Apple has already been very vocal about the security and privacy built into its iOS 13 operating system update, which hits out at firms such as Google and Facebook by limiting the data they can collect. After making a bold privacy move a month ago, Apple is now doubling down on security, by launching a new Platform Security Guide detailing how its iPhones, iPads and Macs are more secure than Google’s Android devices, because the firm owns the whole ecosystem.
Apple’s devices have always been regarded as more secure, because Apple owns the hardware, software and apps. In contrast, although its biggest smartphone rival Google does make some of its own Android phones and has a level of control over its app store, the often separated hardware, software and platforms can make things very fragmented and pose security risks.
Apple’s security guide for Fall 2019 doubles down on how Apple keeps your devices and data secure across iOS and MacOS. It covers hardware security and biometrics such as Face ID and Touch ID–which is thought to be returning with the iPhone 12 next year–among other areas.
The Platform Security Guide reads: “Every Apple device combines hardware, software, and services designed to work together for maximum security and a transparent user experience in service of the ultimate goal of keeping personal information safe.
“Custom security hardware powers critical security features. Software protections work to keep the operating system and third-party apps safe. Services provide a mechanism for secure and timely software updates, power a safer app ecosystem, secure communications and payments, and provide a safer experience on the Internet.
“Apple devices protect not only the device and its data, but the entire ecosystem, including everything users do locally, on networks, and with key Internet services.”
Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Mac security guide: A “commitment” to security?
As part of the guide, Apple emphasises its “commitment” to security–which could be seen as a direct swipe at Google and Facebook as companies that have seen their own share of data and security scandals. Apple points to its bug bounty program, which is now open to all ethical hackers, and dedicated security team as reasons it is more secure.
But at the same time, it’s important to note that Apple isn’t perfect: it came under fire from lawmakers recently after it emerged that the firm wasn’t applying the same controls to its own apps that it applies to others. With this in mind I created a useful guide to securing your apps in iOS 13, including Apple’s.
Another cool new feature in iOS 13.3 is the ability to use security keys with your iPhone in Apple’s Safari browser. I wrote an article including more information and a video demo on how to use it.