Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 13.5 With Exposure Notification API, Face ID Mask Updates, Group FaceTime Changes and More

Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.5, major updates that come more than a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1. iOS 13.5 is a major health-related update that brings many features related to the ongoing public health crisis.

Exposure Notifications W People and Text
The iOS and ‌‌iPadOS‌‌ 13.5 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple has also released iOS 12.4.7 for older devices, with the update bringing security fixes.

The iOS 13.5 update introduces the Exposure Notification API created by Apple and Google, which is designed to allow public health authorities to create COVID-19 contact tracing apps with the aim of slowing the spread of the virus.

Exposure Notification is a behind-the-scenes Bluetooth-based API that will be incorporated into apps created by public health authorities in each country. It does not work without an accompanying app installed, but Apple has added details about Exposure Logging in the Privacy section of the Settings app.

exposurelogginginterfaceapp
There is an Exposure Logging toggle that will let users opt out of participating in COVID-19 exposure notifications if a COVID-19 app is installed, and the section will provide details on which public health app a user has downloaded.

iOS 13.5 lays the groundwork for Exposure Notifications, and now that the update has been released to the public, health apps from governments and health authorities will be able to be released. So far, more than 22 countries have signed up to participate, and apps that use the API should be coming in the near future. From Apple and Google:

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.

Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts.

Apps that take advantage of the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API will use Bluetooth to communicate with the smartphones of the people around you, and you will be provided with notifications should you come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 that chooses to share that information. Google and Apple have focused heavily on privacy with the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API, and full details on how ‌Exposure Notification‌ works can be found in our guide.

apple google contact tracing slide
In addition to creating a foundation for apps to use the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API, iOS (and iPadOS) 13.5 make it easier to unlock an iPhone or iPad with a passcode when wearing a mask, due to the large number of people that are regularly wearing face coverings.

FaceID Masked Green Dark
With the update, the passcode interface is displayed more quickly when an iOS device detects that a user is wearing a mask that obscures the face after the person swipes up, so it's quicker getting into an ‌iPhone‌ using a passcode than before.

Apple has tweaked Group FaceTime, adding a new toggle to disable the feature that automatically enlarges the tile of the person who is speaking. By default, Group FaceTime features a dynamic view with a tile for each person in the conversation, and the person speaking has a larger tile while the tiles representing the other people fade into the background.

groupfacetime
A new "Automatic Prominence" section in the ‌FaceTime‌ part of the Settings app allows the shifting tile sizes to be disabled, displaying all of the people in a Group ‌FaceTime‌ chat in a grid with equal-sized windows regardless who of speaking. A tile can be enlarged with a tap.

facetimeautomaticprominence
There's a new feature in iOS 13.5 for sharing Medical ID information automatically with emergency dispatchers when placing an emergency call. A toggle lets this feature be turned on or off, and there's also a new toggle in the Health app for showing Medical ID info on the Lock screen when an ‌iPhone‌ is locked.

medicalid1
For Apple Music, there's a new feature that lets ‌Apple Music‌ songs be shared directly to Instagram Stories. Tapping the Share button on a song in ‌‌Apple Music‌‌ creates a story with a song title, album name, and animated background, but there's no way to get to ‌‌Apple Music‌‌ from the shared information.

applemusicshareinstagram
The update patches two security vulnerabilities that affect the Mail app on the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌iPad‌. One of the vulnerabilities allowed an attacker to remotely infect an iOS device by sending emails that consume a significant amount of memory, while another allowed remote code executions.

There are additional bug fixes and features included, as outlined in Apple's 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

Apple has separate release notes for iPadOS:

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

iOS 13.5 could be one of the last updates to the iOS 13 operating system as Apple prepares to shift its focus to iOS 14. Apple will unveil ‌iOS 14‌ on June 22, when its virtual WWDC event kicks off.

Top Rated Comments

Eorlas Avatar
10 months ago
get ready for your FB feeds to erupt with angry notes about "muh freedom!" "bill gates!" "5g causes cancer! no really it's real this time 4g didnt do it but 5g will!" "vaccines!"

the conspiracy theories are gonna love this one xD
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Itada Avatar
10 months ago

If this were in place, and widely accepted by the population, back in, say, January, it would have had a chance to make a difference. Now? Too late.
The USA is still getting 20,000 new infections per day... it hasn’t slowed at all there, so hardly too late to be useful for them.

Although, really, it becomes more useful as there are fewer cases, as that’s when it’s most critical to identify contacts for rare infections, to prevent new outbreaks.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghanwani Avatar
10 months ago
The first time ever I'm feeling sad about an iOS update.



Attachment Image
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ScreenSavers Avatar
10 months ago
iOS 12.4.7 is also here for A7 devices. Unreal how long they've been supported!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klydefrogg Avatar
10 months ago
Hard pass
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nem Avatar
10 months ago
But they still can’t fix the mail app issues...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
pink squares macos

Apple Investigating Issue With 'Pink Squares' Appearing on Displays Connected to M1 Mac Mini

Sunday February 21, 2021 11:08 am PST by
In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple informed service providers that it is aware of and investigating an issue that may result in "pink squares or pixels" appearing on displays connected to an M1 Mac mini. Image via Twitter user @FatihVidyograf This issue has been reported by users across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, and Reddit since the M1 Mac mini...
Top Stories 47 Feature

Top Stories: More iOS 14.5 Beta Changes, iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Watch Charging Issue Fixed

Saturday February 20, 2021 6:00 am PST by
Apple is continuing to tweak things during the iOS 14.5 beta testing period, and it looks like there will be some nice changes coming in the update when it's released to the public in a month or so. This week also saw the release of a watchOS bug fix update for Series 5 and Series SE owners, addressing a serious issue where their watches may not charge after entering Power Reserve mode,...
google chrome macos big sur

Chrome Used 10X More RAM Than Safari on macOS Big Sur in Recent Test [Updated]

Saturday February 20, 2021 12:52 pm PST by
Under normal and lightweight web browsing, Google Chrome uses 10x more RAM than Safari on macOS Big Sur, according to a test conducted by Flotato creator Morten Just (via iMore). In a blog post, Just outlines that he put both browsers to the test in two scenarios on the latest version of macOS. The first test was conducted on a virtual machine, and the second on a 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
maxresdefault

Revisiting Apple's MagSafe Leather Wallet After 3 Months of Usage

Saturday February 20, 2021 8:04 am PST by
Back in November when Apple's MagSafe-compatible Leather Wallet first launched, MacRumors videographer Dan took a look at the accessory and ended up disliking it because of the weak magnetic connection. Dan kept using the Leather Wallet despite its flaws, and after three months with the accessory, his opinion has changed and he wanted to share some new thoughts on it. Subscribe to the ...