Apple today released the fourth beta of iOS 13.5 to developers. Today’s update makes further changes to the Settings app for managing COVID-19 exposure logging.
In the third developer beta of iOS 13.5 released last week, the “COVID-19 Exposure Notifications” pane in the Settings app included a single toggle for enabling or disabling the functionality. This led to some confusion over why the toggle was enabled without an accompanying app from a public health authority.
Things are much clearer in beta 4 of iOS 13.5, released to developers today. As you can see in the screenshot above, you cannot turn on Exposure Logging without an authorized app from a public health authority. You can also now delete exposure logs and manage installed applications.
You cannot turn on Exposure Logging without an authorized app installed that can send Exposure Notifications. When enabled iPhone can exchange random IDs with other devices using Bluetooth.
The random IDs your device collects are stored in an exposure log for 14 days. This exposure log allows an app you authorize to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 you can choose to share your own device’s random IDs with the authorized app so it can notify others anonymously.
This new explanation in the Settings app provides much-needed clarity around Apple’s implementation of COVID-19 exposure notifications and underscores that the feature is opt-in.
There is also evidence the feature might come to the iPad:
iPad is exchanging random IDs with other devices using Bluetooth. This enables an app to notify you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Apple releases iOS 13.5 developer beta 4 with Exposure Notification API, FaceTime and Face ID changes
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- Apple releases iOS 13.5 beta with first version of its COVID-19 exposure notification API
- Busy Group FaceTime call? iOS 13.5 lets you turn off automatic face zooming
- Apple and Google provide sample code and concepts for COVID-19 exposure notification apps
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