Apple Releases COVID-Specific Features, iOS 13.5 has a Faster Way to Unlock Your iPhone while Wearing a Mask

Technology

The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have a long-lasting impact not just on the world economy and the global population but also on the way we use our gadgets. To keep up with the changes brought by the pandemic, tech giant Apple has released iOS 13.5 with Face ID enhancements, Exposure Notification API and more.

iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when the user is wearing a mask. Several users who wear masks, were facing difficulty unlocking their handset with Face ID. The Face ID would reject the login attempt multiple times and then the option to enter passcode will appear, causing significant delay.

With iOS 13.5 update, the iPhone will detect when the user is wearing a face mask and the passcode field will now be automatically presented after swiping up from the bottom screen.

The feature is only available on devices with Face ID, that is, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. This also works when the user is authenticating with the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes and other apps which support signing in with Face ID.

iOS 13.5 also comes with an Exposure Notification API, which supports Covid-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. 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.

Another change that iOS 13.5 introduces is the option to control automatic prominence in group FaceTime calls. This will prohibit the video tiles from automatically changing their size when a participant speaks.

The iOS 13.5 and iPad OS 13.5 are now available for iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2, and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch 7th generation.

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