Apple has added "COVID-19 Exposure Notifications" in the iOS 13.5 beta
What you need to know
- Apple has added "COVID-19 Exposure Notifications" in the iOS 13.5 beta.
- This is part of the company's eventual plan of building contact tracing into the OS.
- You can turn the feature on by navigating to Settings > Privacy > Health > COVID-19 Exposure Notifications.
Apple and Google are set to release the API that will allow healthcare agencies to add contact tracing to their apps this Friday. In preparation for that launch, Apple has added the ability for users to turn on the feature in the latest beta.
Spotted by Gulherme Rambo on Twitter, Apple has added "COVID-19 Exposure Notifications" to the iPhone in the latest iOS 13.5 beta.
The feature says that, if turned on, it will begin to share your IDs with nearby devices as well as collect theirs. Any apps you authorize will then be able to notify you if you may have been exposed to the virus.
🦠😷 pic.twitter.com/WkmFtLDgVc🦠😷 pic.twitter.com/WkmFtLDgVc— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) April 29, 2020April 29, 2020
For those who have the iOS 13.5 beta installed, they can turn on the feature by navigating to Settings > Privacy > Health > COVID-19 Exposure Notifications.
Apple and Google are expected to make the API available to developers on May 1st, so we should expect iOS 13.5 to come out relatively soon to align with health agencies who want to start their contact tracing programs using the companies' technology.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
It's a shame I won't be able to use it, because a bunch of old men in the UK who barely know how to send an email, decided they know more about technology than Apple and Google combined
My take is that the new contact tracing AI is very scary. One can only imagine what can be done with it in the future. It sounds innocuous now but in the future what other things will they want to track next? All marketed under the guise of safety.
That's the same with everything in life, every innovation is great but often has a drawback. I go back to the kitchen knife argument, they're greatly useful but also incredibly dangerous. In fact in the UK we have a real problem with knife attacks, but should we ban knives completely? No. Contact tracing will be incredibly useful, the risks are there but the benefits outweigh the negatives