Apple today released the third beta of iOS 13.5. If you are wondering when the company released the first two betas of iOS 13.5, it never did. Instead, it had released two beta builds of iOS 13.4.5 but due to the number of changes, it bumped the version number to iOS 13.5.
iOS 13.5 brings a number of changes that are related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how it has changed the way people use their smartphones. Below is a look at all the changes that Apple has introduced in iOS 13.5 beta 3.
Contact Tracing or Exposure Notifications API
With the third beta of iOS 13.5, Apple released the first version of its exposure notifications or contact tracing API which it had announced earlier this month. This API is cross-compatible with Android devices and will allow government health bodies to build a contact tracing app for coronavirus. This API is important as restrictions in iOS will not allow the contact tracing feature to work properly otherwise. The COVIDSafe app from Australia is a prime example of this. Since it does not use the exposure notification API from Apple, it requires users to keep the app running in the foreground to work properly.
Skip Face ID and Jump to Passcode Screen
Face ID does not work with masks, and people wearing masks is becoming a common sight due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that unlocking an iPhone while wearing a mask is a pretty frustrating experience. While Apple can’t really fix Face ID to work with masks, it has done the next best thing.
In iOS 13.5 beta 3, Apple has introduced a small change in the iPhone unlocking process. If your iPhone detects that you are wearing a mask, it will jump straight to the passcode screen whenever you try unlocking it. Without a mask, if you swipe up to unlock your iPhone, Face ID would again authenticate you instead of asking for the passcode. Given that the usage of masks is here to stay for the foreseeable future, this is a welcome change from Apple.
Disable Larger Tiles in Group FaceTime Calls
The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a rise in the usage of video calling services. While Google Meet, Zoom, and others are hogging all the limelight, FaceTime has also seen a spike in its usage. To make the group FaceTime video call experience better, Apple has added the ability to disable the “Automatic Prominence” feature in iOS 13.5 beta 3.
Automatic Prominence would automatically enlarge the tile of the person speaking in a group FaceTime video call. There is now an option to disable it so that you can view a static grid of all the people in a group call. This is more convenient especially since things tend to get a bit chaotic in group video calls with multiple people speaking at the same time. You can still enlarge the tile of the person speaking in a group video call by tapping on their tile.
What are some of the other changes that you have noticed in iOS 13.5 beta 3? Drop a comment and share them with us!