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New iOS update lets iPhone alert users when someone with COVID-19 is nearby

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The pandemic remains a threat to the world no matter how loose or strict the laws are when it comes to handling the enemy.

This means that every initiative to assist the world in detecting the disease means a lot. Apple is one of the companies who harnessed the power of technology amidst this tribulation. 

The company recently released their new updates: iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5. 9to5Mac gave insights that these updates would include an all-new COVID-19 exposure notification API which could help users identify potential victims near them. 

This is possible through the use of Bluetooth to swap anonymous identifiers between two users who are within each other’s range. If a person’s been tested positive with the virus, their iPhone permits a list of individuals they’ve made contact with in the cloud.

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Photo by @rmrdnl / Unsplash

Once this list of infected have been downloaded on the user’s iPhone, they will be immediately informed of case-positive patients in their surroundings which would also be the user’s priority to inform health authorities. 

Other than the handy COVID-19 detecting feature, this update will also improve the Face ID performance. It’s very timely as well because everyone is now required to wear a face mask, but the new update promises that the user will be recognized and will be directed to the passcode screen. However, Face ID by itself will still not function until the mask is removed. 

The new iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 update are now available for download. Go ahead and check out your Apple devices.

As of writing, the feature is currently unavailable in the Philippines. Let’s hope the Department of Health (DOH) and the government makes good use of it soon.


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