six-digit passcode default for Touch ID devices on iOS 9

With iOS 9, Apple is improving the mobile operating system in a number of areas. As well as optimising battery life and storage efficiency, making Siri more intelligent and beefing up multitasking, Touch ID-enabled iPhones and iPads owners will feel the benefit of improved security.

When iOS 9 launches in the fall, the minimum length of passcodes increases from four digits to six. It is already possible to use passcodes of more than four digits, but enforcing a stronger policy from the offset illustrates the importance Apple now places on security.

Revealed for the first time at the WWDC, iOS 9 is currently available as a developer preview and will be launched as a public beta in July. Apple recognises the importance people place - or should place - on securing the data stored on their iDevices. To this end, increasing the minimum passcode length by 50 per cent sees the number of possible passcode combinations jump from 10,000 to 1,000,000.

In case you were in any doubt about what the implications of this are, Apple helpfully explains that longer passcodes "will be a lot tougher to crack". It's not clear why the security feature is only being implemented on Touch ID devices, but for those with compatible iPhones and iPads, it's about to become much easier to prevent unauthorised access to their device.