so there is no need for a quick CAPTCHA. I can not wait.
In iOS 16, Apple is taking the first steps to eliminate passwords altogether. Most of the industry agrees that passwords are bad, and biometric authentication methods like Face ID and Touch ID are perfect alternatives in part because they are easy to use. It is with this in mind that Apple – along with other major technology companies such as Google and Microsoft – is part of the FIDO Alliance.
As part of this initiative, Passport Keys is based on the WebAuthn standard and uses public keys to secure your account. In iOS 16, this means you can only use Face ID and Touch ID to authenticate yourself.
This cool new iOS 16 privacy feature lets you resend or recall any iMessages or emails you don’t intend to send. You can use Unsent Messages in iOS 16 through a tool labeled Unsend and only give if you edit the message will be a small “edit” showing under the text.
Lockdown Mode is one of the headline features of iOS 16, although most people won’t be using it. On the face of it, Lock Mode is great—an extra layer of iPhone security protection from hacking apps like Pegasus.
Lockdown mode in iOS 16 protects iPhones from attacks by making them useless. Using Locked Mode, most message attachments are blocked, link previews are disabled and FaceTime calls are blocked if you don’t send the first request. This would make it difficult to deliver intelligence to someone at risk—such as a journalist or politician.
But the thing is, most people are not in danger from Pegasus, so think of Lockdown Mode as something good to know – and of course, great PR for Apple promoting the iPhone as a powerful device.
Security update in iOS 16
Apple iOS 16 will come with a bunch of security fixes as well. It is unclear whether Apple will continue to update iOS 15 with important security updates, but even so, you must upgrade to iOS 16 after a few months to keep your iPhone safe.
Of course, many people do not want to update to new operating systems (OS) to give Apple time to eliminate any bugs, but you will not be protected from security holes.
When you upgrade to iOS 16, you’ll find that security updates can be added without using the upgrade. This is because a new iOS 16 feature called Rapid Security Response will allow you to apply security patches on the fly outside of version updates.
In short—more iOS 16 features coming this Fall
Security Verification is a new feature in iOS 16 arriving this Fall that lets you see who has permission to view your iPhone data — including people and third-party apps. You can then cancel access where necessary.
Another improvement in iOS 16 is an update to Clipboard permissions that will force apps to ask you before pasting information.
Currently, in iOS 16, the Hidden and Recent photos folder will be locked by default and you will only be able to access them through Face ID or Touch ID.
When will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 come?
It’s a good question. Apple’s September event is held on Monday or Tuesday, and my guess is that this will be either September 12 or September 13 due to Labor Day taking place last week. However, according to trusted Apple analyst Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is delaying iPadOS 16 until October as it focuses on the launch of the iPhone 14.
So, we will see iOS 16 with the launch of iPhone 14, while iPadOS 16 will appear with the October appearance of the new iPads. According to Gurman:
“The new iPhone, iOS 16, and the new Apple Watch software, watchOS 9, will launch simultaneously in September. After that, about a month later, iPadOS 16 will launch with macOS Ventura.
iOS 16 – should you upgrade directly?
Considering all this, should you upgrade to iOS 16? I said yes, but I’m ready to deal with bugs while testing new security and privacy features. It’s different for businesses of course, and there are risks since some bugs can make your iPhone unappealing to use.
Either way, it’s time to get excited about iOS 16, and watch this space for more news and the latest previews for the iPhone OS launch.