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Wearing a Mask? Apple Just Made Unlocking Your iPhone Way Faster

iOS 13.5 just rolled out and the big news is that Apple made unlocking your iPhone while wearing a mask significantly quicker.


If you have an iPhone that uses Face ID, it’s a good idea to download iOS 13.5 — which just went live — right now. The big news is that the new software update makes it significantly quicker to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask. Without the update, your iPhone takes a few seconds trying (and failing) to unlock using Face ID. With iOS 13.5, you can bypass those precious seconds by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and going straight to the screen to enter your passcode. To be clear: Face ID still won’t work while you’re wearing a mask, but the update allows you to skip to the screen that’ll let you unlock your iPhone, faster.

The other key update is that iOS 13.5 supports the new contact tracing API for COVID-19 that’s been co-created by Apple and Google. The API uses your smartphone’s Bluetooth tracking data (not GPS) to figure out if you’ve been in contact with (or been near) someone who has COVID-19. Apple and Google aren’t making any apps, to be clear, but they’re opening this new API so that public health agencies can take advantage of it. So don’t expect to receive any warning notifications on your iPhone just yet — you’ll have to have apps that support this contact tracing API downloaded on your iPhone first. And the apps aren’t here just yet. Hopefully, that’ll change in the near future.

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