iOS 13.5 Released With Faster Unlock Option for Masked Faces

    It’s also the first version of Apple’s mobile OS to allow apps using the new contact-tracing API to work.

    Just in time for the Memorial Day long weekend, Apple has rolled out iOS 13.5 to iPhones, and with it, it made life a little bit easier for face mask wearers.

    As The Verge reports, iOS 13.5 is notable for two new features. The first, hinted at in the beta 3 release last month, should be warmly received by anyone attempting to use their iPhone while wearing a face mask. Until now, it’s been a bit frustrating because Face ID really struggles to recognize you with half your face covered. Inevitably, users needed to wait for the passcode prompt to pop up on the screen, which takes a few seconds.

    The change Apple made in this new version of iOS allows for an upwards screen swipe to instantly bring up the passcode entry. That way, face mask wearers aren’t left waiting, they can just swipe and tap immediately to unlock.

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    At the end of last month, Apple and Google rolled out beta versions of their contact-tracing tools for app developers. In iOS 13.5, Apple included support for the API, meaning apps taking advantage of the contact-tracing system can now be used by iPhone owners. For now, it’s not an active system, meaning you’ll need to install an appropriate app to take advantage of the new functionality, e.g. checking if you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19.


    If you haven’t updated already, installing iOS 13.5 is as simple as visiting the Settings on your iPhone, tapping through General -> Software Update, and then tapping “Download and Install” for the iOS 13.5 upgrade that should appear there. Enter your passcode, then tap “Install Now” and the update will begin.

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