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iOS 16 fixes the most annoying things about surfing the web

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Once iOS 16 is released, CAPTCHAs may become obsolete.

A flood of new features have been released by Apple since WWDC 2022. Apple customers can now mark the removal of the majority of CAPTCHAs from future operating systems on their to-do list. It’s as simple as turning on an option in Apple’s future software, which should save customers a lot of time.

On sites where the token issuer (also known as a CDN) is Fastly or Cloudflare, a new feature called Automatic Verification will allow Apple users to avoid CAPTCHAs. Apple and Google have worked together to establish the Privacy Pass protocol, which assures that user data is kept anonymous during the token verification process for these two CDNs (opens in new tab).

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(Image credit: Apple)

The iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura betas, which are already in the hands of developers, already have Automatic Verification, which will be released to the general public in July. Automatic Verification may already be tested on a wide range of sites by iPhone, iPad, and Mac users who are using the betas. When both iOS and OS X go live this year, additional CDNs will be allowed to register with Apple.

Automatic Verification: What are CAPTCHAs? 

When a web website asks you to select all images with fire hydrants, you’ve seen a CAPTCHA. Any boxes that require you to “type the characters above” or just ask you to click “I’m not a robot” have the same problem. These security measures are designed to keep bots out of the system, which improves the security and user experience for human users.

Automatic Verification: How are Private Access Tokens different from CAPTCHAs? 

Private Access Tokens, like CAPTCHAs, are a way to verify that a user is human while visiting a website. This isn’t like a CAPTCHA because it’s all done in the background. Users have already demonstrated their humanity by logging into iCloud on their Apple device, so Automatic Verification contacts the token issuer to confirm it.

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Automatic Verification: What are the benefits? 

Automatic verification will “save a lot of people a lot of time,” according to Apple’s Tommy Pauly in a video from WWDC 2022 (opens in new tab). It’s hard to argue with Cloudflare’s claim that CAPTCHAs now squander 500 human years per day of internet user time. In addition, CAPTCHAs are difficult to read. CAPTCHAs can be difficult for those with disabilities or who don’t speak English, but Private Access Tokens remove those restrictions.

As token issuers register with Apple to accept Private Access Tokens, the true advantage could come from the snowball effect this has. Apple has stated that each token issuer must have access to hundreds of servers in order to be accepted. Because Private Access Tokens are becoming more popular, entire sections of the internet will be able to employ Automatic Verification at the same time. These tokens were built in collaboration with Google, thus this feature may also be available on Android in the near future.

Automatic Verification: How to enable it 

image credits: apple

Only those who are using a beta version of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, or macOS Ventura can enable Automatic Verification. However, the steps are said to be quite easy to follow. To change their Apple ID, all they have to do is open the Settings app and navigate to the appropriate section. Select Password & Security, then toggle the Automatic Verification switch.

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