Apple iMessage Contact Key Verification Feature May Launch in iOS 16.6
Apple announced iMessage Contact Key Verification at the end of last year as a tool to help protect users from “extraordinary digital threats.” The company promised the feature would arrive sometime in 2023, and now it looks like it could be coming with the release of iOS 16.6.
The first iOS 16.6 beta was released on Friday, and it includes a new option in the Settings app for iMessage Contact Key Verification. However, enabling the feature does not appear to activate it yet. MacRumors speculates that this is because Apple has not yet fully implemented the feature.
Once it is enabled, iMessage Contact Key Verification will send an automatic alert when Apple detects that someone has added a rogue device to an account. The feature is designed to protect activists, government officials, and journalists from state-sponsored hackers. It is one of the last features that Apple is expected to add to iOS 16 before the company shifts its full attention to iOS 17.