Recovery over Wi-Fi could be coming to iOS, according to new code uncovered by 9to5Mac in the iOS 13.4 developer beta.
While restoring an iPhone or iPad from a Mac or PC used to make sense, over the last few years, both Apple’s smartphone and tablet have grown more independent from the company’s desktop ecosystem. For example, I can’t even remember the last time I plugged my iPhone into my MacBook Pro — there’s just really no reason to do it anymore.
iOS 13.4’s third beta reportedly includes references to a feature called ‘OS Recovery.’ 9to5Mac speculates that this could be a new way to restore the iPhone, iPad — and possibly even other Apple devices like the Apple Watch and HomePod — directly over-the-air via Wi-Fi.
Further, it also might be possible to connect an iPhone or an iPad to other Apple devices, similar to Apple’s Migration Tool, to recover a device.
The feature doesn’t actually work yet, so it’s possible Apple could remove it before the beta’s public release.
Apple’s Mac devices have featured internet-based recovery options for years. I’ve needed to use this recovery option a few times when formatting a Mac after accidentally deleting the partition that includes the operating system.
As someone who is often flashing both developer and public iOS/iPadOS beta software on their devices, I hope this feature makes its way into the final release of iOS 13.4.