Apple Tailors iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 to a COVID-19 World

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Apple has released the iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 updates with COVID-19-focused changes, including a new Exposure Notification API and fixes to help make Group FaceTime and Face ID less painful.

In case you don’t upgrade immediately, there is a work-around to force you to enter a passcode before Face ID times out:

Tap the “Face ID” text in the center of the screen; the passcode entry screen will appear immediately. Obviously, you can use this in other cases where you know Face ID will fail.

Is there any such shortcut for TouchID? My wife noticed that when she had to use Apple Pay while wearing gloves she had to wait for it to time out until she was presented with a passcode option. Any way to get straight to that passcode option?

On my TouchID iPhone, when I press the home button a second time the passcode screen pops up immediately.

On my TouchID iPad pressing the home button a second time does nothing, however, swiping up from the bottom pops up the passcode screen (the same gesture pops up the widgets on the iPhone).

Not very consistent, but there are shortcuts for TouchID devices apparently.

So pressing the home button doesn’t abort payment and take you to the home screen? Is this only as of 13.5?

It is unfortunate that FaceTime with multiple people doesn’t work with iOS 12

What device are you using with iOS 12? Most iOS 12 devices should be able to go to iOS 13, and there’s very little reason not to upgrade, particularly if you’re missing out on something like Group FaceTime.

I believe it is an original iPad air. It doesn’t seem to accept iOS 13. “planned obsolence?”

I’ve never had any TouchID issue with Apple Pay, so I don’t know how that would work with the second press.

I know about the second press because I once noticed, somewhat by accident, a second press popped up the passcode screen when I had a wet finger (which apparently causes TouchID to fail). Discovered that a second press pops up the passcode screen every time on my iPhone, which is a 6 running 12.something.

Please note that a second press is different from a double press, which pops up Apple Pay on my iPhone. Second press is a slow press after the first press (so press, release, press again), double press is two quick presses. Also, second press only seems to work when TouchID fails.

Ah well. No, it’s not planned obsolescence—Apple generally does a good job with supporting old hardware. But the iPad Air dates to 2013, so it’s nearly 7 years old. It likely lacks sufficient hardware resources to support iOS 13. Group FaceTime likely wouldn’t be able to work on anyway because of the hardware requirements.

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According to Apple, these are the requirements for Group FaceTime: “To use Group FaceTime video calls, you need iOS 12.1.4 or later, or iPadOS on one of these devices: iPhone 6s or later, iPad Pro or later, iPad Air 2 or later, iPad mini 4 or later, iPad (5th generation) or later, or iPod touch (7th generation). Earlier models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that support iOS 12.1.4 can join Group FaceTime calls as audio participants.” (Source:

If I interpret that correctly, you should be able to join a Group FaceTime call audio only, IF your iPad air supports iOS 12.1.4 (or later).

Edit: The original Air should be able to run 12 (source:

That is correct, but that defeats the purpose of having three way video.

True, but if that is a strong requirement for you, the only solution is buying a new iPad that complies with the required specifications.

Thanks, @frans. I’ll tell her to try it out.

How can one find the authorized COVID-19 Exposure Notification app that is usable in my particular area? Without such an app you can not even turn on exposure logging. As I understand it you need the app that has been released by your local health department.

Probably no apps have been released yet, but when they are how do you find the one from your local health department? Needs to be a web site that allows you to enter your zip code and points you to the app.

Can that exposure app “feature” be deleted or disabled? It looks like it was designed to violate a person’s privacy.

Yesterday I wanted to separate my wife’s iPhone SE (original SE) running iOS13.5 from my ID and I started to create an ID for her. After putting incredentials the phone went to update Apple iCloud services and it just got stuck there with a grinding wheel. I shut the phone down but after a half an hour it was still there. I called Apple support, the person called a senior technician and we tried a lot of things. Turning wifi off and the on. Nothing worked but she told me a small number of phones are presenting this problem, they are aware of it. It came with the latest update to 13.5 and it should be resolved " in a few days"

Just don’t enable it.

It’s opt-in and requires an app from a public health entity in order to enable. You can check for yourself at settings / privacy / health. It will he turned off. And, FWIW, it was designed specifically not to violate privacy, but don’t use it if you don’t trust it.

AFAIK, there are none yet. Probably will come from your local public health office.