Apple has released iOS 13.5 to the public and along with it comes a load of COVID-19 specific features. The biggest new change is the improved Face ID scan that will speed up the process of unlocking your iPhone if you are wearing a mask. In addition, the system automatically shows the passcode field when it detects you are wearing a face mask. This means users can simply type in their passcode without the phone scanning for your facial features and resulting in a slow unlock process.
This iOS 13.5 feature spans across the software and includes not only the initial unlock but also purchases with Apple Pay and in-app purchases.
The other COVID-19 relevant feature is the new Exposure Notification API. This new coding will support COVID-19 contract tracing apps. The feature was built in collaboration with Google who is also releasing their Android-based API today too. While you won’t actively see this feature in action, it allows others to build apps that can track and trace anonymous movements around COVID-19 hotspots. In the future, developers may pinpoint virus-rich areas and alert you if you are heading into one or recently visited a place that had registered COVID-19 infection.
iOS 13.5 also brings some new changes to FaceTime by making group video calls easier to view. The video tile of the person who is currently speaking will enlarge when they talk, for example. The software also brings some new bug fixes and battery enhancements. The update is now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices from the 6S and up.