If there ever was an update that was to respond to the immediate need of the current state of society then this update for iOS (13.5) is it.

The new features added as part of the 13.5 update are all part of Apple and its main software responding and adjusting to the pandemic. The main features include;

  • Simplified unlock process for devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask
  • Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities
  • Option to automatically share health and other essential information from your Medical ID with emergency services when you place an emergency call (US only)

While it’s great to see updates that help us use our devices more effectively during these ‘unprecedented’ times we wonder whether some of these features will roll back once the crisis has subsided or will this be our new normal? Also, couldn’t we implement shortcuts and automations to effectively respond to some of the issues we face during these times? Some of our suggestions would be:

  • Automatically add locations and contacts into a Google Sheet for places and people you meet from you calendar
  • Heatmap of reported COVID-19 cases on a Google Map for your neighbourhood and other areas you frequent
  • A reminder to wash your hands every time someone closes the fridge door or uses the bathroom