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Apple releases iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 with Exposure Notification API and more

Also a faster way to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask.

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Apple has released iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5, more than a month after it released iOS 13.4.1 and iPadOS 13.4.1, to the public. The software update brings a long-tail list of new features and improvements, including support for Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification API on iOS 13.5.

The Exposure Notification API, created by Apple and Google together, allows public health authorities to create COIVD-19 contact tracing apps to identify people infected with Coronavirus while preserving their privacy. The Bluetooth-based API doesn’t work on its own rather requires an accompanying app installed as of now. Everything happens behind the scenes.

Apple has added Exposure Logging under the Privacy section of the Settings app. It allows users to toggle if they want to opt out of participating in COVID-19 exposure notifications when a contact tracing app is installed.

Apple says more than 22 countries have signed up to use the Exposure Notification API. With iOS 13.5 now available publicly, contact tracing apps from governments and health authorities will be able to be released now.

A joint statement from Apple and Google on Exposure Notification API:

What we’ve built is not an app—rather public health agencies will incorporate the API into their own apps that people install. Our technology is designed to make these apps work better. Each user gets to decide whether or not to opt-in to Exposure Notifications; the system does not collect or use location from the device; and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to report that in the public health app. User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps.

In addition to Exposure Notification API, the software updates make it easier to unlock an iPhone or iPad with a passcode while wearing a mask. Previously, it took some time before the passcode screen appeared for users wearing a mask as it obstructed the face.

iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 will also give users the ability to disable auto resizing of participant windows when speaking in Group FaceTime calls.

Apple has outlined all new features and improvements in the iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 release notes mentioned below, take a look.

iOS 13.5 Release Notes

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

iPadOS 13.5 Release Notes

iPadOS‌ 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls. This update 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

‌FaceTime‌

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

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
  • Resolves security issues, including some that could lead to unexpected memory corruption or stability issues with the Mail app

The iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 software updates are available to download from Settings > General > Software Update. There’s also iOS 12.4.7 release with security fixes for older devices. Happy Updating!

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