The Bittersweetness of iOS 16.2

Published
Tue ⋆ 2022-12-13 ⋆ 17:02 EST

Finally, iOS 16.2 got installed on my phone. This means I have one more collaboration tool (Freeform, only available on Mac, iPad, and iPhone — not yet on an Android device nor in a web browser), can sing along with millions of songs (Apple Music Sing), have my iCloud data better protected (end-to-end encryption expanded to 23 data categories) 1, but can only receive files from Everyone through AirDrop for a 10-minute window, after which it automatically reverts to Contacts Only.

AirDrop now allows a 10-minute window for file transfer between strangersAirDrop now allows a 10-minute window for file transfer between strangers

Many have advised against updating to iOS 16.2 to retain the ability to receive surprise content” from strangers for an indefinite period of time, which might be the grounds for Apple’s adjustment to this service considering that it has proved useful in many circumstances where Apple, or some of the regimes they’re serving, don’t see fit. Apple says it is a measure to cut out unwanted content. But unwanted by whom? Why just 10 minutes instead of 10 hours or 1 day? Why is there not even an option for users to personalize the service? Would Apple force iPhones to reject phone calls from strangers after 10 minutes to prevent unwanted” calls?

So many questions need to be asked. Without satisfying answers, this move seems to be hasty and sketchy.


  1. According to Apple, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud will be available to U.S. users by the end of 2022 and will start rolling out to the rest of the world in early 2023.↩︎

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