Apple has today released iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 to the public, with Exposure Notification API, faster Face ID unlocking when wearing a face mask, a new option to automatically share selected health data with emergency services, and more.
Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users in iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5
Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5:
- Temporary banners now correctly disappear after a few seconds.
- VoiceOver no longer wrongly reports some blocks of text as being editable text fields.
- Apple appears to have made some improvements to the bug which prevented websites from inverting colors when both Dark Mode and Smart Invert are enabled. Our testing suggests that there are still instances when websites will not invert.
At the time of writing, we are unaware of any new bugs for blind or low vision users in today's releases. However, as we always stress, we can make no claims on the completeness or accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all devices, configurations, applications, and use cases. Accordingly, to help us ensure that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible, please let us know in the comments of any fixes; enhancements; or regressions that you find in your own use of iOS 13.5 or iPadOS 13.5.
General Changes in iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5
- iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 include Apple and Google’s new Exposure Notification API for COVID-19 contact tracing: Take a first look at Apple and Google's ambitious new COVID-19 contact tracing technology that will send you a notification if you were near someone who has the coronavirus
- Face ID can now detect if you’re wearing a mask and skip directly to the passcode screen if so: Apple wants to make Face ID work better with your face mask. Here's what we know
- You can now opt to have selected information from the Health app automatically shared with emergency services when making an emergency call: New iPhone iOS 13.5 update could save your life — here's how
- There is a new setting in the FaceTime app that allows you to disable the automatic enlargement of the active speaker's video window: Busy Group FaceTime call? iOS 13.5 lets you turn off automatic face zooming
- A new option is available to share songs, albums, and playlists to Facebook and Instagram Stories: HOW TO Share Apple Music Songs in Your Instagram & Facebook Stories
According to MacRumors, iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 also patch two security vulnerabilities that affect the Mail app on the iPhone and the iPad:
One vulnerability allowed an attacker to remotely infect an iOS device by sending emails that consume a significant amount of memory, while another allowed remote code executions.
Apple's full release notes for iOS 13.5 are as follows:
iOS 13.5 speeds up access to the passcode field on devices with Face ID when you are wearing a face mask and introduces the Exposure Notification API to support COVID-19 contact tracing apps from public health authorities. This update also introduces an option to control automatic prominence of video tiles on Group FaceTime calls and includes bug fixes and other improvements.
Note that iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 were initially released as iOS 13.4.5 beta and iPadOS 13.4.5 beta, but when the Exposure Notifications API was announced, an SDK update was required, which meant that the version numbers also had to be updated.
How to update
iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 are available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) via Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina, 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.
As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on these updates. Do you like the new features and changes? Let us know by adding a comment below.