The new iOS 13.5 update for iPhones includes features relevant to the post-COVID-19 world. The most notable feature of the software is the simplified unlock process when using Apple’s Face ID while wearing a mask. It also seeds a way for local public health agencies to develop contact tracing apps.

The update reduces the delay of showing the passcode menu on the iPhone as soon as it detects that the user is wearing a face mask. That means iPhone users can now directly enter the passcode and bypass Face ID when unlocking their devices. Since the Face ID still works even when the user is not wearing a face mask, there is no need to switch back and forth between the two security methods in the phone’s settings.

Another feature of the new iOS 13.5 update is the support for Exposure Notification API, which supports COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. Apple developed this feature in collaboration with Google, although this is not inherently an app but an API that allows others to develop apps that can leverage this feature. With this new update, iPhone users will be alerted if they have come in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.

The Exposure Notification API support is optional for apps that use the API. However, since not all contact tracing apps use this API and thus will not benefit from Apple and Google’s security and privacy features, iPhone users should be careful with what they install. Apple and Google noted that only 22 countries around the world have access to the API as of this time.

The Exposure Notifications API currently does not use WiFi but Bluetooth Low Energy, but Apple and Google are already working to make it impossible to create a digital paper trail. Both companies also confirmed that there are no plans to use the feature beyond the current pandemic.

iOS 13.5 also introduces two new smaller updates, the Medical ID data that allows users to securely share their Health apps with emergency services when they dial 911. This feature is currently available only in the U.S. The other small tweak has to do with the Group FaceTime, which prevents video chat tiles from changing in size even when a new main speaker leads the conversation.

Apple_iPhone-11-Pro_Ultra-Wide_091019_big The all-new Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto cameras offer a wider field of view, great for taking landscape or architecture photos, tight shots and more. Apple