Apple has just launched iOS 13.7 with a vital contact tracing system update more deeply integrated into the operating system.
On Tuesday, Apple released iOS 13.7, adding support for a new operating system for powering COVID-19 tracking.
The new exposure notification system is an extension of existing coronavirus contact tracing efforts. However, it removes the burden on states of having to build a dedicated app.
The system was built jointly with Google to help remove the burden of needing a dedicated application. News of the new software framework was first announced earlier today in a joint statement from Apple and Google.
Apple iOS 13.7: How to get it
Features-wise, the iOS 13.7 update is not a huge upgrade. However, it does come with a new system that could be essential to your health. And this is the Covid-19 contact tracing without a dedicated app.
To update your OS, first, go to the Settings app. Choose General, then Software Update. Click on Download and Install to let your Apple device (iPhone or iPad) work its magic.
This update is all about Covid-19 exposure notification, specifically the arrival of Exposure Notification Express. So, it’s better not to expect any improvements in your apps.
Automatic COVID-19 tracing: How it works
“As the next step in our work with public health authorities on Exposure Notifications, we are making it easier and faster for them to use the Exposure Notifications System without the need for them to build and maintain an app,” Apple and Google said in a joint statement today.
“Exposure Notifications Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracing operations with technology without compromising on the project’s core tenets of user privacy and security. Existing apps using the Exposure Notification API will be compatible with Exposure Notifications Express, and we are committed to supporting public health authorities that have deployed or are building custom apps.”
Under the new Exposure Notification Express system, the underlying technology remains much the same. And contact tracing should be much easier for public health officials to adopt because it saves them a lot of time and effort to build, test, launch, and maintain a new app.
Apple and Google, as well as health officials across the world, will be hoping this makes contact tracing easier to adopt. People who build this update expect to make it more widespread in its use and, therefore, more effective in the fight against Covid-19.
This new framework will not impact current contact tracing apps. Public health authorities can still build their apps in the future.