- Earlier this week, Apple released iOS 13.7 with several new features. This is a review of Apple iOS 13.7 to help you decide whether to update.
Apple recently launched iOS 13.7 and the primary feature is the ability to opt-in to the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications system without having to download an app.
COVID-19 Exposure Notifications System
Apple and Google have been collaborating on a COVID-19 contact tracing system to help protect people from the global pandemic. If you turn on the Exposure Notifications, then a Public Health Authority can notify you of possible exposure to COVID-19. This feature does not collect or share exposure notifications data with anyone unless you give it permission.
Previously, you would have to download a dedicate app from a local public health organization. However, it now works at the operating system level. Google is adding a similar feature later this month for devices that are running Android 6.0.
“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. Existing apps using the Exposure Notification API will be compatible with Exposure Notifications Express, and we are committed to supporting public health authorities that have deployed or are building custom apps,” said Apple and Google in a statement.
The technology is based on Bluetooth and it detects when two smartphones come within two meters for a certain period of time to determine whether another person was exposed.
You can activate this feature by updating to iOS 13.7 and then open Settings app > “Exposure … [+]” towards the bottom
Other Features Added In iOS 13.7
Apple also revealed that it added new Memoji stickers and iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app. And there are also several unnamed bug fixes and improvements built into iOS 13.7.
Apple iOS 13.7 works on every device that supports iOS 13. So you can update it on the iPhone 6S and higher, 7th generation iPod touch, and newer generation iPads. You can update the device by connecting it to your computer and opening the device in Finder (macOS Catalina) or through iTunes (macOS Mojave or earlier or PC). Or you can do it through your device by going to Settings app > General > Software Update..
I looked through Twitter to see if anyone is reporting issues after upgrading to Apple iOS 13.7 and there are just a few people who are dealing with battery drain issues, some audio issues, Face ID issues on iPhone 11, an issue around hearing people over the phone, and podcast syncing issues.
Upgrading To iOS 13.7: Should I Do It?
I think that the addition of the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications system is one of the biggest reasons to upgrade to iOS 13.7. As the shelter-in-place orders are starting to pull back globally, it will be essential to keep yourself safe from anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and help protect others in case you have been exposed.
This update also seems to have less bugs than previous versions of iOS. In case you run into any bugs on iOS 13.7, then you can always send a tweet to @AppleSupport.