For the first time I can ever remember, Apple is releasing a points update for iOS just a week after the update’s first beta debut. iOS 13.7 is now rolling out to iPhone users, bringing the COVID-19 Exposure Notifications system to users without having to download a separate third-party app. This version of the system is called Exposure Notifications Express. According to an offer from Apple from Google to The Verge:
As the next step in our work with public health authorities on exposure alerts, we make it easier and faster for them to use the exposure alert system without having to build and maintain an app. Exposure Alerts Express provides another option for public health authorities to supplement their existing contact tracking operations with technology without to compromise on the project̵7;s main principles for users’ privacy and security.
After the update is installed, users from Settings ⇾ Exposure Alerts can either sign up for the new system, which was developed in a partnership between Apple and Google, or sign up to be notified when the system becomes available in their region. Currently, although a separate app download is no longer required, Apple still only activates its system in areas where public health authorities are explicitly on board and have the processes in place to use data collected from iPhones and Android devices for contact tracking. This means that the availability still does not extend to all iPhone users, but hopefully it will expand faster than when a separate app download was required. In the US, the Exposure Notifications Express will launch in Maryland, Nevada, Virginia and Washington DC with several states expected to be supported throughout the rest of the year.
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