Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.5 updates to developers, one week after seeding the third betas and over a month after releasing iOS and iPadOS 13.4 with iCloud Folder Sharing, iPad trackpad support, and more.
iOS and iPadOS 13.5 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed.
iOS and iPadOS 13.5 introduce the exposure notification API designed by Apple and Google, which is designed to allow public health authorities to create COVID-19 contact tracing apps that are meant to slow the spread of the virus.
The API Apple has introduced is for health-related apps that will incorporate the new API, but there is a toggle in the Settings app that is designed to allow users to opt out of participating in COVID-19 exposure notifications.
Along with laying the ground work for the exposure notification API and accompanying apps, iOS 13.5 makes it easier to unlock an iPhone with a passcode when wearing a mask, as many people are wearing face coverings at the current time.
With the update, the passcode interface pops up more quickly when an iPhone detects that a mask is obscuring the face after a user swipes upward, so it’s quicker to get into an iPhone using a passcode than before.
There’s also a tweak to Group FaceTime, with Apple introducing a new toggle to disable the feature that automatically enlarges the tile of the person who is speaking. By default, Group FaceTime has a dynamic view with a tile for each person, and the person speaking has a larger tile while other tiles fade into the background.
An “Automatic Prominence” section in the FaceTime portion of the Settings app allows this to be disabled, displaying all of the people using FaceTime in a grid with equal-sized windows regardless of who is talking. A tile can be enlarged with a tap.
Earlier betas have introduced a new Apple Music feature that allows Apple Music songs to be shared on Instagram Stories. Tapping the Share button on a song in Apple Music creates a story with a song title, album name, and animated background, but at this time there is no way to get to Apple Music from the shared information.
iOS 13.5 also patches two security vulnerabilities that affect the Mail app on the iPhone and the iPad. One vulnerability allowed an attacker to remotely infect an iOS device by sending emails that consume a significant amount of memory, while another allowed remote code executions.
The update may also address an issue with Personal Hotspot that prevents it from working for some people and it could also fix a VPN-related vulnerability, both of which are bugs that Apple has promised to address in upcoming iOS updates.