While hardware like new Macs and the Vision Pro stole the show at Apple’s WWDC event, the iPhone maker also quietly announced a handful of other updates including huge improvements to its browser’s privacy and security.
Typically, Apple primarily showcases its upcoming software at its June event, and while there are plenty of new and exciting features to look forward to, just as many security-focused updates were announced to protect users.
Most notably, Safari Private Browsing now automatically locks when it’s not in use to prevent unwanted access to potentially sensitive and confidential data.
Safari private browsing boost
The first time a user launches Private Browsing in Safari (in our case, we are using iOS 17.0 Developer Beta), they will see a new pop-up depicting the auto-locking feature. The message also reads:
- “Advanced Tracking and Fingerprinting Protection: Helps prevent websites from tracking or identifying your device using advanced techniques.
- Enhanced Extension Control: Extensions with website access are off by default. They can be turned on later in Safari settings.
- iCloud Private Relay Location Privacy Enhancements: For Private Relay users, Private Browsing uses IP address locations based on your country and time zone, rather than your general location.”
Also forming part of the broader update to iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma is the removal of user-tracking information embedded into URLs, specifically from links shared in Mail, Messages, and those viewed on a Private Browsing session.
Other news buried deep beneath the more appealing headlines was that iCloud’s Keychain password manager will soon be able to support multiple pots of shared passwords, helping families and colleagues to share single account logins and passkeys, starting with the new software updates.
While Apple is yet to confirm the launch date for the new operating systems, including iPadOS 17 and watchOS 10, we do know that, at least in previous years, the company has made them generally available at the same time as new hardware, typically in mid-September for iOS versions.