Can iOS protect against water damage? Sort of.
From time to time somebody makes a mean-spirited hoax in an effort to convince other people that their iPhones are, or can easily be made, waterproof. But we advise extreme caution if you hear something vague about waterproofing features from a bloke down the pub, or on an internet forum.
A few years back, a number of iPhone owners were taken in by a series of fake adverts that claimed installing iOS 7 would somehow make an iPhone immune to water damage. The mock-ups, which mimicked Apple’s advertising style, said: “Update to iOS 7 and become waterproof.” Unfortunately, it appears some users ruined their devices by testing out this new ‘feature’.
Needless to say, although iOS 7 introduced some great new features, waterproofing was not one of them; and the same is true of iOS 8 and iOS 9. Updates to iOS affect only the software side of things, and cannot seal ports or insulate internal components.
HOWEVER. Things have now changed on this front – although in a much more limited sense. iOS 10 cannot make your phone waterproof but it has gained the ability to detect when water is entering through the Lightning port.
As demonstrated in this YouTube video, if you plug in the Lightning cable with a little water on it, iOS 10 flashes up a warning saying ‘Disconnect Lightning Accessory; Liquid has been detected in the Lightning connector’. This is a useful way of avoiding minor water damage, although it obviously won’t help in the total immersion situations we’ve discussed in this article.