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Apple adds 'Privacy' collection to iOS Tips app

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Apple this week expanded the first-party iOS Tips app to include a section covering hardware, software, and account privacy.

The new Privacy collection consists of nine tips covering Sign in with Apple, Safari passwords, system-wide password security, camera and mic usage indicators, Messages previews, location, Photos, Private Browsing in Safari, and Safari's Privacy Report feature.

Starting with Safari, Apple notes the web browser can create and remember passwords for specific websites. Users can elect to rely on iPhone's Strong Password generation or type in their own for later recall.

On the same topic, Apple includes a Security Recommendations tool in Settings that alerts users to weak or compromised passwords. The feature is applicable to passwords stored in iCloud Keychain. A Privacy Report is also available to review which trackers Safari is actively blocking.

Private Browsing in Safari can be enabled by tapping on the Private Browsing tab, which allows users to surf the web without leaving tracks on their device. When a Private Browsing tab is closed, the browser deletes its browsing and search history.

Moving on to more recent additions to iOS, Sign in with Apple was introduced last year as a safe and secure log-in option for participating websites and apps. Users can use an Apple ID to create accounts without manually forging a password, and are able to mask their email address from third-party services.

Hardware level privacy tips include an explainer on the green or orange indicator dots that appear at the top of an iOS device's screen when its camera or microphone are being accessed. Apple reminds users that they can see which app is tapping into the phone's audio or visual feed by swiping down from the top right of the display.

The latest versions of iOS also give users more control over location preferences. For example, apps can be denied access to a handset's precise location by toggling the option off in Location Services.

Finally, Apple notes users can hide Messages previews that appear on the lock screen through an option in Notification settings. Similarly, pictures can be selected and hidden from public view in the Photos app.

Apple introduced the Tips app in iOS 8 and has continuously updated the title to highlight new features with each subsequent operating system release.