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Apple is developing a new system to restrict iPhone features based on your location

Published Apr 25th, 2023 6:47PM EDT
Apple revealed iOS 16 at WWDC 2022.
Image: Apple

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Apple is looking to implement a smarter system when it comes to restricting certain iPhone features based on your location.

As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple is testing a new system for restricting certain apps and features depending on a user’s location. The company already does this in countries that restrict access to certain experiences like FaceTime, but the way it has been implemented has been more manual in the past.

According to the report, Apple is working on a new system that makes it easier to manage restrictions and uses location data based on a number of factors:

Based on our findings, the new system internally called “countryd” was silently added with iOS 16.2, but is not being actively used for anything so far. It combines multiple data such as current GPS location, country code from the Wi-Fi router, and information obtained from the SIM card to determine the country the user is in.

The code seen by the outlet seems to indicate that the feature is meant to handle restrictions from government regulators. That makes sense, as most of the app or feature restrictions that Apple has to deal with come from governments implementing them.

With all this information combined, it will become harder for users to bypass these restrictions, but at the same time easier for the device to automatically ignore them when you travel to another region. Code seen by 9to5Mac makes it clear that this system is designed to set restrictions determined by government regulators.

While the system is not being used just yet, we could see it get turned on at any point. Apple is set to host WWDC23 in June, so we may get more details of the system during the company’s developer sessions during that week.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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