iOS 13.7 released with ‘Exposure Notifications Express’

The news: Apple just released iOS 13.7 with significant improvements to the exposure notification system.

  • The new feature, Exposure Notifications Express, allows for COVID-19 exposure notifications with needing to download a specific government-issued app
  • iOS 13.7 marks the first time Apple has ever released an iOS X.7 firmware update

Our take: This is an interesting move considering that later this month, iOS 14 is releasing for everyone. Seems like Apple really wanted to push this out ASAP.

iOS 13.7 beta released with better COVID-19 notifications support

The news: Apple just released iOS 13.7 beta 1 to developers.

  • According to 9to5Mac, “iOS 13.7 lets you opt-in to the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications system without the need to download an app. System availability depends on support from your local public health authority”
  • This the first time Apple has ever released an iOS x.7 update
  • Apple has more details about exposure notifications here: http://covid19.apple.com/contacttracing

Our take: The barrier of needing an app to participate in exposure notifications always felt odd to me, and it seems the new update will allow anyone to opt-in. Pretty cool.

iOS 13.6.1 released with system storage & ‘green tint’ fix

The news: Apple just released iOS 13.6.1 with bug fixes and other improvements.

  • Addresses an issue where unneeded system data files might not be automatically deleted when available storage is low
  • Fixes a thermal management issue that caused some displays to exhibit a green tint
  • Fixes an issue where Exposure Notifications could be disabled for some users

Some peripheral details:

  • There are no security updates in iOS 13.6.1
  • Updates normally drop at 10am PST, this one came hours later than usual
  • This could be the last update to iOS 13, prior to the release of iOS 14 this Fall
An example of the ‘green tint’ display issue, courtesy of MacRumors

Our take: Apple is continuing small development work on iOS 13 to bridge the gap between now and the release of iOS 14 sometime in the next couple of months.

iOS 13.6 released with car keys, Apple News audio stories

The news: Apple just released iOS 13.6 with support for digital car keys, Apple News audio stories and more.

  • There is also new symptom tracking in Health and automated OS updates
  • This marks the first iOS x.6 update ever

Our take: iOS 13.6 is a solid update but you probably won’t be able to enjoy the flagship car keys feature for a couple of years. News audio stories are cool…but free users only get access to one new story a day.

iOS 13.6: full changelog revealed

The news: Apple plans to publicly release iOS 13.6 in the near future and have made the full changelog available for viewing.

  • Digital car keys, Apple News+ audio stories and new data types in the Health appp are the focus of the update
  • iOS 13.6 was previously known as iOS 13.5.5

Full changelog

iOS 13.6 adds support for digital car keys, introduces audio stories in Apple News+, and contains a new symptoms category in the Health app. This release also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Digital car keys

  • Unlock, lock, and start your compatible car with your iPhone
  • Securely remove digital keys from a lost device via iCloud
  • Share digital keys easily with iMessage
  • Driver-specific profiles so you can configure shared keys for full-access or restricted driving
  • Power reserve lets you unlock and start your car for up to five hours after iPhone runs out of battery

Apple News

  • Audio stories are professionally narrated versions of some of the best reads from Apple News+, selected and produced by the Apple News editors as part of your Apple News+ subscription
  • Apple News Today is a new, free audio briefing on the day’s top stories from the Apple News editors, also available in the Podcasts app
  • A new Audio tab makes it easy to find Apple News Today and Apple News+ audio stories
  • CarPlay allows you to listen to Apple News Today and Apple News+ audio stories while on the road
  • Local news in your Today feed provides extensive coverage of San Francisco, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, and New York City
  • More stories available from local news providers with a subscription to Apple News+
  • Your daily newsletter from Apple News can now be personalized with stories that reflect your interests

Health

  • New category for symptoms in the Health app, including symptoms logged from Cycle Tracking and ECG
  • Ability to log new symptoms, like fever, chills, sore throat or coughing, and share them with third-party apps

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.

  • Adds a new setting to choose if updates automatically download to your device when on Wi-Fi
  • Addresses an issue that could cause apps to become unresponsive when syncing data from iCloud Drive
  • Fixes an issue that could cause data roaming to appear to be disabled on eSIM even though it remained active
  • Fixes an issue thats causes some phone calls from Saskatchewan to appear as originating from the United States
  • Addresses an issue that could interrupt audio when making phone calls over Wi-Fi Calling
    Fixes an issues that prevented some iPhone 6S and iPhone SE devices from registering for Wi-Fi Calling
  • Resolves an issue that could cause the software keyboard to appear unexpectedly when connected to certain third-party hardware keyboards
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Japanese hardware keyboards to be incorrectly mapped as a U.S. keyboard
  • Addresses stability issues when accessing Control Center when Assistive Touch was enabled
  • Provides a mechanism for administrators to specify domains to exclude from traffic carried by always-on VPN connections

Some features may not be available for all regions or on all Apple devices. For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

iOS 13.6 beta 3 released to developers

The news: Following last week’s massive iOS 14 beta 1 release, iOS 13.6 beta 3 is out now for developers.

  • Apple confirmed at WWDC that CarKey support would be added in the iOS 13.6 update
  • Previously iOS 13.6 added a new toggle to download and install updates automatically

Our take: Although I’ve said this before, iOS 13.6 has to be the last iOS 13 update, right? I’m shocked that Apple is still putting so much time in effort into the 2019 release even now… especially with the iOS 14 beta cycle in full swing.

iOS 13.6 beta 2 released to developers

The news: Apple just released the first iOS x.6 update ever to developers, in yet another unprecedented move in firmware naming.

  • The version number has jumped due to the addition of a new SDK…it’s just unclear what was added currently
  • In News settings, there’s a new “Newsletters & Privacy” panel that currently links to a placeholder Apple ID privacy page
  • Health includes new Symptoms panel allowing you to record numerous conditions, source
  • Updated preference pane to download/install iOS updates automatically, source

Our take: First iOS 13.4.5, then iOS 13.5, then iOS 13.5.5…and now iOS 13.6?

iOS 14 to support same devices as iOS 13

The news: iOS 14 will likely support the device you’re holding in your hand right now, according to The Verifier.

  • iPhone 6s and SE aren’t getting cut off as expected this year

Our take: While a 42.5% accurate track record would make me call this into question, The Verifier did get device support for iOS 13 right last year. While 6s and SE users are in luck…this does make me question whether or not iOS 14 will be as big of an update as previously expected…

First iOS 13.5.5 beta released to developers

The news: Following the public release of iOS 13.5.1, Apple just released iOS 13.5.5 beta 1 to developers.

  • It appears the update adds Apple Pay support for Hong Kong’s Octopus card

Our take: Alright…it’s to the point where keeping track of these random version numbers is becoming quite challenging. For the average user, the software releases lately have been a jumbled mess with no clear rhyme or reason. Regardless of what’s changing in 13.5.5, it already feels confusing.

iOS 13.5.1 update released

The news: The follow-up to iOS 13.5 is out for everyone with some “important security updates.”

  • It was around 77MB on my iPhone 11 Pro

Our take: Confirmed by Apple, this patches the unc0ver jailbreak. I’ve looked around and can’t find a single other thing that has changed.