There are a lot of big new features and major improvements to love about Apple’s future software update for iPhones 8 through 13, but if you’ve ever been brought on the verge of a nervous breakdown by an unnecessarily complicated CAPTCHA, you might actually appreciate a little iOS 16 thing more than your “reimagined” Lock Screen or vastly enhanced focus mode.
Unveiled with plenty of fanfare at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) a couple of weeks back, the latest version of iOS was not fully detailed on Cupertino’s virtual stage, leaving devs to discover… interesting things with each new beta.
Although we’re still on a (non-public) beta 1 build, the eagle-eyed folks at XDA noticed a previously unreported option in the Password & Security sub-menu of the Apple ID section in the Settings app over the weekend.
This functionality is somewhat generically called “Automatic Verification”, and as explained in its official description, its goal is to allow iPhone users to “bypass CAPTCHAs in apps and on the web.” Seemingly enabled by default, the option can obviously be disabled with a few taps, but if it works as advertised, we don’t think anyone will ever want to do that.
Despite all the technological advancements in general and the AI improvements in particular of the last decade or so, CAPTCHAs appear to have somehow regressed with time, growing more convoluted and, let’s be frank, annoying as they clumsily (and often inefficiently) try to tell computers and humans apart.
If you’ve ever spent more than a couple of seconds wondering if a little square with a tiny red dot on it counts as a picture of a traffic light or if that’s a bus or a truck depicted in an absolute haze on the distant corner of a street, it sounds like Apple wants to make life a whole lot easier for you.
Of course, it remains to be seen how this technology will actually work in the real (online) world in the fall and just how many websites and apps will allow Apple’s computers to pose as a human on your behalf. After all, CAPTCHAs (theoretically) exist for security purposes rather than to test your mental sanity and patience, as it more often than not might seem for the regular iOS, Android, Windows, or Mac user.
By the way, the Automatic Verification feature apparently works on the first iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura developer beta too in addition to iOS 16, which naturally makes us that much more excited to bid a (multi-platform) farewell to “Completely Automated Public Turing tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” You will not be missed!