Here's why the iOS 10 kernel cache is unencrypted

Update: Apple has provided iMore with the following statement:

"The kernel cache doesn't contain any user info," an Apple spokesperson told iMore, "and by unencrypting it we're able to optimize the operating system's performance without compromising security."

The kernel is the heart of an operating system and handles all the core operations of the computer. In iOS 10, the kernel cache is unencrypted. That's a marked difference from previous versions of Apple's iPhone and iPad software, and has led to some speculation that Apple either changed its policy on security, or that someone screwed up. My understanding is that the reason was something else entirely:

Streamlining the operating system.

Since it contains only the kernel, device drivers, and configuration files — and absolutely no user data — the iOS 10 kernel cache can be left unencrypted without any concerns over security or privacy.

And since it can be, it was.

More on iOS 10

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.