Apple releases iOS 13.5 beta with COVID-19 exposure notification API

By Manikanta Immanni
iOS 13.5

Apple just released the third and probably final beta of iOS version 13.4.5, renaming it as version iOS 13.5. While it does consist of some new features and bug fixes, much hype is revolving around its Coronavirus tracking and notifying API, which is now open for health officials to trail. This will be officially be rolled out later in May or June this year, after fixing any notified bugs.

The Coronavirus Exposure Notification is developed by Apple in association with Google, to be rolled out soon for helping people realize their exposure to any possible infected cases. This would alert users who’ve passed by those COVID-19 diagnosed persons, suggesting them to be aware and take necessary precautions afterward.

This would be helpful only if there’s Bluetooth range proximity between the individuals. Both Google and Apple have tried hard in explaining their exposure notification service are also privacy-centric besides fulfilling its purpose. But authorities and experts are still being skeptical. Thus, Apple made this feature completely optional.

The location data captured by the user’s phone is completely anonymized and stored within the phone only. Users find a toggle button to opt-in or out as per their preference.

Must Read: This iOS Bug shall crash your iPhone with just a simple text

iOS 13.5

iOS 13.5 beta was released for developers of health authorities to test and check its reliability. If passed, it will soon be coming as a standard feature in the iOS alpha phase, version 13.5. Well, renaming the version number from 13.4.5 to 13.5 has a reason too. According to MacRumors “Apple has introduced an API change to include initial support for its exposure notification platform in both the new iOS beta and Xcode 11.5, necessitating the version update to iOS 13.5 because it’s using a different SDK than iOS 13.4.”

This feature is released on Google Playstore too, as a private beta to let Android Studio developers test it. This will be running on Androids version 6 and above after being standard. We’re yet to know how well this service can help, and its implications on the phone’s battery usage.

Alongside, Apple has also rolled the third beta of watchOS 6.2.5, iPadOS 13.5, and macOS 10.15.5 to developers for testing.

The iOS 13.5 fixes critical security vulnerabilities of the Mail app of iPhone and the ‌iPad‌ that allowed an attacker to remotely infect an iOS device by sending emails that consume enormous memory.

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