New iOS feature will be a lifesaver for iPhone owners

Restoring your iPhone
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Restoring an iPhone might become much easier soon. Apple's latest developer beta suggests its working on a computer-free, over-the-air recovery for iOS devices.

The third beta of iOS 13.4, Apple's next iPhone software update, sports a new feature called “OS Recovery." As discovered by 9to5Mac, the feature seems like a way to restore an iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices without needing to connect them to a computer first.

When an iPhone or iPad suddenly stops working, you're usually directed to plug the device in to a computer to restore its functions. (Read: What to do when your iPhone is disabled.)

But as our mobile devices become more autonomous, it makes sense for Apple to offer a recovery option for iPhone users who don't have access to a standalone Mac or PC.

According to 9to5Mac's report, OS Recovery would enable users to restore their iOS software over-the-air or by connecting the compromised device to a functional iPhone or iPad via USB. Perhaps, specifically, the iPhone 12's rumored USB-C charging port.

The new OS Recovery feature will probably work like macOS Internet Recovery, an over-the-internet restore option for Mac users who don't have another computer nearby to aide in the software recovery process. 

OS Recovery isn't available yet for iOS devices, and while it's present in the iOS 13.4 beta, it's possible Apple is testing it for iOS 14. It's also possible it'll be tossed entirely.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.