Apple is set to release iOS 16.2 next week, as the company has just seeded the RC version of this operating system. Alongside exciting new features such as the Freeform app and Apple Music Sing, the company is now planning to roll out the AirDrop ‘Everyone’ 10-minute limit to all iPhone users.
This decision came after Apple suffered from bad PR since iOS 16.1.1 limited the ability for Chinese users to send AirDrop files to everyone for more than 10 minutes. When this version was released, Bloomberg reported that “the shift came after protesters in the country used the service to spread posters opposing Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. The use of AirDrop to sidestep China’s strict online censorship has been well-documented over the past three years.”
AirDrop allows users to quickly exchange files such as images, documents, and videos between Apple devices – your own or other people’s. While users could choose between no one, contacts only, or everyone for AirDrop, Apple limited with iOS 16.1.1 the option “Everyone” for up to 10 minutes of usage.
While the Cupertino company has stated to Bloomberg that it was planning to roll out this AirDrop setting globally “in the coming year” to “mitigate unwanted file sharing,” Apple has now decided to roll out this restriction feature with iOS 16.2.
It’s important to note that this isn’t the first time Apple has made concessions to the Chinese government. For example, in 2019, it hid the Taiwanese flag emoji for users in Hong Kong or Macau, it has removed apps for virtual private networks or VPNs, and limits Apple’s service in the country, such as Apple TV+, the iTunes Store, paid podcasts, Apple Books, and Apple Arcade.
iOS 16.2 with AirDrop restriction is expected to be released next week alongside iPadOS 16.2, watchOS 9.2, tvOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1.