Last month, 9to5 Mac demonstrated a “bug” affecting the iPad when used with a Smart Cover. Specifically, if a user engaged shutdown and then closed a Smart Cover before the process completed, the Smart Cover could be removed and provide “access” to the iPad’s home screen or last running app, even if a passcode is enabled.
I use “access” loosely because the iPad was largely unresponsive in this state. Users could swipe from screen to screen but not launch any apps, which isn’t really a big deal. However, if an app was running at the time of shutdown, it became accessible, which is a big deal. Chris Rawson was able to send an email and post to Twitter via Safari when accessing the apps with this method.
In the iOS 5.0.1 change log, Apple states:
Available for: iOS 4.3 through 5.0 for iPad 2
Impact: A person with physical access to a locked iPad 2 may be able to access some of the user’s data
Description: When a Smart Cover is opened while iPad 2 is confirming power off in the locked state, the iPad does not request a passcode. This allows some access to the iPad, but data protected by Data Protection is inaccessible and apps cannot be launched.”
What’s interesting is that this doesn’t say “we fixed it.” It says, “…data protected by Data Protection is inaccessible and apps cannot be launched.” To me, that sounds like, “The behavior is intact but it’s nothing to worry about.” Incidentally, isn’t this an unusually detailed change log from Apple?