Apple Releases iOS 13.6 With Car Key, Toggle to Turn Off Automatic Update Downloads, Audio Apple News+ Stories and More

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Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.6, major updates that come more than a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1. iOS and iPadOS 13.6 introduce new Health, Apple News, and software update features.


The iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Apple has also released an iOS 12.4.8 update for older devices unable to run iOS 13.

The software introduces a toggle for customizing updates, providing users with granular control over the downloading and installing of new iOS and iPadOS versions.


iOS users can decide if their iPhone or iPad should automatically download an iOS update when connected to WiFi, and when that update should be installed.

A Download iOS Updates toggle turns automatic downloads on or off, and an Install iOS Updates toggle lets users choose to install a software update overnight as a device charges. The new update feature will be a welcome change for iPhone and iPad users who prefer to stay on older versions of iOS and do not want their devices to update automatically.

iOS 13.6 also brings support for Car Key, a feature available in both iOS 13 and iOS 14. Car Key is designed to allow an iPhone or an Apple Watch to be used in lieu of a physical key to unlock an NFC-enabled vehicle.


Car Key needs to be implemented by car manufacturers to function, and BMW is one of Apple's first partners. BMW's Digital Key for iPhone feature will let iPhone owners tap to unlock their vehicles, start the car by placing the iPhone in the smartphone tray, place limitations on young drivers, and share keys with up to five other users.

Car Key will work in a wide range of BMW models, including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1, 2020. An iPhone XR, XS, Apple Watch Series 5, or newer is required, as is the iOS 13.6 update.

In the Health app, there's a new "Symptoms" section that lets users add symptoms of various illnesses, choosing from options such as body and muscle aches, appetite changes, coughing, dizziness, headache, nausea, and more.


For the Apple News app, iOS 13.6 adds a feature that saves your place in an Apple News article when you start reading something and then exit out of the article or app, handy for long-form content.

Apple News in iOS 13.6 also includes new Apple News+ Audio feature where Apple will offer some news stories in an audio capacity, but this option was not activated during the beta.

Apple's full release notes for the update are available below:
iOS 13.6 adds support for digital car keys, introduces audio stories in Apple News+, and contains a new symptoms category in the Health app. This release also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Digital car keys
- Unlock, lock, and start your compatible car with your iPhone
- Securely remove digital keys from a lost device via iCloud
- Share digital keys easily with iMessage
- Driver-specific profiles so you can configure shared keys for full-access or restricted driving
- Power reserve lets you unlock and start your car for up to five hours after iPhone runs out of battery

Apple News
- Audio stories are professionally narrated versions of some of the best reads from Apple News+, selected and produced by the Apple News editors as part of your Apple News+ subscription
- Apple News Today is a new, free audio briefing on the day's top stories from the Apple News editors, also available in the Podcasts app
- A new Audio tab makes it easy to find Apple News Today and Apple

News+ audio stories
- CarPlay allows you to listen to Apple News Today and Apple News+ audio stories while on the road
- Local news in your Today feed provides extensive coverage of San Francisco, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, and New York City
- More stories available from local news providers with a subscription to Apple News+
- Your daily newsletter from Apple News can now be personalized with stories that reflect your interests

Health
- New category for symptoms in the Health app, including symptoms logged from Cycle Tracking and ECG
- Ability to log new symptoms, like fever, chills, sore throat or coughing, and share them with third-party apps

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements.
- Adds a new setting to choose if updates automatically download to your device when on Wi-Fi
- Addresses an issue that could cause apps to become unresponsive when syncing data from iCloud Drive
- Fixes an issue that could cause data roaming to appear to be disabled on eSIM even though it remained active
- Fixes an issue thats causes some phone calls from Saskatchewan to appear as originating from the United States
- Addresses an issue that could interrupt audio when making phone calls over Wi-Fi Calling
- Fixes an issues that prevented some iPhone 6S and iPhone SE devices from registering for Wi-Fi Calling
- Resolves an issue that could cause the software keyboard to appear unexpectedly when connected to certain third-party hardware keyboards
- Fixes an issue that could cause Japanese hardware keyboards to be incorrectly mapped as a U.S. keyboard
- Addresses stability issues when accessing Control Center when Assistive Touch was enabled
- Provides a mechanism for administrators to specify domains to exclude from traffic carried by always-on VPN connections
iOS and iPadOS 13.6 could be one of the final updates to the iOS 13 operating system as Apple shifts its focus to iOS 14, which is available for developers and public beta testers and set to be released this fall.

Article Link: Apple Releases iOS 13.6 With Car Key, Toggle to Turn Off Automatic Update Downloads, Audio Apple News+ Stories and More
 
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TallGuyGT

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2011
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Going to wait a "little" while before updating this time: do not want to see the fireworks of 13.5.1!
I joined the public beta of 13.6 just to get away from 15.5.1 - so far it's been a pleasant experience. Was having a lot of trouble with Apple Music syncing / downloading and the phone heating up and draining battery. Was relieved to find others posting of the same issue as Apple was no help.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
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Finally good to see the option to control automatic downloads (and not just installation) of iOS updates.

Hopefully this update also addresses issues that some have been seeing with background usage of some apps.
 

fribhey

macrumors member
Mar 11, 2005
86
25
I joined the public beta of 13.6 just to get away from 15.5.1 - so far it's been a pleasant experience. Was having a lot of trouble with Apple Music syncing / downloading and the phone heating up and draining battery. Was relieved to find others posting of the same issue as Apple was no help.
I was having those exact issues, downloading matched songs to my iPhone stopped working, iPhone excessively heating up and apps destroying the battery life in the background despite having turned off that option...

fingers crossed those issues are gone.
 
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Cosmosent

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Apr 20, 2016
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The software introduces a toggle for customizing updates, providing users with granular control over the downloading and installing of new iOS and iPadOS versions.


iOS users can decide if their iPhone or iPad should automatically download an iOS update when connected to WiFi, and when that update should be installed.

A Download iOS Updates toggle turns automatic downloads on or off, and an Install iOS Updates toggle lets users choose to install a software update overnight as a device charges. The new update feature will be a welcome change for iPhone and iPad users who prefer to stay on older versions of iOS and do not want their devices to update automatically.
That's the best feature of the 13.6 update, by far !!!

Apple finally giving Users more control, via simple ON/OFF switches.

Next up, I hope, some simple ON/OFF switches added to the iOS App Store App, so Users can filter-off what they have NO interest in (e.g., Game Apps, Apple Arcade, Little Kid Apps, etc.).

Now is perhaps a once in a decade chance to get the iOS App Store cleaned-up & improved, as Cook will testify to Congress in an Antitrust Hearing on July 27th !

Now is the time to press Apple (for improvement), & MacRumors should be doing their part !!! ... have seen NO evidence of it, however.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,104
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Florida, USA
I'm genuinely curious as to why Apple has put in the toggle to disable automatic downloading of the new iOS version.

It's a handy feature for people who don't want to update, but Apple has always been about aggressively pushing people to update. So why have they changed their mind? Has there been much speculation on that?
 

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
6,623
2,629
13.6 will be the final iOS 13 release before iOS 14, unless there is a bug that needs to be patched. Like, say, all the previous iOS 13 releases. Yeah, gonna wait this one out for a week or two and see how it goes.
Let’s hope this fixes some of the bugs in the COVID 19 exposure notification system. i’m not sure if the planned ’collaboration’ of several European tracing apps requires some changes on the OS side.
 
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twocents

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Mar 31, 2016
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There use to be a time I’d jump on updates, but I usually wait a bit now.
Agreed, there is no new feature compelling enough to not allow an additional 24-72 hours to confirm on Reddit an all clear to install.

FWIW I still prefer installing major releases via iTunes/Finder as they run the complete update, not just deltas
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,608
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- Provides a mechanism for administrators to specify domains to exclude from traffic carried by always-on VPN connections

nice! This will be a welcomed feature. I didn’t know they were even planning on implementing this.
It should be the other way around though. If I was an administrator of Acme.com, I would want VPN to handle traffic for only *.acme.com domain.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
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I'm genuinely curious as to why Apple has put in the toggle to disable automatic downloading of the new iOS version.

It's a handy feature for people who don't want to update, but Apple has always been about aggressively pushing people to update. So why have they changed their mind? Has there been much speculation on that?
Perhaps they've heard enough from people who are running low on space and updates taking up some chunk of them. Or just maybe helping out a bit with bandwidth usage during this time when more people are doing more online and various content providers and other companies have started putting on some limitations to how much they push through to help with all the bandwidth use.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
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It should be the other way around though. If I was an administrator of Acme.com, I would want VPN to handle traffic for only *.acme.com domain.
Indeed.

On my Mac I can use the /etc/ppp/ip-up file to set up routes for subnets used through VPN. This allows me to access all the stuff at work while having everything else just go out through my normal connection.

As far as I know there's no equivalent for iOS. Luckily I rarely have to connect to a VPN from my phone, so it's not a huge problem but this ability should be implemented.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
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The iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app.

Uh, nope. You absolutely cannot update your phone without an external WiFi connection. I have unlimited bandwidth over 4G, but there is no way I can make iOS understand that.

Third world OS.
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
Does anyone know what the iPhone is actually doing during the different update steps? Initially it reads, "Downloading update" which takes a few seconds on my devices. Then the phone sits there forever with the notice, "Preparing update". Then it says, "Install now" but when I tap that, it then sits there for a while with "Verifying update". So it downloaded and prepared, but then it has to verify? It seems it should verify the download before downloading it. I'm just confused what's going on.
 

B4U

macrumors 68030
Oct 11, 2012
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I'm genuinely curious as to why Apple has put in the toggle to disable automatic downloading of the new iOS version.

It's a handy feature for people who don't want to update, but Apple has always been about aggressively pushing people to update. So why have they changed their mind? Has there been much speculation on that?
Maybe because people are burning through their limited data plan at home?
 
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NickName99

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Nov 8, 2018
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The iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app.

Uh, nope. You absolutely cannot update your phone without an external WiFi connection. I have unlimited bandwidth over 4G, but there is no way I can make iOS understand that.
Firstly, WiFi is not a wired connection, it’s over the air.

Second, you can do point updates over cell data, such as 14.5.1, just not major updates such as 13.5 or 13.6.

If you need to do a major update for iOS and you don’t have access to WiFi anywhere, you can use your iPhone as a hotspot to your Mac, download the iOS update in iTunes and update your iPhone that way.
 
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