Apple’s iOS has secret new scheme to restrict features based on geolocation

Some iOS features are only available in specific places (for example: FaceTime is not available in the UAE). 9to5Mac has now learned that Apple has been testing a new, more modern scheme hidden in iOS 16 that’s designed to to restrict features based on the device’s geolocation.

Apple's iOS has secret new scheme to restrict features based on geolocation

Philipe Espósito for 9to5Mac:

Currently, Apple uses hard-coding techniques to restrict iOS features in specific locations. This means that most restrictions are simply tied to the region of a device, either by software settings or where that hardware comes from. But the company has been working on a new, smarter way to precisely determine 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.

MacDailyNews Take: This is how Apple will not only restrict speech and enforce censorship inside CCP-controlled China and other authoritarian countries, but likely also how the company plans to restrict third-party app store sideloading to the EU (and, in the future, any other places where it’s forced to do so by law).

Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!

Support MacDailyNews at no extra cost to you by using this link to shop at Amazon.


  1. Also how they can open up country/region specific RF Bands that aren’t available worldwide. If you are in a location that allows certain frequencies then it can activate them while turning the off in locations where it would be illegal to use thsoe frequencies.

    1. Kramer, go back to Russia where you will be happier. The other parties are necessary to have à democracy, or a republic. Your dreams of a one-party government have never worked well for long in any era of recorded history.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.