Apple releases iOS 13.5 software update with support for the coronavirus contact tracking system and a new way to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask
- iOS 13.5 sends users with protective masks directly to the password screen
- Previously, Face ID had repeatedly failed before users could access their iPhone
- The update may prove to be more secure by helping people avoid removing masks
- iOS 13.5 also supports Apple and Google software blueprint for contact tracking
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
Apple has released its new software update, iOS 13.5, which allows faster phone unlocking for mask carriers and supports the coronavirus contact detection system.
The new update accounts for users wearing a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic by sending users directly to their password.
Previously, Face ID had repeatedly failed to display the manual passcode due to the inability to recognize a user’s face when it was half hidden.
Now the software update, which is also for iPads, automatically displays the passcode when users swipe up from the bottom of the lock screen.
The feature benefits public health by removing the temptation for people to remove their masks to unlock their device.
The second coronavirus-related feature for iOS 13.5 is Apple and Google’s exposure notification API, or software blueprint, that supports COVID-19 contact detection apps.
Thanks to the new software update, iPhone users no longer have to take off their face masks to access their iPhone quickly
This allows the iPhone to support apps that send users a notification telling them that they have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the disease.
To enable this, users can enable ‘COVID-19 Exposure Notifications’ in their settings.
“iPhone uses Bluetooth to securely share your random IDs with nearby devices and collect their IDs,” said Apple under the institution.
“This allows an app to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.”
Users can also choose to share their COVID-19 diagnosis through the institution, while random IDs are removed after 14 days, Apple claims.
Google and Apple revealed earlier this week that their API will be used by international public health authorities to build contact-tracing apps and has so far been given to 22 countries that have requested access to the technology.
The software from Apple and Google follows a ‘decentralized’ approach – where the collected contact information remains on a user’s device and can be analyzed there.
Users who choose to download an app based on the Apple / Google blueprint must give explicit permission for the Bluetooth-based system to work
Also included in the iOS 13.5 update – which users can access via Settings> General> Software Update – is a minor change to FaceTime, Apple’s video calling product.
iOS 13.5 users can now disable the feature in FaceTime Group conversations that automatically enlarged the window of the person who was talking.
To give users multiple options at a time when they rely heavily on video calling services, Apple has now turned this into an optional feature.
iOS 13.5 also offers users the option to automatically share their medical information with emergency centers during a phone call.
A new feature in iOS 13.5 can automatically send users’ medical information to the coordinators during an emergency call
According to Apple, the feature will leverage information entered by users in their device’s Health app, especially the Medical ID section, which contains data on blood type, food allergies and current medications.
Theoretically, the feature could save time for rescuers and also pass on information in case a caller cannot speak.
Apple also said that bug fixes and other improvements have been made as part of iOS 13.5, although some may not be available in all countries or on all devices.
The tech giant has previously been criticized for not being able to download new software updates to their devices once they were a few years old, effectively making them obsolete and prompting them to buy a replacement.
WHAT DO TECH COMPANIES DO ABOUT COVID-19?
The social network provides the World Health Organization with as many free ads as necessary to provide users of the platform with the most accurate health information as clearly as possible.
It also launched the ‘Coronavirus Information Center’ – a special web page with COVID-19 sources and advice.
This is promoted at the top of users’ news feeds and leads them to the latest updates and guidelines from the NHS and WHO.
Facebook also makes its Workplace platform freely available to governments and emergency services to help those affected by the coronavirus.
All government organizations worldwide, at national or local level, are eligible for 12 months of free access to the Workplace premium tier.
Twitter has also recently decided to remove tweets from its site that promote conspiracy theories, misleading or dangerous advice, and other harmful ideas related to coronavirus.
Tweets that deny “ established scientific facts ” and expert guidance regarding the virus are flagged as harmful and removed, the site said in a blog post.
It gave examples of inaccurate tweets that would be quickly removed, including “dark-skinned people are immune to COVID-19 due to melanin production,” “use aromatherapy and essential oils to prevent COVID-19,” and “the news about hands washing ‘is propaganda for soap companies, stop washing your hands! “.
Google also partnered with the WHO to launch an SOS warning for the coronavirus, which appears at the top of the search results when users type “ coronavirus. ”
The search engine gives priority to information about the WHO virus, including official WHO updates on the spread of the virus and how to keep it safe.