Stolen Gadget Safety location flaw and fixes

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The very first thing that I did after I put in iOS 17.3 on my iPhone was allow Stolen Gadget Safety in Settings. It’s a function I’ve been excited to check out myself ever since Apple introduced it a number of weeks in the past. Mixed with the opposite anti-iPhone theft protections I used, I figured it will eradicate all my considerations about having my iPhone stolen.

It seems the Stolen Gadget Safety does have a flaw you need to be conscious of. Fortunately, a repair is already out there within the iOS 17.4 beta, which I didn’t allow initially. When you wait, there’s one other repair you possibly can make use of in iOS 17.3, and it has to do with the numerous areas your iPhone registers. It seems I had already turned it on.

Stolen Gadget Safety provides you extra time to react to somebody stealing your telephone by stopping the thief from altering key iPhone settings, together with the Apple ID, after acquiring the gadget. You now have one hour to determine easy methods to proceed.

Stolen Gadget Safety introduces a Safety Delay of 1 hour between two profitable Face ID / Contact ID authentications if the iPhone isn’t at a well-known location. You need to carry out biometric authentication, wait an hour, after which carry out the second to change key iPhone settings just like the Apple ID. 

The default conduct is that the iPhone determines your present location. The pondering right here is {that a} thief would try to alter the settings quickly after stealing the gadget.

Disabling Stolen Gadget Safety at an unfamiliar location would require a wait time of 1 hour. Picture supply: Chris Smith, BGR

Stolen Gadget Safety has a severe flaw

However, as ThioJoe noticed on Twitter/X, you possibly can’t decide your acquainted areas. You may’t set your own home and work or some other important areas the place it’s protected to make adjustments. 

Now, if a thief steals your iPhone at a location you go to regularly, like a bar, they may make adjustments to the iPhone instantly, even when meaning risking spending a number of extra minutes within the rest room or the parking zone. However two fixes can stop this situation.

Flip off Important Areas in iOS 17.3

Go to Settings > Privateness & Safety > Location Companies > System Companies > Important Areas, and also you’ll see a listing of great areas. You may disable the service fully. It seems I already had it disabled, which explains the 1-hour delay I acquired whereas testing Stolen Gadget Safety a number of days in the past.

ThioJoe additionally advises clearing the historical past so the thief gained’t be capable of reenable Important Areas. 

Nevertheless, this repair is problematic in case you nonetheless wish to use Important Areas. I’d additionally enterprise a guess that the function could possibly be extra helpful in iOS 18 and later if you may wish to use Apple’s AI companion to carry out duties particularly associated to your location.

iOS 17.4 has a greater repair

As you may know, iOS 17.4 beta 1 is accessible now. It’s a launch I’d skip if it weren’t for one massive function: Assist for sideloading. Sadly, I discovered no proof of sideloading or different DMA-related options within the beta. They’ll in all probability come a lot later.

However I did discover a new menu for Stolen Gadget Safety. As you possibly can see within the screenshot, you possibly can inform the iPhone to at all times require a 1-hour safety delay, even at a well-known location.

iOS 17.4 beta 1 brings changes to Stolen Device Protection.
iOS 17.4 beta 1 brings adjustments to Stolen Gadget Safety. Picture supply: Chris Smith, BGR

This setting serves the identical objective because the earlier repair. However this time round, you’re not turning off the Important Areas function altogether. 

The draw back is that you need to wait an hour earlier than making adjustments to key iPhone settings if you’re at residence, on the workplace, and wherever else the place it’s protected to take action. Nevertheless it’s a small worth to pay for the added peace of thoughts. 

If you happen to aren’t seeking to set up the iOS 17.4 beta proper now, you possibly can at all times disable Important Areas earlier than the ultimate iOS 17.4 construct rolls out.



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