Apple Releases iOS 13.7 with New COVID-19 Exposure Notifications Express System

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 13.7, bringing a new COVID-19 “Exposure Notifications Express” system, which removes the need to install a separate third-party app.

In a quote provided to The Verge, Apple described this new notification system as:

... the next step in our work with public health authorities on Exposure Notifications, we are making it easier and faster for them to use the Exposure Notifications System without the need for them to build and maintain an app. Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project’s core tenets of user privacy and security.

According to MacRumors, you can now enable COVID-19 Exposure Notifications directly in the Settings app:

After updating, iOS 13.7 users will see a new ‌Exposure Notification‌ section in the Settings app (it used to be in the Privacy settings) where there's a toggle to "Turn on Exposure Notifications."

Activating Exposure Notifications lets you know if the feature is available in your country, state, or region through a contact tracing app. In areas that are participating in the Exposure Notifications Express program, users will be able to turn on Exposure Notifications without the need to download an app.

As the focus of this update appears to be adding the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications Express System , our expectation is that it does not contain any accessibility changes for blind and low-vision users. However, if you do notice any changes, improvements or regressions in your use of this release, please let us know by posting a comment below.

iOS 13.7 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) via Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, or via iTunes on a PC or Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier.

Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either locally or in iCloud, depending on personal preference). This will ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the update process, you will have a current backup on hand in case a device restore becomes necessary. Also, if using OTA update, we recommend plugging your device into a power source for the duration of the download/installation process, so as to prevent the unlikely event of your battery going dead during the update.

More information on how to update the software on your device is available on this Apple Support page.

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Submitted by MillennialNinjaBatman 🇬🇧🇳🇵 on Thursday, September 3, 2020

The annoying donk sound that is played when deleting text is still there. It hasn’t been fixed in this update, other than that is fine. ☺️

Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, September 3, 2020

Thank you as always for keeping us in the loop. I just updated yesterday and checked out the new COVID-19 tracker. It works really well with VoiceOver, but my state has not yet set up alerts. I guess my question is this. Is there any indication of when this will be done? I realize this is a new thing, but just curious. I haven't had a chance yet to play around more with this update.

Submitted by peter on Thursday, September 3, 2020

Another bug that has not been fixed is the "Back" button that disappears after reading an article in the Apple News app. Hope this gets fixed in iOS 14. Maybe you iOS 14 beta testers out there can check into that.


Submitted by Wayne Scott Jr on Friday, September 4, 2020

You no longer open YouTube with Siri. This was brought to my attention on a Whatsapp group I'm on. My wife also has the same bug. When you ask Siri to open YouTube, it says that "YouTube has no support with Siri."

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Monday, September 7, 2020

I think I may have a possible way that you could keep this bug from happening.

For me, are use YouTube music. And I like having Siri play songs for me. And one of the last times I went to use it, I told Siri to play a song, and she open the app, but she did not play that song.
Now, I don’t know if this would work for the YouTube app, but it’s worth a try. I went into the settings for YouTube Music, intern used with ask Siri off and then waited a few seconds, and then turned it back on again.
Asked her to play a song for me, and she’s done it without fail ever cents.

Submitted by Taeshim on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Hi, I'm on ios 13.6 and notice on couple apps, I cannot flick left to go through all the content within the app. It will only show me a small section and stop going up to the previous content when I flick left. Before, I can flick left and right to browse through all content... Anyone else experience this?

My state, Colorado, just set up alerts and my iPhone notified me this morning and prompted me to opt in. I assume it works the same for all states.

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