By Jason Cross
Having released iOS and iPadOS 13.4 on March 24 with big new features like trackpad and mouse support for iPads and iCloud folder sharing, Apple is moving on to its next minor release.
Apple released iOS 13.4.1 without a beta test, and then started realeasing beta versions of 13.4.5 that primarily included only bug fixes. On April 29, without ever releasing 13.4.5, Apple released what it calls “beta 3” of iOS 13.5. This is just a continuation of the 13.4.5 beta releases, upgraded to a point-release version number as it now includes more significant features.
Updated 04/29/20: Apple has released iOS 13.5 beta 3 to developers without having released 13.4.5. It includes the first version of the Apple/Google contact tracing API.
What will you find in iOS and iPadOS 13.5? We expect this release to fine-tune a few minor details and fix a few bugs, while also starting to address COVID-19 specific issues. It might also include support for future hardware like the rumored Apple Tags tracking devices or over-the-ear headphones.
It would make Face ID a lot less secure for it to work on people wearing masks. But now that so many millions of people are wearing masks every day, Apple has made the fail state a little less painful.
After swiping up to unlock your iPhone, you used to have to wait a second for Face ID to fail before it would display the keypad to enter your passcode. Now, it displays the keypad right away so you can start entering your passcode immediately without waiting a second for Face ID to fail (due to your mask). It’s a very small change, but will be appreciated by those wearing masks all day.
The third beta also introduced the first version of the Apple/Google contact tracing API for developers. That won’t mean anything to regular users until state health agencies release apps that use it, but the developers of those apps can at least get rolling on development and testing now.
When you make a Group FaceTime call, iOS automatically zooms in on the person who’s speaking. That may work with three or four people, but in more crowded calls it’s a pain. New in iOS 13.5 is a toggle to disable that.
Go to Settings > FaceTime and look for the Automatic Prominence heading. There’s a toggle for Speaking there.
Registered iOS developers can head to developer.apple.com/download on the device to which you want to install the new beta software. From there, you can download and install a profile.
Make sure the profile is enabled by heading to Settings > General > Profile. Once the profile is installed and your iPhone or iPad is reset, you will receive iOS and iPadOS betas the same way you would regular updates: go to Settings > General > Software Update.
Public beta releases typically follow within 24 hours of the developer beta releases. Non-developers who wish to participate in the beta test can go to beta.apple.com on the device upon which you wish to run the beta. From there you can download a profile and follow the steps above to activate it and download the latest beta.
As always, it is not recommended that you run an iOS or iPadOS beta on your primary device. Serious problems may occur, and you never know when you’ll have to wipe and restore your device.
This story, “iOS and iPadOS 13.5 beta is available with initial contact tracing API, faster passcode for Face ID failures” was originally published by
Jason has written professionally about technology for over 20 years. His goal is to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.
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