iOS 13

iOS 13.5 Developer Beta 4 Brings improvements to COVID-19 Exposure Notifications

Exposure Notifications now make a little more sense

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Apple has released a new beta of iOS 13.5 for developers, bringing improvements to the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications API.

In iOS 13.5 Developer Beta 3, released last week, the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications panel in the Settings included a single toggle for enabling or disabling the functionality. This led to a lot of confusion over why the toggle was enabled without an accompanying app from a public health authority.

Things have been made more clearer in beta 4 of iOS 13.5, released to developers today. Now it is not possible to turn on Exposure Logging without an authorized app from a public health authority. You can also now delete exposure logs and manage installed applications.

Apple states:

You cannot turn on Exposure Logging without an authorized app installed that can send Exposure Notifications. When enabled iPhone can exchange random IDs with other devices using Bluetooth.

The random IDs your device collects are stored in an exposure log for 14 days. This exposure log allows an app you authorize to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 you can choose to share your own device’s random IDs with the authorized app so it can notify others anonymously.

In addition to the API, iOS 13.5 also brought an improvement to Face ID that makes it easier to unlock your iPhone when you are wearing a mask.

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