Apple launched iOS 16.1.1, and it’s available to everyone. Although the notes on release for this update don’t mention any new features or significant changes, an important change is coming for those who reside in China. In China, Apple is changing how the “Everyone” option in AirDrop operates, and it is no longer enabled for more than 10 minutes.
AirDrop is now subject to a time limit in China
Many users are facing this issue. This update introduces an expiration date for users who choose to turn on AirDrop for all users and not only contacts. This means that people who live in China can not maintain AirDrop enabled for some users, even unknown users, for as long as they want.
The new way AirDrop functions have been incorporated within the two versions of iOS 16.1.1 and iOS 16.2 beta 2, launched for both developers and users, as users have pointed out that this limitation is due to hardware than software. Unfortunately, the update affects only iPhone models bought within Mainland China.
Apple has implemented restrictions on iOS restriction based on a hardware model before. For example, it is the case that the Taiwanese flag emoji has not been made accessible on iPhones that are sold in China.
But regarding AirDrop, it’s unclear why Apple has decided to restrict it to the “Everyone” option to 10 minutes. Many speculate it was because the Chinese regulator demanded Apple to upgrade iOS to stop anonymous users from disseminating harmful content or anti-government materials.
Many users pointed out that the recent changes in AirDrop in China result from protesters using the feature to distribute posters in opposition to Xi Jinping and the Chinese government.
As per Bloomberg reports, Apple plans to make the latest AirDrop option accessible to all users worldwide in the coming year.