Apple has finally released iOS 13.5 to the public. The update brings a number of new features, some of which are understandably there to help users during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the new features, the most interesting are the Exposure Notification API and enhancements to Face ID.
Faster unlocking while wearing masks
With the latter, iOS 13.5 promises to make it easier to unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask. The update allows the process to become faster if the user is detected to be wearing a face mask. In such cases, the passcode interface is displayed more quickly, thereby making it quicker to get into an iPhone using a passcode than before.
For most users who find themselves wearing a face mask when they step out, this sure will prove to be an important update — especially those involved in the healthcare sector. However, it’s important to note that this update has only been extended to certain iPhones on which Face ID is available.
Exposure Notification API
Apart from this, the other big update coming to iOS 13.5 is the Exposure Notification API which has been created in partnership between Apple and Google. The API is designed to allow public health authorities to better handle contact tracing apps for COVID-19.
With the API working in the background, the device will send out a beacon via Bluetooth for the Exposure Notification API to download a list of the keys for verified beacons belonging to people confirmed with COVID-19 and check against that list.
Apple has also tweaked Group FaceTime, which now brings a new toggle to disable feature that automatically enlarges the tile of the person who is speaking. Earlier, the Group FaceTime brought a dynamic vew where the person speaking automatically had a bigger tile than the other speakers. The feature can be toggled from a new “Automatic Prominence” section in the FaceTime part of the Settings app.
Security fixes and more
The update also patches two security issues, including one that affected the Mail app on the iPhone and the iPad. The vulnerability now patched had previously allowed attackers to remotely hack an iOS device by sending emails that consume a significant amount of memory.
It also fixes an issue where users may see a black screen when trying to play streaming video from some websites and addresses an issue in the share sheet where suggestions and actions may not load.