Apple released iOS 16.1.1 a few days ago with a 10-minute time limit for the “Everyone” AirDrop open that allowers users to send and receive files from any user. As of right now, the restriction is only available in China. However, a new report confirms that the Cupertino tech giant is planning to expand the limitation globally, by 2023.
AirDrop ‘Everyone’ option to be restricted to a certain time limit for all users next year
According to an earlier report, iOS users in China cannot receive content that is dropped to them from random users after the 10-minute time period is up. This was allegedly done to make it difficult for anti-government protesters in China to distribute related content.
China faces a mounting challenge in quelling social discontent. Anti-government slogans emerged in cities such as Beijing last month ahead of a key communist party meeting. During pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, activists used AirDrop to spread their political demands. China vowed to stick with its stringent Covid Zero policy over the weekend, crushing hopes that Beijing may ease the controls following its party congress.
In the latest edition of his “Power On,” newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman reveals that he was told that the change “will ultimately go global in the coming year (which means sometime in 2023),” he further adds, “it suggests that the adjustment was made in China in response to protesters using AirDrop to spread anti-government material.”
Apple has long been criticized for implementing the Chinese government’s long list of demands. The tech giant has previously removed a religious app for Muslims in the region, has helped to censor content, and more. It is likely that Apple will also receive backlash for trying to interfere in Chinese politics and suppressing protesters in the region.