Apple announced on Wednesday a new feature to combat hackers, spyware and threats to digital security called ‘Lockdown Mode’ that will roll out to users upon the release of iOS 16 later this year.
The new feature is intended for those whose professions or personal situations may put them at risk for “grave, targeted threats” and can be turned on or off at any time, namely those who would be targeted by government spyware that could compromise valuable information.
Lockdown Mode’s capabilities are the first of their kind, limiting certain functions and features on Apple devices in the event that “mercenary software” is installed.
Some of these features include message attachments (not images) being blocked, disabled web technologies on Safari and other web browsers, FaceTime calls and other requests being blocked and the disabling of wire connections between an iPhone and a computer or other accessory.
“Apple makes the most secure mobile devices on the market. Lockdown Mode is a groundbreaking capability that reflects our unwavering commitment to protecting users from even the rarest, most sophisticated attacks,” Ivan Krstić, Apple’s head of Security Engineering and Architecture, said in a company release. “While the vast majority of users will never be the victims of highly targeted cyberattacks, we will work tirelessly to protect the small number of users who are.”
The company said that it will continue to strengthen its protection offerings over time.
Lockdown Mode is just one of many new features coming to iOS 16 that’s had Apple customers buzzing since the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference last month, including the ability to edit and unsend text messages and Apple Pay Later which will allow customers using Apple Pay to make major purchases using a “buy now, pay later” financing option.
Rumors have also brewed that the tech giant may be releasing its own pair of interactive augmented reality glasses by the end of 2024, which would mark the most technologically advanced project to date for the company.
Apple was up around 1% year over year as of late Thursday afternoon.