Apple Inc’s latest iOS 16.1.1 update has major changes in store for users, but only in China. The option to enable ‘Everyone’ on AirDrop, Apple’s wireless file-sharing feature, will only be enabled for ten minutes.
The iOS 16.1.1 and iOS beta 2 were both released this week for users and developers.
Apple throttled AirDrop after it was used by protesters to share politically sensitive images and videos between iOS devices during the country’s leadership reshuffle. AirDrop enables users to share files, including videos and images, with people who are not on their contact list.
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Following the update, you’ll only be able to share content with people outside your contact list for ten minutes, then the device will automatically revert to “Contacts Only”. Users will need manually go back to their settings and share with “Everyone” every ten minutes if they want to continue sharing.
This sucks for lazy users, or anyone with a life. But it would be helpful for forgetful users who forget to disable the option to open their devices up to strangers. Apple says the tweak in the feature is meant to limit unwanted file sharing. The tech giant says it plans to enable the same feature on devices across the world in the coming year.
Apple and other tech companies have made hardware adjustments in different countries, mostly based on the specific country’s law requirements. The Taiwanese flag emoji is another feature you won’t find on iPhones sold in China. For political reasons, we guess.