Thursday, April 27, 2023


Filipe Espósito:

You can use an iPhone or iPad almost anywhere in the world, but some iOS features are only available in specific places. In some cases, these restrictions are related to local regulations (such as FaceTime not being available in the UAE). 9to5Mac has now learned that Apple has been testing a new, more modern system hidden in iOS 16 to restrict features based on the user’s location.

Based on our findings, the new system internally called “countryd” was silently added with iOS 16.2, but is not being actively used for anything so far. It combines multiple data such as current GPS location, country code from the Wi-Fi router, and information obtained from the SIM card to determine the country the user is in.


Code seen by 9to5Mac makes it clear that this system is designed to set restrictions determined by government regulators.

Nick Heer (Mastodon):

A question remains about how Apple may restrict sideloading to only European devices. For many past location-gated features, Apple’s guardrails have been flexible. For example, switching an iPhone’s region to “United States” — in Settings, General, Language & Region — is often enough to enable features like Apple News or Apple Pay Cash. It is not possible complete setup of Apple Pay Cash without U.S. payment information, but it is surfaced merely through this Settings change. Sideloading is tempting for some users; it is not beneficial for Apple. It is obviously reluctant to embrace the changes mandated in the European Union, and it appears it is building a more robust way to ensure it is only active where legally required.

Josh Calvetti:

It’s an incredibly shortsighted move to save a few dollars and yes it will absolutely be abused. Once the feature exists, it’s much harder to tell governments something isn’t possible.

It’s so frustrating and truly discouraging to have so much hardware optimism met with such terrible software decisions, all in the name of pinching pennies. I hope this rumor has no legs.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Apple seems to use some sort of location data to disable the Find My network in regions that have legal regulations against it (like South Korea). Setting an App Store account or region settings to USA won’t help. Even traveling with a US SIM isn’t enough. If the phone knows you’re there, Find My will fail to locate any Apple device.

Leave a Comment