iOS 13.5 update rolling out with Face ID improvements, exposure notification API, more

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iPhone and iPad owners, Apple is sending a new software update your way!

iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 are now available to download. If you’ve got an iOS 13-capable device, you can grab your update by going into Settings > General > Software Update.

Included in this new update are some new features related to the coronavirus pandemic. Apple and Google have built an exposure notification API that public health authorities can use to make apps for Android and iOS that can help to fight the spread of COVID-19.

If you enable COVID-19 exposure logging, apps that use the API will use Bluetooth to regularly send out a beacon over Bluetooth that includes a random identifier. If a person tests positively for COVID-19, they can report that in their app and upload their beacon.

At least once per day, your system will download a list of keys for beacons that belong to people who have tested positively for COVID-19 and compare it with the list of beacons you’ve interacted with recently. If there’s a match, you can be notified of what steps to take next.

You can read more about Apple and Google’s exposure notification API here.

Also included in the iOS 13.5 update is an improvement to Face ID for people wearing masks. Normally if you try to use Face ID while wearing a mask, Face ID will fail a couple of times and then prompt you to enter your passocode. With this update, Face ID will recognize that you’re wearing a mask and automatically bring up the passcode field, making the unlock faster.

Apple says that it’s improved Group FaceTime in this update, too, letting you turn off the automatic prominence feature that makes the speaker’s tile larger if you want. And you’ve also got the option to automatically share health and other essential info from your Medical ID with emergency services when you place an emergency call.

Below is the full iOS 13.5 update changelog from Apple. Let us know when you’ve installed it on your iPhone or iPad!

 

iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces the Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. This update also introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group FaceTime calls and includes bug fixes and other improvements.

Face ID and Passcode

  • Simplified unlock process for devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask
  • Passcode field automatically presented after swiping up from the bottom of the Lock screen when you are wearing a face mask
  • Also works when authenticating with the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes, and other apps that support signing in with Face ID

Exposure Notification

  • Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities

FaceTime

  • Option to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks

Emergency Services

  • Option to automatically share health and other essential information from your Medical ID with emergency services when you place an emergency call (US only)

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.

  • Fixes an issue where users may see a black screen when trying to play streaming video from some websites
  • Addresses an issue in the share sheet where suggestions and actions may not load

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  • Phil

    Yeah , I think it’s time to go back to ABC flip phones