The war against COVID-19 pandemic outbreak continues, although in a much lower defense now. In the very front of this war still stand the hospitals and the medical staffs all over the world but at this point we are all taking the necessary measures and precautions to avoid becoming ill and further spreading the virus. On the meantime, a new fighter has gradually joined the war bringing to the table solutions to help maintain the further spread of the pandemic under control, first through the collaboration with Google to establish the COVID-19 contact tracer platform and now by developing the new operating system upgrades. We invite you to read more in our previous article.
iOS, iPadOS 13.5 and 13.5.5
We are talking about Apple, which announced a couple of weeks back the launch of the iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 along with watchOS 6.2.6 GM. The upgrades would first be available only for the developers to evolve a beta testing period to only be released for the public on May 20th. This release is expected to fine-tune a few minor details like the Face ID and fix a few bugs, while also starting to address COVID-19 Exposure Notification API. It might also include support for future hardware like the rumored Apple Tags tracking devices or over-the-ear headphones.
In the release notes, Apple says the update also makes bug fixes for streaming video, the Mail app on iPad, and the share sheet.
Here are the full release notes for the update:
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 API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities
- Option to control automatic prominence on Group FaceTime calls so video tiles do not change size when a participant speaks
- 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
Apple is also running tests with iOS 13.5.5, which brings an internal version of the new Apple News + Audio service.
WatchOS 6.2.6 and 6.2.8
Along with iOS and iPadOs 13.5 Apple released watchOS 6.2.6 on June 1st, as a free update for the Apple Watch. This is connected with the iOS 13.5.1 update, and both updates are focused on security fixes. This comes two weeks after Apple released watchOS 6.2.5, and it is an important update for some users.
There are no features called out with this update, but it does include security fixes that Apple will likely outline in the coming hours. It is believed that iOS 13.5.1 update?is in response to the iOS 13.5 jailbreak that arrived in May.
On June 3rd Apple has released the first watchOS 6.2.8 beta version to developers. The update comes two days after watchOS 6.2.6 was released to the public, and as with tvOS, Apple has skipped version 6.2.7 for some unknown reason.
The updates that are still to be launched like the iOS 13.5.5 and watchOS 6.2.8 are expected to be released to the public soon, as Apple will introduce iOS 14 and other major updates of its operating systems at WWDC 2020, beginning June 22.