Apple will allow blocking unwanted content even in third-party apps such as Messenger and the browser.
Every year at the WWDC event, Apple shares what it has been working on throughout the past year. So it couldn’t do without showing what the next version of the system envisioned for iPhones will look like. One of the foreseen new features, which has escaped many, is an option that, according to rumors, will allow images to be blurred by default even in third-party apps.
The feature will allow nudity to be blocked by default with a “show” button appearing if the user wants to display the image. This is part of Apple’s communication security efforts to ensure that Apple devices are safe for children.
Censoring nudity on Apple hardware
The detection of inappropriate images itself is done directly on the device, so the feature can even work offline. Something similar was already introduced last year, but it was limited to the messaging app only.
Support for this feature in third-party apps, such as browsers, could prove crucial to ensuring that children browsing the Internet unsupervised don’t see anything they shouldn’t. In its current iteration, the messaging security features in the Messages app could be a good template to see how it might work in the upcoming iOS 17.
If it’s a messaging app, Apple’s solution has contextual pop-ups informing the user that they can “send a message to an adult” if they receive unwanted, explicit images, in addition to further ways to get help and offer security resources.
However, for all of this to work outside of Apple’s ecosystem, full support from third-party app developers would also be needed, with similar resources and contextual pop-ups if the user chooses security options for communication on their device.