Covid 19 Exposure NotificationsSource: Apple

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.

"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've been exposed to COVID-19. You can also choose to anonymously share your COVID-19 diagnosis."

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.

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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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