Apple appears to have to put in place a system in iOS 10 that pre-warns iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users when their device is potentially in danger of suffering water damage.
A number of popular smartphones on the market are categorized as being officially water-resistant, and while that may be the case, it’s highly unlikely that a lot of owners will submerge their precious devices in water to test out the ingress protection rating. With iOS 10, Apple appears to be providing users with an on-screen alert that detects when liquid makes its way into the Lightning port on the iOS device.
Purposely submerging a device in water to test out how water-resistant it is means that the owner of the device is actively aware of the phone’s contact with the water. Similarly, if a device is accidentally dropped into water, the owner is generally aware that it has happened and can take any necessary steps to protect the device by frying it out or having it seen to by an expert.
The problem arises when a small amount of moisture or liquid inadvertently comes into contact with the device, leaving the user entirely unaware that some damage is possibly being caused.
Those are the users that Apple is looking to protect with this new warning baked into iOS 10. When moisture or liquid is detected by sensors embedded in the Lightning port, iOS 10 displays a full-screen warning as seen in the image below, advising the user to disconnect the Lightning accessory that they are attempting to plug into the device
The wording of the alert seems to suggest that the check is only made when the user attempts to plug an accessory into the Lightning port of the device, such as a charging or synchronization cable, or a third-party accessory that has been built for iPhone but connects via Lightning.
At the moment, the feature has only been known to be working and active on modern devices running the iOS 10 betas, such as the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and the relatively new iPhone SE. If the feature does remain and Apple decides to roll it out as part of iOS 10 officially, then of course it will also be available in the iPhone 7 series due for launch later this year.
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