Farewell iPhone Ports? iOS 13.4 Beta Tips Over-the-Air Recovery Feature

Feb 28, 2020 · 2 min read

A new feature in the beta appears to let you restore a nonfunctioning iPhone without plugging it into a PC.

By Michael Muchmore

Annoyed by the lack of headphone ports on Apple’s iPhone lineup? Don’t hold your breath for their return. An over-the-air recovery feature in the iOS 13.4 Developer Beta 3 might obviate the need for phone ports at all, 9to5Mac reports.

You can already restore an iPhone profile with iCloud, but that’s only useful for a functioning iPhone—say, when you buy a new phone and want to load it up with all your apps, photos, and files from your old iPhone in one step. If your phone is unresponsive, you need to plug it into a desktop computer and flash the hardware. On Windows, you use the iTunes app for this, and on a Mac, you do it through the Finder.

But that’s pretty much the only thing left that requires you to connect your iPhone physically to another device. If Apple rolls out an over-the-air recovery feature, you could do that wirelessly. But as 9to5Mac notes, “it’s not yet possible to access it in the system as the feature is still under development and it could be scrapped at any time.”

The officially announced new features in this iOS beta are less exciting, and include things such as more QuickType Keyboard language support, a location privacy update, and Photos shortcuts “which allow you to quickly navigate between tabs, search, and create albums.”

MacRumors also found a new CarKey capability that lets users “lock, unlock, and start a car that has NFC capabilities.” And it found a new Mail toolbar for iOS and iPadOS, iCloud Folder Sharing, and nine new Memoji and Animoji expressions, including rolling eyes.

Significantly for iOS developers, the beta adds support for Universal Purchases, which lets users who buy an app on one device run them on others, whether the other device is an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.

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