What's new in iOS 13.5? Including the COVID-19 contact tracing tech

The update speeds up access to the passcode field on handsets that support FaceID while you are wearing a face mask

Apple just launched its all-important iOS 13.5 update for the iPhone, and its features are so relevant to our times that we strongly suggest downloading it right away.

Apple released iOS 13.5 to the public this week, and this update is particularly notable because it signals the release of Apple's new contact tracing technology, built-in partnership with Google. According to 9to5Mac, the update includes the first version of the company's Covid-19 exposure notification API. This is an important change considering the fact that due to the coronavirus impact, wearing a mask has become a new normal worldwide. iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 updates also enhance Group FaceTime calls with an automatic prominence option.

The unc0ver Team announced in a tweet today that unc0ver 5.0 will be the one that will include support for iOS 13.5, and this one is going to be released soon. Alongside the update to Face ID to accommodate masks on faces, Apple's iOS 13.5 update also brings the Exposure Notification API, which Apple built in collaboration with Google to enable seamless integration of Covid-19 contact tracing apps by national or regional healthcare departments.

However, it's up for participating health authorities to create a contact tracing app that taps into the exposure notifications APIs. You can download them over the air via the Settings app.

Apple Update Alerts When Someone With Covid-19 Is Near
iOS 13.5 update rolling out with Face ID improvements, exposure notification API, more

Select the Privacy tab then go to Health. If a person has tested positive for Covid-19, their iPhone can share a list of everyone they've been in contact with to the cloud. We detail Apple and Google's Exposure Notification system in our guide here. The updates speed up access to the passcode field when the facial recognition technology detects that you're wearing a face mask - or anything that hides half of your face.

Users can also change the feature on Group FaceTime calls that makes some call participants appear larger than others when they speak with the update and choose an option to share their Medical ID information with emergency services when making an emergency call.

The new Face ID process will also work with other authentications apart from unlocking your screen.


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