IOS 11.4 Secret Feature: What Can You Do With 'USB Restricted Mode'?


Apple's relationship with law enforcement soured in 2016 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation sued the company to gain access to the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, which Apple was reluctant to do. It means they will only have seven days to attempt to unlock an iOS device to extract the information it contains. However, Apple didn't include the feature when the final version of iOS 11.3 was released to all users last month.

Yesterday was dominated by Google I/O so this little iOS nugget may have slipped past your radar. iOS 11.4 beta is introducing a new USB Restricted Mode which could help battle devices such as GrayKey. In the latest iOS 11.4 beta, if an iPhone hasn't been unlocked for more than a week using the passcode, the Lightning port will support charging the phone only.

The company has announced that starting July 2018, all iOS app updates must be compatible with the notch-based iPhone X.

The device has the ability to bypass encryption and unlock an iPhone by guessing the passcode over and over again until it gets it right. This basically locks the device in a way that it can not be restored or updated via iTunes after the threshold period is met.

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However, the limited access USB will not allow you to obtain your smartphone data after long storage periods if the device unlocks the owner.

Apple is gearing up to unveil the iOS 12 in June at its WWDC event, but iPad users should be more excited about the next year's iOS 13 rather than iOS 12.

iOS 11.4's USB Restricted Mode builds on a "lockdown record" protection added to iTunes around the release of iOS 11.3.

iOS 11.4 won't completely stop any nefarious user or law enforcement from cracking the passcode and gaining access to the iPhone, but it will put them on a time limit. The company and authorities are nearly playing a game of cat and mouse, with police doing everything to thwart Apple's safeguards, even going as far as using dead people's fingers.