Following its announcement announced and rolling out of the Golden Master versions of the iOS 13.5 to developers, Apple has now released the software to the general public. The Golden Master was the final version of the software for testing just before its eventual release.
The public beta of the iOS 13.5 was opened in April. The WatchOS 6.2.5 and tvOS 13.4.5 updates were also released alongside the Golden Master build, and now, the final public release is rolling out to devices around the world.
What is new in iOS 13.5?
In summary, iOS 13.5 brings these key new features to the table: Apple’s Exposure Notification API framework for COVID-19 contact tracing, changes to Face ID so you can skip Face ID if you’re wearing a mask, and changes to FaceTime, so you can turn off automatic face zooming during Group FaceTime calls.
The Apple iOS 13.5 update introduces a more polished version of the COVID-19 contact tracing app (which is the product of a collaboration between Google and Apple) and also features an improved FaceID feature which now enables users to easily unlock their devices even while putting on protective face masks.
Users also get to enjoy improvements to the Mail App, tweaks to the Group FaceTime calls and a number of other bug fixes. Some of these bug fixes include:
- Fixing the issue where users may see a black screen while trying to stream videos from certain websites.
- Making sure that suggestions and actions now load properly.
A number of concerns from certain quarters worry that the new FaceID feature may potentially weaken phone security, as the new feature does not require the face to be totally exposed to unlock the device.
The more detailed release notes are below.
iOS 13.5 release notes
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.
If you own an iPhone, you can update it to iOS 13.5 by going to the Settings menu on your phone, and choosing General, then Software Update. The procedure is the same for checking for iPadOS 13.5 on your iPad tablet. Software updates are often rolled out in batches, so if it has not arrived on your device yet, it will soon. Keep checking.