Apple recently seeded the first developer beta of iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, and macOS Ventura 13.2. The latest beta updates include the newly announced “Security Keys” for Apple ID for users to use third-party physical security keys for even more secure authentication as an additional layer of protection.
Last week, Apple introduced three new security features, iMessage Contact Key Verification, Security Keys for Apple ID, and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud to protect users from sophisticated cyberattacks, especially the ones at high risk of state-sponsored attacks like journalists, activities, diplomates, and others with sensitive information.
Launching in early 2023, the Security Keys for Apple ID is designed to strengthen the two-factor authentication process. The upcoming feature will allow users to add third-party hardware or physical security keys to prevent a hacker from accessing their iCloud data by obtaining their second factor through phishing scams.
On iOS 16.3 beta 1, developers and beta testers can add a physical security key as one of the two factors for authentication.
Now with Security Keys, users will have the choice to make use of third-party hardware security keys to enhance this protection. This feature is designed for users who, often due to their public profile, face concerted threats to their online accounts, such as celebrities, journalists, and members of government.
Expected features and launch date of iOS 16.3
Currently, it is unclear which new features were added in the latest update because Apple did not share anything in the release notes in spite of the update being 5GB in size for iPhone 14 Pro Max.
However, iOS 16.3 is expected to launch in February or March of 2023. Recently, Apple rolled out iOS 16.2 to everyone which includes Freeform, a collaborative brainstorming app, Apple Music Sing, and more.