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iOS 13 May Allow Users to Transfer Data Between Two iPhones Over a Direct Wired Connection

Changes found in the latest iOS 13 beta, released to developers on Tuesday, suggest users may be able to transfer data between two devices over a direct wired connection when setting up a new device or restoring one from a backup.

New graphic found in latest ‌iOS 13‌ beta (Image via 9to5Mac)

As things stand, iOS users have two restore options in any device setup process. One requires them to download and install a backup stored on a computer via iTunes. The other involves using iCloud and wirelessly transferring data from an old device nearby to a new one logged into the same Apple ID.

However, new assets in the ‌iOS 13‌ beta spotted by 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo include an icon that appears to resemble an iPhone with Face ID connected to an iPhone with Touch ID using a cable, indicating a direct wired transfer option will be available when setting up devices.

In addition, a related code snippet uncovered in the beta includes the user request, "Keep your other iPhone connected to this iPhone and connected to power until the transfer is complete," which perhaps refers to the use of a wireless charging mat during the direct transfer process.

It's unclear how any direct wired connection would work between two iPhones, since Apple doesn't sell a Lightning to Lightning cable that would enable such a physical link. Perhaps Apple intends to make such a cable available when ‌iOS 13‌ is launched to the public in the fall.

Another possibility is that devices in Apple's new iPhone line-up, expected in September, will replace the iPhone Lightning port with a USB-C port. Apple already offers Lightning-to-USB-C cables for connecting iPhones to newer Macs.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is testing some versions of the 2019 iPhone lineup that include a USB-C connector instead of a Lightning port. It's not known if the company's final plans will include a transition to USB-C, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is going to stick with Lightning for the 2019 iPhone lineup.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

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20 weeks ago
You know what this means? New dongle!
Rating: 24 Votes
20 weeks ago
This does seem to indicate that future iPhones will have USB-C. I’m completely in favor of that. Most of their Macs have it, so it just makes sense. But if you can transfer data simply by connecting one device with another (albeit with Face or Touch ID), I wonder if someone will figure out how to hack the security measures.
Rating: 11 Votes
20 weeks ago
So in iOS 5, we cut the wire. 8 years later we figure out wire is just better than wireless?
That’s why I still prefer iTunes restore over iCloud restore (if I have only one Apple ID).
Rating: 10 Votes
20 weeks ago
Looks more like a migration tool from old model (with home button and faded to decipt old) to a newer model ....
Rating: 10 Votes
20 weeks ago
Or it could be to allow control of an unresponsive phone that has no home button.
Rating: 9 Votes
20 weeks ago

The idea they would only keep Lightning is for licence revenue stream proves that they only care about profit and not the customer. If it took stupidity to remove the 3.5 mm port, maybe they can have courage and nix lightning already.


Lightning is better than usb-c. It’s smaller, it doesn’t loosen over time, and nobody needs super high throughput for a phone. The idea they would only keep lightning for license revenue is a paranoid delusion you have pulled out of thin air. They’d actually make more money if they switched to usb-c, since most people would replace their immense collection of lightning cables and usb-a bricks with apple-branded usb-c bricks and cables.
Rating: 7 Votes
20 weeks ago
"Oh and one more thing... Apple is introducing the iWire. It's a connection between two iPhones using--get this-- a WIRE. Transfer speeds are faster than ever. We think it's fabulous, and you're just going to love it. And that's the iWire."
Rating: 6 Votes
20 weeks ago
Sounds like a cunning plan to sell more cables ;)
Rating: 5 Votes
20 weeks ago

why not just transfer it via airdrop/bluetooth?

Slow. Unstable. Near impossible to transfer large number of files or big files.
These are enough to justify the wired option.
Rating: 5 Votes
20 weeks ago
2019 iPhone having USB-C is the only logical explanation with there already being USB-C to Lightning cables available, and almost all other products in the range using USB-C.

That being said, this is Apple, and a Lightning OTG dongle is probably what they will release and continue to sell a new iPhone that can't be plugged into a new MacBook Pro without a dongle.
Rating: 5 Votes

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