Apple releases iOS 13.5 with Face ID tweak for masks, exposure notifications

Apple has released a new version of iOS that helps adapt your iPhone to the coronavirus pandemic. iOS 13.5 is now rolling out with support for face masks when using Face ID and COVID-19 exposure notifications.

The former is a bit of an odd feature but one that’s completely necessary in today’s climate. So many people have begun wearing face coverings to safeguard themselves and abide by laws in various states across the country. With any facial obstruction, Face ID simply doesn’t work. In iOS 13.5, Apple made it quicker to access the passcode screen if Face ID identifies that you’re wearing a mask. It isn’t clear how long this feature will stick around, but I assume it’ll come in handy in situations not related to COVID-19 such as on Halloween.

The second big feature is exposure notifications that it built with Google. Using medical provider’s third-party apps, your iPhone will alert you when you’ve come in contact with someone who has been identified as having COVID-19. You’ll be able to flick the feature off in Settings, but it might come in handy if you want to be extra careful about where you go.

The update also delivers a few enhancements with group FaceTime calls. As always, iOS 13.5 includes additional bug fixes and security patches. Rounding things off, Apple is also rolling out iPadOS 13.5.

All iPhones and iPads compatible with either iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 will get the updates.