With the release of iOS 9 beta 3 today, Apple introduced a new two-factor authentication. Oddly, Apple didn’t provide details on what was new, leaving many curious about what actually changed. Now we know: the fussy Apple ID recovery is being improved.
Under the old system, any device that was tied to an Apple ID and reported lost or stolen via iCloud could only be unlocked with the same account. It’s problematic if you can’t get a recovery code, or purchase a used device only to have the previous owner spitefully lock it once they’ve got your money.
In a statement to Mac Rumors, Apple says a new account recovery feature is coming:
If you can’t sign in, reset your password, or receive verification codes, you can regain access to your account by requesting account recovery. Simply provide a verified phone number where you can receive a text message or phone call regarding your account. Apple will review your case and contact you at the number provided when your Apple ID is ready for recovery. The automated message will direct you to iforgot.apple.com to complete the required steps and regain access to your account.
Account recovery will take a few days—or longer—depending on how much information you can provide to verify that you are the account owner. The process is designed to get you back into your account as quickly as possible while denying access to anyone who might be pretending to be you.
This should also help prevent the loss of Apple IDs, which can remain on lock-down along with your lost or stolen device. It’ll be nice to have a human on the other end that can actually help you out, too.