Face mask wearing iPhone users rejoice! The iOS 13.5 update is here

Face mask wearing iPhone users rejoice! The iOS 13.5 update is here
There is one problem using newer Apple iPhone models during this global pandemic Those wearing a mask are finding out that Face ID doesn't work with most of their faces covered by a mask. And it does take a little bit of time for the phone to reject Face ID and bring up the passcode screen so that a user can sign in and open his handset. But today Apple rolled out iOS 13.5 which uses an algorithm that detects quickly when the user has his face covered by a mask. Instead of trying Face ID multiple times creating that aforementioned lag, the passcode screen will pop up right away.

Update to iOS 13.5 can automatically send your Medical ID information to first responders when 911 is called


The update also gives the user more control over a group FaceTime chat. Currently, in a FaceTime group chat, the box containing the person speaking gets larger. With the update, an iPhone user can go to Settings > FaceTime and turn off the "Speaking" toggle to stop this from taking place. If this feature is toggled off, users will see a grid showing an image of each participant in the same-sized box regardless of who is speaking. Tapping on each person's box will blow up their image.

Perhaps the most well known of the new features that arrived in iOS 13.5 is the support for exposure notification. This will allow developers to create apps for public health organizations; these apps will allow iOS and Android phones to work together to track those who have been in the vicinity of COVID-19 positive individuals. Those who receive a notification can get themselves tested and self-quarantine for two weeks thus limiting the spread of the virus.


You can find out more about Exposure Notification by going to Settings > Privacy > Health. Note that until an app is installed on an iPhone or iPad from a local public health organization, the Exposure Notification and logging feature can not be enabled. Apple and Google have stated, "What we’ve built is not an app — rather public health agencies will incorporate the API into their own apps that people install. Our technology is designed to make these apps work better. Each user gets to decide whether or not to opt-in to Exposure Notifications; the system does not collect or use location from the device; and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to report that in the public health app. User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps. Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts."

Speaking about health, iOS 13.5 also will send a user's Medical ID information, created in the Health app, automatically to first responders whenever 911 is called. This is the type of information that some with chronic illnesses have engraved on a bracelet. By sending this information in advance to paramedics, they will know whether someone injured and unresponsive is allergic to certain medications. The data will also give the medical professionals a heads up so they can see what medications the person is currently taking. This  way there will be no risk of a potentially dangerous interaction between the user's daily regiment and any medications that the paramedics want to administer. 


A couple of bugs are also getting exterminated with the update, including one that causes the screen to go black when streaming videos from some sites. And another bug that prevents the share sheet from working has also been fixed.

Besides iOS 13.5, Apple has also released iPadOS 13.5. You can install the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. For older devices, iOS 12.4.7 has been disseminated in order to provide these models with security fixes.

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