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The update allows users to swipe up and enter a passcode when attempting to unlock an iPhone instead of having to use the phone's facial recognition feature, which sometimes has a delay in recognizing faces with masks, before entering a passcode.
Previously, a user could have swiped up on an iPhone's unlock screen and tapped the words "Face ID" to be taken to the passcode; the update makes this process a couple seconds faster.
The update also includes a feature that will automatically support Apple and Google's joint exposure notification software. The two tech giants released this new software Wednesday so public health authorities can use Apple-Google technology to create COVID-19 contact-tracing apps that will vary by state.
The update means that if users consent to downloading such an app, their phones will automatically have the software to support it. The purpose of these contact-tracing apps is to notify people when they may have been in contact with an infected person. The effort requires transparency from the public and organizational efforts from health authorities.
Users can also change the feature on Group FaceTime calls that makes some call participants appear larger than others when they speak with the update and choose an option to share their Medical ID information with emergency services when making an emergency call.