There are many big new features and big improvements to love about Apple’s future software update for iPhones 8 through 13, but if you’ve ever been on the brink of a nervous breakdown by an unnecessarily complicated CAPTCHA, you might like a little iOS 16 thing more than your “redesigned” lock screen or vastly improved focus mode.
Unveiled to much fanfare a few weeks ago at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the latest version of iOS was not fully detailed on Cupertino’s virtual stage, forcing developers to discover… interesting stuff with each new beta.
While we are still working on a (non-public) beta 1 build, the eagle-eyed folks at XDA noticed
a previously unreported option in the Password & Security submenu of the Apple ID section in the Settings app during the weekend.
This functionality is commonly referred to as “Automatic Verification”, and as explained in the official description, its purpose is to help iPhone users “bypass CAPTCHAs in apps and on the web”. Seemingly enabled by default, the option can of course be disabled with a few taps, but if it works as advertised, we don’t think anyone will ever want to.
Despite all the advances in technology in general and the advancements in AI in particular over the past ten years, CAPTCHAs somehow seem to deteriorate over time, become more complex and, let’s face it, annoying because they’re clunky. (and often inefficiently) trying to tell computers and people apart.
If you’ve ever wondered for more than a few seconds whether a square with a little red dot on it counts as an image of a traffic light or whether that’s a bus or a truck depicted in absolute blur on the far corner of a street, that’s how it sounds Apple wants to make life a lot easier for you.
It remains to be seen, of course, how this tech will actually work in the real (online) world in the fall and how many websites and apps will allow Apple’s computers to impersonate humans on your behalf. After all, CAPTCHAs exist (theoretically) for security purposes rather than to test your sanity and patience, as it seems more often than not to the casual iOS, Android, Windows or Mac user.
By the way, the Automatic verification function apparently works
on the first iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura developer beta alongside iOS 16, which of course makes us much more excited to say goodbye to (multi-platform) “Fully automated public Turing testing to tell computers and humans apart.” You will not