Apple has been forced to change the way in which its VPN On Demand feature works on iOS devices following a patent lawsuit it lost last November. The Cupertino company has published a new knowledge base article to explain to users how the change will affect their devices.
The article reads:
Due to a lawsuit by VirnetX, Apple will be changing the behavior of VPN On Demand for iOS devices using iOS 6.1 and later.
Devices using iOS 6.1 and later with VPN On Demand configured to “Always” will behave as if they were configured with the “Establish if needed” option. The device will establish a VPN On Demand connection only if it is unable to resolve the DNS name of the host it is trying to reach. This change will be distributed in an update later this month.
Apple was ordered to pay patent holding firm VirnetX $368 million late last year for infringing its virtual private networking (VPN) patents with its Mac and iOS devices. This change is clearly a result of that, and it’ll be rolled out later this month.
The change is likely to be most felt by enterprise iOS users, who will now have to establish a VPN connection every time they wish to use enterprise apps or access internal services, such as intranet sites. But there’s an interesting line at the end of Apple’s article:
To establish a VPN connection, turn on VPN manually in Settings > General > VPN.
Apple will address this functionality with alternatives in a future software update.
This suggests the company will offer another feature later on that will replace VPN On Demand.