Apple Releases iOS 13.6 With Car Key, Toggle to Turn Off Automatic Update Downloads, Audio Apple News+ Stories and More

Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.6, major updates that come more than a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1. iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.6 introduce new Health, Apple News, and software update features.


The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.6 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 an iOS 12.4.8 update for older devices unable to run iOS 13.

The software introduces a toggle for customizing updates, providing users with granular control over the downloading and installing of new iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ versions.


iOS users can decide if their iPhone or iPad should automatically download an iOS update when connected to WiFi, and when that update should be installed.

A Download iOS Updates toggle turns automatic downloads on or off, and an Install iOS Updates toggle lets users choose to install a software update overnight as a device charges. The new update feature will be a welcome change for ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users who prefer to stay on older versions of iOS and do not want their devices to update automatically.

iOS 13.6 also brings support for Car Key, a feature available in both ‌iOS 13‌ and iOS 14. Car Key is designed to allow an ‌iPhone‌ or an Apple Watch to be used in lieu of a physical key to unlock an NFC-enabled vehicle.


Car Key needs to be implemented by car manufacturers to function, and BMW is one of Apple's first partners. BMW's Digital Key for ‌iPhone‌ feature will let ‌iPhone‌ owners tap to unlock their vehicles, start the car by placing the ‌iPhone‌ in the smartphone tray, place limitations on young drivers, and share keys with up to five other users.

Car Key will work in a wide range of BMW models, including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1, 2020. An iPhone XR, XS, ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 5, or newer is required, as is the iOS 13.6 update.

In the Health app, there's a new "Symptoms" section that lets users add symptoms of various illnesses, choosing from options such as body and muscle aches, appetite changes, coughing, dizziness, headache, nausea, and more.


For the ‌Apple News‌ app, iOS 13.6 adds a feature that saves your place in an ‌Apple News‌ article when you start reading something and then exit out of the article or app, handy for long-form content.

‌Apple News‌ in iOS 13.6 also includes new Apple News+ Audio feature where Apple will offer some news stories in an audio capacity, but this option was not activated during the beta.

Apple's full release notes for the update are available below:

iOS 13.6 adds support for digital car keys, introduces audio stories in ‌Apple News‌+, and contains a new symptoms category in the Health app. This release also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Digital car keys
- Unlock, lock, and start your compatible car with your ‌iPhone‌
- Securely remove digital keys from a lost device via iCloud
- Share digital keys easily with iMessage
- Driver-specific profiles so you can configure shared keys for full-access or restricted driving
- Power reserve lets you unlock and start your car for up to five hours after ‌iPhone‌ runs out of battery

‌Apple News‌
- Audio stories are professionally narrated versions of some of the best reads from ‌Apple News‌+, selected and produced by the ‌Apple News‌ editors as part of your ‌Apple News‌+ subscription
- ‌Apple News‌ Today is a new, free audio briefing on the day's top stories from the ‌Apple News‌ editors, also available in the Podcasts app
- A new Audio tab makes it easy to find ‌Apple News‌ Today and Apple

News+ audio stories
- CarPlay allows you to listen to ‌Apple News‌ Today and ‌Apple News‌+ audio stories while on the road
- Local news in your Today feed provides extensive coverage of San Francisco, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, and New York City
- More stories available from local news providers with a subscription to ‌Apple News‌+
- Your daily newsletter from ‌Apple News‌ can now be personalized with stories that reflect your interests

Health
- New category for symptoms in the Health app, including symptoms logged from Cycle Tracking and ECG
- Ability to log new symptoms, like fever, chills, sore throat or coughing, and share them with third-party apps

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.
- Adds a new setting to choose if updates automatically download to your device when on Wi-Fi
- Addresses an issue that could cause apps to become unresponsive when syncing data from iCloud Drive
- Fixes an issue that could cause data roaming to appear to be disabled on eSIM even though it remained active
- Fixes an issue thats causes some phone calls from Saskatchewan to appear as originating from the United States
- Addresses an issue that could interrupt audio when making phone calls over Wi-Fi Calling
- Fixes an issues that prevented some ‌iPhone‌ 6S and iPhone SE devices from registering for Wi-Fi Calling
- Resolves an issue that could cause the software keyboard to appear unexpectedly when connected to certain third-party hardware keyboards
- Fixes an issue that could cause Japanese hardware keyboards to be incorrectly mapped as a U.S. keyboard
- Addresses stability issues when accessing Control Center when Assistive Touch was enabled
- Provides a mechanism for administrators to specify domains to exclude from traffic carried by always-on VPN connections

iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.6 could be one of the final updates to the ‌iOS 13‌ operating system as Apple shifts its focus to iOS 14, which is available for developers and public beta testers and set to be released this fall.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
3 weeks ago

Apple has also released an iOS 12.4.8 update for older devices unable to run iOS 13.

A seven years old 5s still supported!!!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


The iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app.

Uh, nope. You absolutely cannot update your phone without an external WiFi connection. I have unlimited bandwidth over 4G, but there is no way I can make iOS understand that.

Third world OS.

Why don't you switch from iOS to Android? Then you can always use your 4G connection because there won't be any OS updates to download anyway.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
- Fixes an issue thats causes some phone calls from Saskatchewan to appear as originating from the United States
OMG! FINALLY!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago
Going to wait a "little" while before updating this time: do not want to see the fireworks of 13.5.1!
Plus do not need the keys for BMW ... Need the BMW first. LOL
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


Why should I not be able to do a major update over cell data? I have unlimited data. Is it Apple being a nanny to protect dopes who have limited data plans who may not know what they are doing and therefore run up extra charges?

Part of it has to do with agreements with carriers from what I recall as they didn't want tons of devices suddenly flooding their connections downloading large updates (often at the same or close to the same time).

Part of it might have to do with the mentality that mobile connections weren't seen as being something fully reliable (bad coverage in spots, dropped signal, etc.) when compared to WiFi in a general sense.

Another part that can be playing a role is not to overburden data usage from customer side of things as well, given that there are many who don't have unlimited plans and might inadvertently run into issues with large downloads if they don't pay attention. And while it wouldn't be directly on Apple, there would be enough that would complain in one fashion or another to make it at least a perceived Apple issue.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
3 weeks ago


The iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app.

Uh, nope. You absolutely cannot update your phone without an external WiFi connection. I have unlimited bandwidth over 4G, but there is no way I can make iOS understand that.

Firstly, WiFi is not a wired connection, it’s over the air.

Second, you can do point updates over cell data, such as 14.5.1, just not major updates such as 13.5 or 13.6.

If you need to do a major update for iOS and you don’t have access to WiFi anywhere, you can use your iPhone as a hotspot to your Mac, download the iOS update in iTunes and update your iPhone that way.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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