Today, Tuesday, September 1st, Apple released iOS 13.7 for the iPhone, updating the existing COVID-19 notification function of iOS. Now, US states no longer need to create an app to use exposure notifications. Instead, they can simply support compatible phones.
In iOS 13.7, you can find the Exposure Notifications menu that has been moved from Settings -> Privacy -> Integrity -> COVID-19 Exposure Logging to Settings -> Exposure Notifications. There is also a new button for “Availability Alerts” so you know when your region supports the feature. These changes are in line with the ones we saw earlier in iOS 1
If your state supports exposure notifications in this way, it will appear right on the Exposure Notification Settings page. Your iPhone will walk you through the right steps to verify that these notifications are supported in your area. If so, you will see how to use the feature. If not, you will need to check again later or rely on the “availability warnings” above.
This update comes just six days after Apple released the first developer and first public beta for 13.7. While it’s one of Apple’s shortest beta testing periods in quite a while, it makes sense if the only major new feature is that exposure notification upgrade.
To download iOS 13.7, you will need an iPhone that is compatible with iOS 13. Then open Settings -> General -> Software Update and follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the new update. If you have “Automatic Updates” turned on, you can easily have your iPhone updated overnight when you are connected to Wi-Fi and connected to power.
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