Apple has confirmed that its new iOS 10 iPhone software is more open than previous versions, allowing developers to explore the inner workings of the once–secretive platform.
Ordinarily, if a company wants to make software more secure they make it more encrypted. However contrary to expectations, Apple’s decision to go in the opposite direction with iOS 10 should make iPhones it’s installed on much safer.
That’s because developers and researchers will be able to spot any problems with the operating system faster and report them to Apple so it can fix them immediately.
Apple confirmed its move yesterday. It did not announce the plans during its WWDC event last week and it took eagle–eyed Apple-watchers to work out that there had been a change.
Apple said that the kernel, which is core piece of software involved, did not contain any user information, and so it was unconcerned about making it more transparent than before.
“By unencrypting...we’re able to optimise the operating system’s performance without compromising security,” said an Apple spokesperson.
Apple has experienced major problems with iOS launches in recent years, with fixes taking a long time to reach users. It’s likely that this small change could change that for the better.
iOS 10 is available as a public beta from July, before officially rolling out in September.