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Apple releases iOS 13.7 with Exposure Notifications Express framework

In some areas, you won't have to download a separate COVID-19 app.
Igor Bonifacic, @igorbonifacic
September 1, 2020
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Apple is now rolling out what could be the last major version of iOS 13 before iOS 14 arrives later this year. Among the updates in iOS 13.7 is access to the COVID-19 exposure notification API Apple and Google released for iOS and Android. The Exposure Notifications Express framework allows you to more easily participate in your local health authority’s efforts to inform people if they’ve been in contact with someone who got sick with COVID-19.

When you upgrade to iOS 13.7, you’ll see a new section of the Settings menu that includes a toggle to “Turn on Exposure Notifications.” Doing so will let you know if there’s an app you can download in your area. Meanwhile, in places where the local health authorities have decided to use Apple’s new framework, iOS 13.7 allows you to receive exposure notifications on your device without downloading a separate app. As with any dedicated COVID-19 apps you can download, taking part in this new system is optional.

In the US, Maryland, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. will be among the first jurisdictions to use Exposure Notifications Express. Those systems will be fully compatible with existing apps. An additional advantage is that those jurisdictions won’t have to develop and maintain their own apps.

Outside of the new framework, the update adds new Memoji stickers and iCloud Drive folder sharing from the Files app. It also includes the usual assortment of unspecified bug fixes and improvements. To download the update, go to your device’s Setting menus, followed by “General” and then tap on “Software Update.”

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