Post-2017-iPhones all have one thing in common: no TouchID fingerprint sensor. Since Apple is confident in its FaceID biometric system, the TouchID may have seemed redundant at one point of the design process, but we’re guessing no-one ever thought the world may be plunged into a pandemic, rendering face masks mandatory.
But it now looks like the company has come up with a fix for the current face-covering issue in its latest version of iOS. In iOS 13.5, which is now available for download, Apple has made it easier to unlock an iPhone while wearing a face mask, while incorporating the first phase of Apple and Google’s jointly-developed contact tracing programme.
Keep that mask on, fam
On previous versions of iOS, unlocking with a face mask would be a tedious process in which the FaceID would first try to scan your cloth-clad face for a few seconds before prompting you to rather use the passcode. In the new update, however, users will have the ability to swipe up, and see the option to enter a passcode right away.
iOS 13.5 also brings the first of a range of features to help contact-tracking of possible COVID-19 infections. This is part of Apple and Google’s exposure notification API, which will allow apps developed by public health agencies to send you a notification if you may have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. It’ll only come into effect after the user downloads the apps that use the API, though, so it won’t track you from the get-go.
The contact tracing software will be used to monitor the spread of COVID-19 by identifying who was close to people who have been tested positive for the virus. Apple and Google will both work on the API to cover as large a population as possible, which will ensure more people in the developed world can find out whether they’ve been in close contact with anyone who may be infected.
Sauce: The Verge