Apple released iOS 13.7 with support for COVID-19 exposure notifications without downloading

With the main focus of the COVID-19 Exposure Notification API expansion, Apple is releasing iOS 13.7 to the general public today. According to Apple, this update allows users to choose COVID-19 exposure notifications without the need to download any apps from your local public health authority.

Here’s what Apple has to say about iOS 13.7 for iPhone users:

IOS 13.7 lets you opt-in to the COVID-19 exposure notification system without the need to download an app. The availability of the system depends on the assistance of your local public health authority. See for more information. This release also includes other bug fixes for your iPhone.

When Apple and Google announced their partnership in the COVID-19 exposure notification API, the companies detailed two levels of technology. The first step, which we finally saw published with iOS 13.5, is that users can first download an application from their public health authority to opt out of exposure notifications.

This time, Google and Apple also teased the “second step” of technology. It is being released as part of iOS 13.7 and allows users to choose COVID-19 exposure notifications without installing any apps. To verify the positive case, however, you will still need an app from the public health authority to confirm the positive COVID-19 case.

Ideally, this change could extend the availability of the COVID-19 Exposure Notification API. Several states in the United States are currently taking advantage of the platform, as are some countries in the world. Unfortunately, Apple says that the availability of COVID-19 exposure notifications will still depend on the assistance of local public health authorities, even the ability to opt-in is now built directly into iOS 13.7.

IOS 13.7 is now available to all iPhone users and can be installed by setting up the Settings app, General, then Updating Software. If you don’t immediately see that iOS 13.7 is available for download, check out the rest of the afternoon as it may take a few hours to hit your particular device.

Apple today released iPadOS 13.7, which includes bug fixes and performance improvements for iPad users.

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