If you’re using an iPhone already updated to iOS 9 or any other version that’s newer than that, you’ve probably noticed that you are prompted to input your passcode more frequently than before. And in case you haven’t noticed that, you’re surely going to do it now.
This is because, with the release of iOS 9, and consequently all the other updates to this base version, Apple has tweaked the operating system to prompt users to enter a passcode when an iPhone or iPad has not been unlocked with a passcode for the last six days and hasn’t been unlocked with Touch ID for the past eight hours.
In other words, if you sleep about eight hours per night and you wake up to you iPhone asking the passcode, it’s because of the new change that Apple has made to iOS.
writes that this change was implemented before the San Bernardino case, so it’s not a result of the FBI’s intention to break into iPhones – although it could help Apple in its effort to make its devices more secure and prevent future successful hacking attempts of its handsets.
Apple tight-lipped on the change
Apple hasn’t said anything about this change, but in the official(PDF file), the company has added a new line explaining that “the passcode […] is required under the following circumstances: […] the passcode has not been used to unlock the device in the last six days and Touch ID has not unlocked the device in the last eight hours.”
And since there’s no official statement from Apple about this, it’s not yet known how come Apple decided to go for this timeout period.
Other than that, the previous passcode requirements that made iOS prompt you to enter the passcode continue to be active, including rebooting or shutting down the device, keeping the phone/tablet locked for 48 hours, receiving a remote command from Find My iPhone, adding new fingerprints to Touch ID settings, and failing to provide the correct fingerprint for five times.