Apple is expected to include a new security feature in iOS 17.3 next week called Stolen Device Protection that will make it far harder for would-be phone thieves to hijack your Apple ID and any financial information stored on the device. Right now, your lock screen passcode is enough to access or change sensitive personal and financial data, but with the update, thieves would need to use Face ID or Touch ID, and may have to wait an hour, to make certain changes. While Apple hasn’t announced specifically when this feature will come, it’s been testing it in the 17.3 beta since December.
The new security feature addresses a key vulnerability exposed by a February 2023 Wall Street Journal report: By memorizing an iPhone’s lock screen passcode, thieves could easily lock their victims out of their Apple ID, the password for which can be reset using the same passcode.
If you decide to turn Stolen Device Protection on, you’ll have to use Face ID or Touch ID to do things like apply for a new Apple Card, erase the phone entirely, or access your iCloud Keychain. And if you want to do something like change your Apple ID password, add another face or fingerprint for biometric authentication, or turn off Find My, you have to wait an hour after authenticating with your face or fingerprint, then re-authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID again to make those changes, unless you’re at a frequently visited location like home or work, where there’d be no delay.
As MacRumors writes, other features coming to iOS 17.3 include a new Collaborative Playlists option that lets multiple people edit an Apple Music playlist and react to songs with animated emoji, as well as a new Unity Bloom wallpaper meant to complement Apple’s latest Black Unity Collection watchbands.