Apple has just rolled out the newest update to its iOS 11 mobile operating system. Designated as iOS 11.4.1, this latest release not only delivers the USB Restricted Mode, but also an enhanced version of the Find My AirPods feature, as well as the usual fresh batch of fixes for various bugs.
It was more than a couple of months ago when a team of researchers hailing from Elcomsoft had stumbled upon a new iPhone feature while examining the code of iOS 11.4. This feature, of course, is the USB Restricted Mode, which has the ability to disable any and all transfer of information by way of USB if the iPhone device has not been unlocked for a specific period of time (which is seven days, to be exact).
The way Apple sees things, the new USB Restricted Mode is more of a means for taking care of a potential security hole (read more about it here). Every time an iPhone device is connected to another gadget or machine, some bits of information are exchanged back and forth, primarily during the process of detecting each other.
It goes without saying that Apple has placed multiple layers of protection to make sure that even in the process of detecting devices connected to an iPhone, a user’s data is protected. Still, other machines try to take full advantage of this connection. This is where the new USB Restricted Mode plays an important role -- it deactivates the USB functionality to protect against intruders who simply just wait for a few days (or weeks) before making a move.
Law enforcement agencies, however, may feel like Apple has just trolled them. With the presence of the USB Restricted Mode, investigators are prevented from gaining access to an iPhone -- for instance, a unit that has been kept in evidence for more than a week. You can say that the feature puts pressure on feds to take investigative action fast, lest the USB Restricted Mode kicks in.
Apart from the USB Restricted Mode, another feature brought by the release of iOS 11.4.1 is the improved Find My AirPods feature. Indeed, the latest update takes care of an issue that has prevented a number of iOS mobile users from seeing the most recent known location of their AirPods. On top of that, the roll out also enhances the reliability of syncing Mail, Contacts, and Notes with an Exchange account.
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