In a few days, Apple will release iOS 17.3, which will include slightly more robust measures to protect iPhones in the event of theft. Basically, a “vulnerability” of method or paradigm is solved: basically, the role of the numeric pin for unlocking a device is scaled down in favor of more secure methods, such as Touch ID or Face ID.
As it stands, if a face or fingerprint is not recognized, simply enter the pin to unlock the device. But a thief could simply memorize the pin before the theft, and that would be enough to make payments and more generally steal any financial or personal information stored in the iPhone. Paradoxically, the thief could also reset/change the password of the configured Apple ID, since it is enough to confirm with the pin.
With iOS 17.3 it will be possible to require PINs and biometric authentication, at least for the most delicate operations. For now, Apple has not yet officially announced the feature, but tests have been underway since December in the Beta channel. It is important to note that it will be optional and deactivated by default: Stolen Device Protection (as it will be called, at least in English) must be activated expressly by the user.
It might seem like an obvious choice – who wouldn’t want more security? – But as is often the case, there are disadvantages. There may be situations in which Face ID or Touch ID are not accessible: maybe some crucial component has been broken, maybe the finger registered for fingerprint unlock is bandaged, maybe you are at a masquerade ball and, as often happens during masquerade balls, you have absolute urgency to reset your device but you do not want to reveal your identity.
In any case, iOS 17.3 has just reached the status of Release Candidate, which means that the update is now very stable and, barring major unforeseen events, it will be the same official version released shortly. Other new features include the update:
Ability to collaborate on a playlist on Apple Music with emoji-based reactions to the various songs included
– AirPlay support in hotel TVs
– new Unity Bloom wallpaper