iOS 16.1.1 Adds AirDrop Restrictions in China

Posted on November 10, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple, Mobile, iOS with 8 Comments

Apple has released iOS 16.1.1 yesterday, a minor update that brings bug fixes and security updates. This update also changes how AirDrop works in China by limiting the ability to share content to “Everyone” to just 10 minutes.

For those unfamiliar, AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary feature for sharing files, photos, and more to nearby Apple devices without using cellular data. According to Bloomberg, the new AirDrop restriction for iPhones sold in China is to prevent citizens protesting against the Chinese government to share content via Apple’s protocol. Because AirDrop uses close-range wireless communication instead of the Internet to send data, the Chinese government has no control over it.

After setting up AirDrop sharing to “Everyone” for 10 minutes, the feature will revert to the “Contacts Only” option. According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to “roll out the new AirDrop setting globally in the coming year. The idea is to mitigate unwanted file sharing, the company said.”

In addition to iOS 16.1.1, Apple also released iPadOS 16.1.1 and macOS Ventura 13.0.1 yesterday, and both only include bug fixes. Apple has also released the first public betas of iOS 16.2, which will introduce Apple’s new Freeform digital canvas app, a redesigned Home app, and more.

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