Apple updated iOS, iPadOS and tvOS

Apple UpdatesApple just updated its operating systems for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. It’s a health update mostly about COVID-19 disease and bug fixes. This update introduces the Exposure Notification API created by Apple and Google, which is designed to allow public health authorities to create COVID-19 contact tracing apps with the aim of slowing the spread of the virus. Apple also released iOS 12.4.7 with security fixes for older iOS devices unable to be upgraded to iOS 13. As usual, backup all your important data to at least two safe places.

Exposure Notification is a Bluetooth-based API that will be integrated into apps created by public health authorities in each country. It won’t work without an accompanying app installed, but Apple has added option to see details about Exposure Logging in the Privacy section of the Settings app. You can opt-out of exposure notifications if a COVID-19 app is installed and also you can check if you have such apps already installed on your iOS/iPadOS device.

Apple and Google said:

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.

Exposure Notification‌ API will use Bluetooth to communicate with the smartphones of the people around you, and you will be provided with notifications should you come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 that chooses to share that information.

Exposure Notification API was created with focus on privacy, so you should not be afraid.

Another update related to COVID-19 is about users with masks. If Face ID detects that you are wearing a mask, passcode option will be shown much faster. There’s also a new toggle in the Health app for showing Medical ID info on the Lock screen when an ‌iPhone‌ is locked.

If you are an Apple music user, you can now share on Instagram. Tapping the Share button on a song in ‌‌Apple Music‌‌ creates a story with a song title, album name, and animated background, but there’s no way to get to ‌‌Apple Music‌‌ from the shared information. I’m not happy with this feature, because Instagram is owned by Facebook and I don’t like people behind Facebook, mostly because of privacy and tracking issues.

The update patches two security vulnerabilities that affect the Mail app on the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌iPad‌. One of the vulnerabilities allowed an attacker to remotely infect an iOS/iPadOS device by sending emails that consume a significant amount of memory, while another allowed remote code executions.

Full release notes:

iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces the ‌Exposure Notification‌ API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. This update also introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls and includes bug fixes and other improvements.

Face ID and Passcode:

  • Simplified unlock process for devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask
  • Passcode field automatically presented after swiping up from the bottom of the Lock screen when you are wearing a face mask
  • Also works when authenticating with the App Store, Apple Books, Apple Pay, iTunes, and other apps that support signing in with Face ID

Exposure Notification:

  • Exposure Notification‌ API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities

‌FaceTime:

  • Option to control automatic prominence on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks

Emergency Services:

  • Option to automatically share health and other essential information from your Medical ID with emergency services when you place an emergency call (US only)

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements:

  • Fixes an issue where users may see a black screen when trying to play streaming video from some websites
  • Addresses an issue in the share sheet where suggestions and actions may not load

iPadOS got separate release notes:

‌iPadOS‌ 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls. This update includes bug fixes and other improvements.

Face ID and Passcode:

  • Simplified unlock process for devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask
  • Passcode field automatically presented after swiping up from the bottom of the Lock screen when you are wearing a face mask
  • Also works when authenticating with the ‌App Store‌, Apple Books, ‌Apple Pay‌, iTunes, and other apps that support signing in with Face ID

FaceTime:

  • Option to control automatic prominence on Group ‌FaceTime‌ calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements:

  • Fixes an issue where users may see a black screen when trying to play streaming video from some websites
  • Addresses an issue in the share sheet where suggestions and actions may not load
  • Resolves security issues, including some that could lead to unexpected memory corruption or stability issues with the Mail app

iPhones and iPads can be updated over-the-air via Settings app by going to General -> Software Update. All devices running iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 are supported.

Apple also updated HomePod with 13.4.5 software update. According to Apple’s release notes, the update includes general improvements for stability and quality, with no new features mentioned.

tvOS was also updated. New update is obviously only for 4th and 5th generations of Apple TVs. It can be updated over the air via the Settings app on the ‌Apple TV‌ by going to System -> Software Update.

No new features were found and probably it’s just about general performance and stability improvements. Apple will share more informations HERE.

New version number(s):

  • iOS – 13.5
  • iPadOS – 13.5
  • tvOS – 13.4.5
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