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News & Analysis

iOS 9 to have 6 digit passcode instead of 4; also brings 12 new features to all iOS devices

At its annual developer conference on Monday, Apple quietly announced that it would strengthen the security of hundreds of millions of users of iPhones and iPads by providing an extra layer of security.

After the announcement of iOS 9, Apple said it has disallowed the use of four-digit device passcode in favor of a stronger six-digit passcode.


On the outset, it may not look like much; however, the addition of two extra digits will make devices running iOS 9, set to be released later this year, notably more strong to be able to withstand against targeted attacks that look to go past the lock screen.

These attacks follow a sequence and try to go pass through the passcode by starting from four-zeros all the way through to four-nines. This process can take minutes to hours, but the new six-digit code will push that into the day’s range.

From Apple’s website:

“The passcodes you use on your Touch ID-enabled iPhone and iPad will now have six digits instead of four. If you use Touch ID, it’s a change you’ll hardly notice. But with one million possible combinations — instead of 10,000 — your passcode will be a lot tougher to crack.”

Hackers are known to have the tools that lets them to strongly force their way into iPhones and iPads, but those same tools are in the hands of federal agencies that are compelled to use similar tactics.

iOS 8 run devices are capable of device encoding authorized by the passcode. Rather than the company, the encoding keys are actually put in the hands of Apple’s customers. The change was a reply to accusations in part though that the company was associated in unethical activity in the PRISM surveillance program, a claim that is vehemently denied by them.

By handing over the control of device’s data to the user has caused an extreme strong reaction of anger among the intelligence and law enforcement community, while NSA has already condemned Apple for the same. However, without any legal action, Apple customers will continue to be some of the most protected users as of today.

Besides the change in passcode, the tech giant has also announced an update to its software for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch – the iOS 9.

iOS 9 brags about new features and includes more security and battery improvements in it. Below are the key features of the next iOS update:

1. More security: 

iOS 9 will now require you to input a six-digit passcode instead of four-digit passcodes. The central process of unlocking the device would not change, but it would surely make the task of hackers more difficult as they would now have to deal with one million combinations. The change in passcode input will have an affect on the iPhone 5S, 6, 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, and new devices that will come with iOS 9.

2. More free space: 

You will now require less free space than earlier to wirelessly upgrade to iOS 9. It will now need only 1.3GB instead of around 4.6GB space, making way to App Thinning- a new technology that reduces app size. It will be mainly useful for iPads and iPhones with 8GB or 16GB storage.

3. Split View: 

The iOS 9 will support dual-app view mode for iPads, a feature that is somewhat similar to the new OS X El Captain for Macs. This will let you to work on two separate apps at the same time without the need to continuously switch between them.

4. Revamped and improved Siri: 

Apple has bettered its digital voice assistant for iDevices. Siri will try to be more enthusiastic now something similar to what Google already does with Google Now. It also has similar plans with the upcoming Now on Tap feature too. It will now be able to manage more complicated requests, for example, to display all photos from a particular time and place.

5. Apple Pay: 

Apple Pay with new iOS 9 will now allow people add store credit cards, such as gift cards and loyalty from Dunkin’ Donuts. The tech giant is also extending the mobile-payment service next month to the United Kingdom, which is the service’s second market after the US.

6. Maps: 

Public transit support has finally been brought by Apple to its mapping service. Tapping on a station will display all the lines that run through it, along with forthcoming departure times. Step-by-step directions that include the walk to the station will also be available. Initially, the transit feature will be available in select cities around the world.

7. Notes app: 

The note-taking app now allows you easily turn a list into a checklist, scribble, add photo, video, map location or URL. Since all these notes are stored on iCloud, one can easily create it on Mac and later check it on the iPhone.

8. Wallet: 

The app receives and stores all your reward cards. It works in synchronization with Apple Pay. When your iPhone is locked, you can just double-click the Home button to access Wallet and pay quickly with Apple Pay.

9. CarPlay support: 

You can now connect CarPlay without plugging in your iPhone. Thanks to the new iOS 9. With the new iOS 9, you will now be able to do more like getting directions through Maps or playing music.
Slide to switch app in iPads: Besides the split-screen mode, the new iOS 9 also allows you to simply slide to switch in a second app while working simultaneously on the first.

10. Video playing: 

You can now watch a small video with the new iOS 9 while working on other things on the iPad.

11. Keyboard-to-trackpad: 

Akin to a Mac, this feature turns the on-screen keyboard into a trackpad. There are also shortcuts for moving between apps.

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Himanshu Mishra

Editor and Content-Writer of PaidFreeDroid. Himanshu is a tech enthusiast. He likes to explore the day to day technology.

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