Apple released its iOS 13.5 beta software to developers on 29 April and those who downloaded it immediately noticed that it included a workaround for unlocking iPhones when wearing a mask. The new update now immediately gives users the option to simply type their passcodes and skip the Face ID unlock when their iPhone camera detects that they are wearing a facemask. This removes the short delay users experience when they try to unlock their phone using the Face ID feature.
Furthermore, the iOS 13.5 beta also reportedly includes the coronavirus contact tracing system that Apple is developing with Google. The feature uses Bluetooth to detect and exchange anonymous identifiers with other phones in its proximity so that when a user is tested positive for the virus, users who have been in close proximity to them will be notified. According to users who downloaded the beta, the “COVID-19 Exposure Notifications” feature appears as an on-off switch that allows users to opt-out of the program.
“iPhone is using Bluetooth to securely share your random IDs with nearby devices and collect their IDs. This enables an app to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Random IDs are deleted after 14 days,” the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications feature explains.
Google will also reportedly release its version of the feature in Google Play Services this week, but instead of a full system update, the feature will be automatically enabled for devices running on Android 6.0 or later.