With iOS 16.1.1 officially available for all compatible iPhone users, the release notes did not specify any massive changes arriving with the software update, but Chinese consumers were caught by surprise. Apparently, the company is changing how the ‘Everyone’ option in AirDrop works, and it will no longer work after 10 minutes of use. There is a reason why this change has been introduced, which we will discuss in length.
AirDrop Limit Is Included in Both iOS 16.1.1 and iOS 16.2 beta 2 and Has Been Done to Due to Increasing Protests in China
For those that do not know, AirDrop allows iPhone users to quickly exchange images, documents, and even videos between Apple devices. This feature is a seamless way to improve productivity or share content with potentially millions of other people. However, a time limit has been added for customers living in China, but only if they purchased iPhones sold in the region, suggesting that the restriction is based on hardware, not software.
While initially, it was unclear why Apple decided to limit the ‘Everyone’ option to just 10 minutes, but as the situation slowly began to unfold in China, people got to know the whole story. Some speculated that the limit was introduced to prevent individuals from spreading compromising or harmful content related to the Chinese government. Later, Bloomberg reported that this 10-minute restriction was made because protestors in the country were using AirDrop to spread posters and other anti-government content among thousands of people.
AirDrop remains a feature that Chinese iPhone users can freely use without the fear of the communication medium getting banned in the country. This would be why the aforementioned content was being shared. Likely not wanting to tarnish its relationship with the supply chain present in China, Apple’s stringent rules of sharing sensitive content through its services were exerted onto the masses.
Even with several smartphone brands operating in the region, Apple maintains its dominance, commanding a 13 percent market share in Q2, 2022, according to data shared by Counterpoint Research. That figure means a boatload of customers are heavily invested in the iPhone and with the AirDrop feature available to millions, sharing content can be done in a matter of seconds.