Apple is releasing iOS 13.5 to beta testers. The upcoming software, believe it or not, is all about COVID-19 support. In other words, Apple is preparing for the grim future of wearing a mask and spreading the disease. Let’s be honest, we won’t be out of the woods for a very long time. The new software brings Apple’s first version of its COVID-19 exposure API which is a big step forward in technology for tracking the spread of COVID-19. However, iOS 13.5 also makes your life easier if you are wearing a facemask and can’t unlock your iPhone with Face ID.
What iPhone iOS 13.5 does is automatically detect whether or not you are wearing a face mask. The Face ID scanner will pick up the mask withing split-seconds of scanning your face. Instead of trying a few times to unlock the device and then failing, your iPhone will take you straight to the passcode screen. Therefore, making it a lot quicker to unlock your iPhone.
As pointed out by @Sonikku_a2, if you’re wearing a mask, iOS 13.5 goes straight to the passcode screen if you try to unlock with Face ID (keypad not shown because iOS hides it in screen recordings) pic.twitter.com/bQCzu5u20p
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) April 29, 2020
Sure, there are workarounds to Face ID with a face mask on. You can re-register your face wearing the mask. However, we have tested this and it does not always work as well as it should. This new change will make it a lot easier to get into your iPhone when you have a face mask on.
In addition to the new Face ID improvements, Apple’s new COVID-19 exposure API. This new feature is used to trace virus spread through iPhone users. In short, once authorized by apps, users can be notified if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in public. It makes use of Bluetooth to anonymously share your random IDs with nearby devices and collect their IDs at the same time. In other words, if one person has COVID-19, your iPhone will know.
iOS 13.5 is currently in beta. However, Apple will release it soon to the public so we can all benefit from these COVID-19 features.