Apple today released a new beta of iOS 13.5 to developers, bringing the first version of its COVID-19 exposure notification API to public health authorities. The update also includes a small tweak that makes it easier to skip Face ID and enter your passcode if you’re wearing a mask.

With this change, Face ID can detect if you’re wearing a mask and skip directly to the passcode screen if so. It’s impressive that Apple has developed it such that if you’re not wearing a mask, Face ID still works as normal, with the experience only being changed when you are wearing one.

While there are some workarounds, Face ID is not nearly as reliable if you’re wearing a mask. Most of the time, it will fail to recognize you and eventually take you to the passcode option. This change significantly streamlines that process. When you swipe up to unlock, you’ll be taken directly to the passcode screen.

The other major change in iOS 13.5 is the first version of Apple and Google’s COVID-19 contact tracing API for exposure notification. You can read more about that in our full coverage here, but you’ll find a new option in the Settings app for enabling exposure notifications:

iPhone is using Bluetooth to securely share your random IDs with nearby devices and collect their IDs. This enables an app to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Random IDs are deleted after 14 days.

Apps you authorize can notify you if you’re exposed to COVID-19. You can also choose to anonymously share your COVID-19 diagnosis.

iOS 13.5 beta 3 is rolling out to developers today. Any revision of iOS that uses a new SDK must have its minor version number changed, hence the jump from iOS 13.4.5 to iOS 13.5. You can read more in our full coverage.

Spot any major changes in the third developer beta of iOS 13.5? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, @9to5Mac.

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