The Cupertino based tech giant Apple has launched the first beta of iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 for developers ahead of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month.
There are several new features in the latest beta update, which includes iMessage Contact Key Verification, which in turn is aimed at providing enhanced security for Apple users.
iMessage Contact Key Verification Feature
Though there is lack of clarity on whether or not the iMessage Contact Key Verification feature is fully functional in the initial beta release, there is now a setting available in the Settings app for iMessage Contact Key Verification, MacRumors reported. iMessage Contact Key is specifically designed to protect Apple users facing severe digital threats.
According to the report, the iMessage Contact Key Verification feature is designed for individuals who face the threat of targeted digital attacks, including journalists, human rights activists, and government officials. These individuals are particularly vulnerable to attacks from state-sponsored hackers or other malicious actors.
The main purpose of iMessage Contact Key Verification is to provide Apple device users with a way to verify that they are communicating with the intended recipients of their messages, rather than unknowingly engaging with a malicious entity that may be intercepting or eavesdropping on their conversations. By enabling this feature, both parties can ensure the security of their communication. In the event of a breach in the cloud servers, Apple will send an alert, indicating a potential intrusion and highlighting a potential compromise in the conversation’s security.
Additionally, users can further verify their identity and the authenticity of their contacts by comparing a Contact Verification Code in person, via FaceTime, or using another secure app.
Feature to be Rolled out Somewhere in 2023
Apple’s announcement stated that iMessage Contact Key Verification would be rolled out to iPhones and other Apple devices at some point in 2023. This feature is regarded as one of the last additions anticipated in iOS 16. It was initially introduced alongside Security Keys for Apple ID, which became accessible in iOS 16.3, providing additional layers of security within Apple’s ecosystem.
Continuing its commitment to user privacy and security, Apple is offering developers the chance to explore and test these new features through the iOS 16.6 beta update before their wider release to users.