New iPhone Update Allows Users to Opt in For COVID Notifications, Most Likely a Series of Sad Mask-Free Emoji Faces

Photo: d3sign (Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the easiest way to stay safe during this ongoing pandemic is to wear a mask and use social distancing. But because not only is COVID-19 invisible but many people are asymptomatic, there’s no guarantee you won’t somehow get it if you’re the type of person who still goes out to eat at restaurants and visits friends and family. Luckily, Apple just made it a lot easier to stay safe in this new COVID world.

That’s because the company just announced that it would be releasing a software update that would make using Apple’s COVID-19 contact tracing technology a lot easier. The new software will let all iPhone users turn on exposure notifications that hopefully involves some type of spooky music and sad, mask-free emoji faces. All this without having to download a third-party app.

Previously, iPhone users could only enable exposure notifications if they also downloaded an app created by a public health authority. The new update uses Bluetooth to notify iPhone users when they come withing a certain distance of someone who at some point tested positive for the virus. Of course, the hope is that people actually got tested for COVID when they felt sick. We all know someone who thinks they got it, but never got tested.

This is the big problem with all contact tracing technology. In order for it to actually work, people need to sign up for it. The key to stopping (or least slowing down) COVID is to be diligent. If you feel like you might have it, get tested. It’s the easiest way to guarantee the safety of your friends and family.

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