CAPTCHAs are a reasonably common annoyance for most internet users. It is a system designed to tell humans from bots and prevent spam on websites. In fact, CAPTCHA is an abbreviation that stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” However, AI and ML can solve them quickly, making CAPTCHAs less effective and annoying. iOS 16 could change things for the better for iPhone users.
A new feature baked into iOS 16 allows users to bypass CAPTCHAs easily. It can be found under Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security > Automatic Verification. Apple explains that the feature automatically and privately verifies your device and Apple ID when enabled. While this happens in the background, websites won’t prompt you with a CAPTCHA to solve.
Apple recently uploaded a video sharing the detailed technical aspects of the new iOS 16 feature. After verifying that a human is using your device and Apple ID, it generates a Private Access Token which the website or app uses to proceed with its authentication process. Popular services Cloudflare and Fastly have reportedly promised support for Apple’s Private Access Tokens. In practice, several thousand websites and apps won’t be generating CAPTCHAS for iOS 16 users as the OS update rolls out to more iPhones.
Interestingly, the iPhone maker notes that Automatic Verification will be enabled by default when iOS 16 rolls out. Additionally, the feature is also supported on macOS Ventura.
The most significant advantage of the feature is the convenience of avoiding CAPTCHAs altogether. Additionally, Apple says the feature allows for enhanced privacy and accessibility. However, iOS 16 is currently in beta and available only to a limited set of developers. Public beta testers and other iPhone users must wait for a few months before they can get rid of CAPTCHAs for good. Apple has promised a wider rollout of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura this fall.