iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 are likely to be available to download very soon. The third version of the beta is now with developers and public beta testers. Update: the final public versions of iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 have now launched.
The betas include a fix for a security vulnerability in Mail, some new features relevant to the global pandemic situation, and a change to FaceTime. We’ll discuss each of these additions below.
The most recent version of iOS 13 is iOS 13.4.1, which contained bug fixes and was issued on 7 April. Prior to that Apple issued iOS and iPadOS 13.4 on 24 March (which bought iCloud Folder Sharing, iPad trackpad support, and more).
Unlocking in a mask
Throughout April Apple has been working on some Coronavirus-related updates to iOS and iPadOS. These include the ability to force an iPhone to present you with the option to enter your pin code if you are wearing a mask. An iPhone will be unable to recognise you if you have a mask on.
Normally it can take a few frustrating swipes and attempts to unlock before users have the option to enter a passcode when Face ID doesn’t recognise the user. Once the update is issued users will be able to swipe up from the bottom to get to the screen where their pin code can be entered. It’s always been possible to swipe up to get to this screen but it appears that the process will be quicker once iOS 13.4.5 launches as it won’t require Face ID to fail first.
Note: If you are wearing a mask due to Coronavirus there is a way to set up Face ID to unlock your iPhone. Read: How to use Face ID to unlock an iPhone wearing a mask.
Corona contact tracing
iOS 13.4.5 will also include new APIs. These APIs have been developed with Google and can be used by public health authorities for their COVID–19 contact tracing apps if they choose to. The feature may also be used in health-related apps.
You’ll be able to activate (and deactivate) COVID-19 tracking in Settings.
If you’ve been using Group FaceTime since Lockdown began you might be pleased to learn that Apple will be making it possible to switch off a feature that would make the person speaking more prominent than the other callers.
You’ll be able to turn off the “Auto Prominence” feature so that all the participants images are the same size, which should be preferable for calls with a number of people.
Mail flaw fixes and more
iOS 13.5 also addresses some security vulnerabilities in the iOS Mail app, which we discuss here: Mail app ‘vulnerable to hackers’, although Apple says that there is no real danger.
The beta may also fix a problem with Personal Hotspot not working for some people.
A VPN-related vulnerability may also be addressed.
How to get iOS 13.5 now
If you are a developer or a public beta tester you can download the third beta of iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 now and install the pre-release versions on your iPhone or iPad. You can register for the public beta here.
We also discuss how to enrol for the Apple beta program here.