Recovering a borked iPhone or iPad unless you have a desktop or laptop computer handy can be a real pain in the butt.
For the longest time, it has involved physically connecting the device to the Mac or PC, opening up iTunes (RIP) and going through the myriad of recovery steps.
However, it’s quite possible that a Mac or PC might could no longer be necessary in the near future, judging by the latest iOS 13 beta release.
9to5Mac spied references to a possible Internet Recovery function for iPad and iPhone, which would enable device owners to restore the hardware over-the-air.
The latest iOS 13.4 beta lifts the lid – albeit barely on a feature named “OS Recovery”. The site hasn’t been able to access the feature in a working capacity so it’s still unclear precisely what it does.
However, the best guess would surely be a means of getting the iDevice back up and running in the absence of additional desktop hardware. From what the site can glean it seems all you’d need is another iPhone or iPad in the vicinity in order to commence the recovery over the air.
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This, as the report points out, could work in a similar manner to the Migration tools that enable users to transfer data between their old and new iPhones for example. Connecting the two devices would enable the one in need of recovery to piggy back the internet connection when it might be unable to do so on its own.
Interestingly the existing MacOS recovery tool, which make it easy to reinstall the operating system and get the Mac back in good working order, doesn’t require another Mac to be nearby.
That feature has been available for quite some time now, so it’s about time the iOS devices caught up. Whether OS Recovery will launch in iOS 13.4 (alongside the CarKey feature) remains to be seen. The smart money, if Apple follows through with the feature, might be on iOS 14, due this autumn.