Bold, convenient, and secure, iOS 13 offers several exciting features that make Apple devices even more enjoyable to use. Still, the operating system is ready for an update. Hence, the recent release of iOS 13.6, which delivers what is most likely the last major upgrade before iOS 14 is unveiled.
Users are excited about iOS 13.6 but also concerned about the timing of the update and its impact on everyday phone usage. Many wonder, “How long does it take to update your iPhone?” Others worry that the phone will not run as well following the upgrade. We address these concerns below, as well as the new features that make the iPhone uniquely valuable in a time of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Let’s take a look!
Top Features from the iOS 13.6 Update
Apple has released several versions of iOS 13 since the operating system was first unveiled in 2019. Many of these involve minor adjustments, but 13.6 offers a variety of changes in addition to a maintenance update. The upgrade was officially released on July 15th, 2020.
iOS 13.6 is preceded by the smaller, security-focused iOS 13.5.1, which rolled out on June 1st, 2020. Both updates build off of the May 2020 iOS 13.5 release, which introduced features related to the Coronavirus pandemic. These include contract tracing capabilities and a simplified unlocking process that delivers faster access to the passcode field while wearing a facemask and using devices with Face ID.
So, what’s new with Apple’s latest iOS upgrade? Here are just a few of the new or updated features iOS 13.6 users will enjoy:
- Digital Car Keys – This function, called CarKey, allows users to lock, unlock, and start compatible cars with their smartphones. You can also create driver-specific profiles for shared keys.
- Apple News – Updates to the Apple News app include professionally-narrated audio stories from Apple News+, Apple News Today (a free audio briefing on the day’s top stories), CarPlay compatibility, and more.
- Health – The Health app now offers the ability to log new symptoms, such as a sore throat, fever, chills, or coughing. These can be shared with third-party apps and may prove useful throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other improvements include bug fixes for Wi-Fi calling, a new setting that allows users to choose if updates are automatically downloaded to the device when connected to Wi-Fi, and a variety of security patches.
While the 13.6 upgrade doesn’t take long to complete, it is relatively large (ranging from 250MB to 400MB for iOS 13.5.1 users). Therefore, it’s best to complete a backup beforehand to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Timing for the upgrade will vary somewhat between devices, but many users report completing the process within half an hour.
Apple’s iOS 13.5 COVID Tracking Functionality
Based on iOS 13.6’s updates to the Health app and previous versions’ COVID-related features, it’s clear that Apple is doing their part to help curb the current pandemic. One of the most impressive elements to come out of recent iOS upgrades is the Exposure Notification API, which was released in May 2020 as part of the iOS 13.5 update. This function is the result of a surprising partnership between Apple and Google and makes it possible to alert those in recent contact with Apple and Android users about the possibility of Coronavirus exposure. Device owners equipped with this feature can also inform others that they’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Once they’re aware of their exposure, users may be more likely to quarantine themselves, rather than accidentally spreading the virus while out in public.
Bluetooth plays a major role in Apple’s contact tracing efforts. When this feature is enabled, devices send out beacons involving Bluetooth identifiers. These consist of random strings of numbers that are not tied to the user’s identity. Regular code changes confer additional protection. At a minimum, these take place every twenty minutes.
As phones broadcast beacons, other devices listen for them and broadcast their own in return. These are recorded and stored, with the system generating lists of COVID-positive identifiers at least once every day. If a match occurs between received beacons and sent ones from people confirmed as COVID-positive, users are promptly notified and instructed on how to proceed.
Apple’s contact tracing feature is also included with the iPad OS 13.5 update. Support for this technology remains limited at the state level, but many individual users have committed to enabling the contact tracing app in hopes of making the effort more effective. Apple’s COVID prevention endeavors are noble but will deliver little benefit unless widespread adoption occurs.
How NerdsToGo Can Get You Up to Date for the Modern Remote Environment
Whether you use Apple devices or prefer PCs and Android alternatives, you can count on the team from NerdsToGo to keep your computers, phones, and tablets in working order. We recognize the importance of reliable technology during this difficult time – especially if you’re currently studying or working from home. We will assist you with troubleshooting and finding solutions that can be implemented easily to keep all of your devices running efficiently.
In addition to providing the technology services needed for streamlined device functionality, we offer a variety of security solutions. We understand the fear involved in enabling new operating system updates or features. Luckily, our Nerds are here to explain the ins and outs of these systems and help you make the right choice for your lifestyle. With our assistance, you can enjoy greater security and peace of mind.
If you require remote support, you’re in luck, as NerdsToGo offers a wide variety of tech services online and over the phone. We will work with you to ensure that you feel safe and supported every step of the way. Contact us today to learn how we can make the work-from-home lifestyle easier to handle.