News: Apple's iOS 13.5 Public Beta 3 for iPhone Introduces Updated COVID-19 Exposure Logging Settings

Apple's iOS 13.5 Public Beta 3 for iPhone Introduces Updated COVID-19 Exposure Logging Settings

Apple released the third public beta for iOS 13.5 today, Wednesday, May 6. This latest public beta update comes exactly one week after Apple released iOS 13.5 public beta 2, which, among other things, introduced Apple and Google's joint COVID-19 exposure notification API. Public beta 3 updates that settings page to show a more detailed "Exposure Logging" option instead.

Apple released this update at 1 p.m. PDT, the company's usual release time for public beta updates. If you follow iOS beta updates closely, you'll know that Apple seeded developers 13.5 dev beta 4 at 10 a.m. PDT. Dev beta 4 is the same software as public beta 3, so we know more about this update than we would if Apple released it for the first time.

The biggest new feature in this update is the "COVID-19 Exposure Logging" setting, which replaces last week's "Exposure Notifications" settings page. The new option adds a more detailed description for how the exposure logging and notification system works works. Unlike the notification setting we saw in public beta 2, this setting is not currently interactive, as it requires an Exposure Logging-authorized app to be installed. Apple has not yet authorized an app to use this API, so the page remains locked to us.

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

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

Also new to public beta 3 is the ability to share your Medical ID with first responders when placing an emergency call. Apple added this new feature to the Emergency Access section of Medical ID settings, and move the section from the top to the bottom of the page.

This is only the second beta under the name iOS 13.5, but the third public beta of the series. That's because the first public beta was named 13.4.5. Apple likely changed the name because of the major update including its COVID-19 exposure notification API. The update also included a new toggle to disable automatic zooming for tiles in Group FaceTime calls, addressing complaints that the movement was distracting during crowded calls.

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 download and install iOS 13.5 public beta 3, sign up through Apple's beta site, download and install the configuration profile, then update over the air. If you already have the profile, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update to begin the installation of 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 emoji, enhanced security, podcast transcripts, Apple Cash virtual numbers, and other useful features. There are even new additions hidden within Safari. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.4 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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