News: Apple's iOS 13.5 Developer Beta 4 Gives Us Updated COVID-19 Exposure Logging Settings

Apple's iOS 13.5 Developer Beta 4 Gives Us Updated COVID-19 Exposure Logging Settings

Apple released the fourth developer beta for iOS 13.5 today, Wednesday, May 6. This update comes one week after the release of iOS 13.5 dev beta 3, which introduced Apple and Google's joint COVID-19 exposure notification API to iOS for the first time. Apple updated that settings page to now include an "Exposure Logging" setting instead.

Apple seeded developers 13.5 dev beta 4 at 10 a.m. PDT. If you have experience with iOS beta testing, you know Apple tends to release beta updates at this time. However, don't expect to see the update hit your device if you're running the public beta. This update is only for registered developers. We expect Apple to release 13.5 public beta 3 either today at 1 p.m. PDT, or tomorrow at 10 a.m. PDT.

Chief among the new features in this update is the "COVID-19 Exposure Logging" setting. This option replaces last week's "Exposure Notifications" settings page, adding a description for how the exposure logging works. Unlike the notification setting in dev beta 3, this setting is not currently interactive, as it requires an Exposure Logging-authorized app to be installed. No such app yet exists.

iOS 13.5 dev beta 4 (left) vs. dev beta 3 (right).

It appears this setting replaces the old notification setting. "COVID-19 Exposure Notifications" still appears in search, but links to this new logging setting instead.

You'll also find a new feature for Medical ID, where your information will be shared with first responders when placing an emergency call or text. This feature, plus the exposure notification API, just goes to show how tech companies like Apple are trying to add more health tools for the public's access during this coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Apple changed the name of this beta from 13.4.5 to 13.5, all while keeping the beta numbering the same, confusing all of us in the process. That name change was likely due to the aforementioned inclusion of the COVID-19 exposure notification API, although that wasn't the only new feature present in the beta. Apple also included a new option for disabling automatic zooming for tiles in Group FaceTime calls, after complaints that the constant movement during crowded calls was distracting.

iOS & iPadOS 13.5 Beta 4 Release Notes


  • The iOS & iPadOS 13.5 SDK provides support to develop apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS & iPadOS 13.5. The SDK comes bundled with Xcode 11.5 beta 2, available from the Mac App Store. For information on the compatibility requirements for Xcode 11.5 beta 2, see Xcode 11.5 Beta 2 Release Notes.

Exposure Notification - Known Issues

  • Weight values can't be set to zero. Workaround: Set weights that should be zero to .0001.

Music - New Features

  • A new option is available to share songs, albums, and playlists to Facebook and Instagram Stories. (60895397)

To update your iPhone to iOS 13.5 dev beta 4, you'll need to be a registered developer. You can use the restore image for your iPhone available in the Developer portal (install with iTunes or Finder) or install the configuration profile, then update over the air. If you already have the profile installed on your iPhone, head over to Settings –> General –> Software Update to start installing the latest beta build, or you can wait until it installs automatically if "Automatic Updates" is enabled.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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