Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 13.7 update to developers to introduce new COVID-19 Exposure Notification options. The iOS 13.7 beta comes more than a month after the release of iOS 13.6, which introduced Car Keys and Apple News+ audio features.
The iOS 13.7 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over the air once the proper developer profile has been installed
According to Apple’s release notes, the iOS 13.7 beta allows users to opt-in to the Exposure Notification system without the need to download an app that supports the functionality, which is how the feature works on in iOS 14. In iOS 14, there’s a toggle to “Turn on Exposure Notifications” which then lets you know if the feature is available in your country, state, or region through a contact tracing app.
Using Exposure Notifications continues to require an app, and Apple says that System availability still depends on support from the local public health authority, but iOS 13.7 makes it easier to figure out whether an app is available to you. It also adds a dedicated Exposure Notification section to the Settings app, rather than burying the feature in the Privacy section of Settings.
There’s also a new iPadOS 13.7 beta that has been released alongside iOS 13.7, and as iPadOS does not support Exposure Notification, that update focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements.