New iOS 13.5 released; introducing Exposure Notification API and faster Face ID

Alonzo Simpson
May 23, 2020

No, the actual contact tracing apps aren't here yet in iOS 13.5, but Apple and Google note that 22 countries across five continents have requested and received access to the API, while stressing that everything is being done to protect user privacy.

It seems that right now there is no workaround or fix for this, or whether this is a cloud/server-side problem, or whether this is indeed a bug built into iOS 13.5, which would require a patch.

"Starting today, our Exposure Notifications technology is available to public health agencies on both iOS and Android". In the future, apps developed by public health agencies can use this technology to send a notification if you've been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 - or rather, if your phone was near the phone of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The iOS 13.5 update also brings Face ID enhancements. We detail Apple and Google's Exposure Notification system in our guide here.

Passenger plane crashes in residential area near Karachi with 107 on board
Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years. Chinese Embassy in Pakistan also tweeted a message of solidarity, saying that it stood with the country in its time of sadness.


Apple is including an Exposure Logging toggle under Settings that will let you opt-out of participating in COVID-19 Exposure Notifications if a health app is installed. This includes signing in to App Store, Apple Books and more, or granting permission to purchase or download something from App Store. Our technology is created to make these apps work better.

Unlocking newer iPhone models that use Face ID can be annoying during the current pandemic. The exposure notifications, for the uninitiated, are alerts that users will receive on their phones if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for or is highly likely to test positive for Covid-19.

Apple has updated Group FaceTime with a new toggle that disables automatic enlarging of the tile belonging to the person who is speaking. Now, the passcode screen pops up more quickly when an iOS device detects you are wearing a mask that hides the face after you swipe up. The option is enabled by default, though you can disable it by going to Settings FaceTime Automatic Prominence. That's in addition to the usual collection of bug and safety fixes.

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