iOS 13, is the newest version of Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads, announced on June 3 at the keynote event of the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). It is a huge overhaul to iOS, with a long list of new and revamped features like a Dark Mode, a Find My app, a revamped Photos app, a new Siri voice, updated privacy features, a new street-level view for Maps, and more.
Importantly, Apple continued on with its optimization trend introduced in iOS 12, making iOS 13 faster and more efficient than ever. For instance;
- App update times have improved,
- App launch times are two times faster,
- App download sizes have been reduced by up to 50 percent, and
- Face ID is 30 percent faster.
Best new iOS 13 features
Systemwide Dark Mode
The dark mode is a feature we’ve already seen incorporated into the Mac, and some apps like Twitter also have it. But now the iPhone offers it — system-wide, changing the entire look of the operating system from light to dark. Dark mode reduces strain on your eyes and saves your battery.
To enable it, swipe into the Control Center, and then tap the Dark Mode button. You can choose to have Dark Mode come on at sunset or on a customized schedule. All native Apple apps feature Dark Mode support, and third-party apps can use Dark Mode APIs to add Dark Mode integration.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth selection from the Control Center
This new update solves one of my biggest beef with iOS; not being able to select the WiFi network or Bluetooth connection directly from the control center. But now iOS 13 now gives you the ability to quickly access Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings through the Control Center.
All you have to do is just swipe down from the top-right corner, long-press on the WiFi/Bluetooth widget to bring up the menu without having to open Settings, then use 3D touch on WiFi or Bluetooth toggles to see the available networks, then select the connection you want.
Stop Unknown Callers
If you are one person who gets a million spam calls, thankfully, iOS 13 combats that. Your iPhone will now be able to block unknown callers who aren’t in your contacts or found in your email.
Under phone settings, you’ll now be able to turn on the ‘Silence unknown callers’ feature. Just go to Settings > Phone > and toggle to Silence Unknown Callers. When on, unknown calls won’t make your phone ring but will be sent straight to voicemail.
Find My …
Apple has merged Find My Friends and Find My iPhone into a single app, called Find My. And on top of combining the apps, Apple added the capability to help find lost devices for people you don’t even know and vice versa.
In the case that you lose your iPhone and have Find My iPhone enabled, you can mark your phone as lost. Apple will then crowdsource its location by asking all Apple devices to look for your phone’s Bluetooth signal. Once another Apple device finds your lost phone, tablet or computer, you’ll receive an alert. However, there is no need to worry because Apple says the service is completely free, anonymous and encrypted.
This is great news because in the past if you lost an iPhone you had to replace your sim card first so as to get the access code that’s usually sent from the Find my iPhone app. Quite frustrating because time is of the essence when dealing with a lost device.
Apple has introduced a QuickPath feature on the iPhone which is a new swipe-based QuickPath keyboard option for quicker text entry. Text editing is easier than ever thanks to the scrolling improvements and more accurate gestures for moving the cursor.
All you need to do is place your finger on the keyboard and swipe from letter to letter to spell out a message. QuickPath is enabled by default after installing iOS 13; you don’t have to turn it on.
Download files in Safari
One can now download files using Safari. When you come across a download link, tap on it to reveal a popup asking if you want to download the file. Just tap on the “Download” button to reveal a new Download icon in the toolbar. From here, you can monitor, control, and open all downloads.
By default, downloaded files go to the Downloads folder in your iCloud Drive. You can switch to the local storage on your iPhone by going to Settings > Safari > Downloads and choosing “On My iPhone”.
Photos app adds video-editing tools
The Photos app received a pretty significant overhaul whereby organizing and surfacing photos are both now easier, and the edit tools have a new look. The most impressive bit is the ability to use all of the picture editing tools you’re familiar with on videos in the Photos app.
Meaning you can apply filters, adjust brightness and even crop a video right in the Photos app.
iOS 13 also adds some new editing tools for adjusting Vibrance, White Balance, Sharpen, Definition, Noise Reduction, and Vignette. Further, Apple now allows iPhone owners to set the intensity for filters.
When you go to the Edit menu while viewing a photo or video, you’ll find a new editor. The redesigned photo editor features a more straightforward Instagram-style interface. Below the image, you’ll notice a carousel of editing tools. Select a tool and then use the slider to set the intensity.
Additionally, all edits for photos and videos are now non-destructive. You can revert to the original media at any given time.
Sign In with Apple won’t share your email address
A new privacy feature called Sign In with Apple logs you into accounts and apps without you having to add your email address. Apple says this will protect users from third-party apps that want to track them.
In a way, this is Apple’s version of logging in with Facebook and Google, with one major exception. Those tools can be used to track you online, but Apple’s version will use your iPhone or iPad to authenticate your credentials when you log in. You tap to authenticate with Face ID without revealing any personal information about yourself.
One may also choose to share or hide their email address, and can ask Apple to create a random email for the app or service that forwards to your actual email address, therefore masking your real identity without your needing to use a junk account.
Apple also blocks apps that track your location from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and lets you decide if you’d like apps to ask your permission each time they request your location data.
Memoji avatars come to Messages, stickers
iOS 13 will automatically create a sticker pack for every Memoji character (an emoji of your face). This is Apple’s version of Bitmoji stickers. You can find the stickers in the Memoji Stickers app, which puts a thumbnail of your Memoji into the messages app.
New controls let you go in-depth with customization, makeup — even adding braces to your teeth. You also get a sticker pack across your iOS 13 devices.
Apps like WhatsApp will be adding support for Memoji stickers while unsupported apps will allow you to send them as images.
Audio Sharing for AirPods
If you and your friend both have a pair of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro headphones, you can now connect them to a single iPhone and share the audio to both devices. Also, if both of you have the latest iPhone, you can just put your friend’s handset over yours to get a popup for sharing audio.
This can also be done manually by pairing a second pair of AirPods to your iPhone. Flick open the AirPods case and then press and hold on the Round button at the back of the case. Tap on “Connect” on your iPhone.
Once paired, the AirPods will show up in the AirPlay menu, and you can just select the second pair to share the audio.
Want to try these features in iOS 13?
Once Apple releases iOS 13 on Sept. 19, just open up the Settings app on your phone and move over to General > Software Update > and hit Install. That’s it!
Here’s the official list of devices that will run iOS 13 and iPadOS 13:
|iPhone XS||12.9-inch iPad Pro|
|iPhone XS Max||11-inch iPad Pro|
|iPhone XR||10.5-inch iPad Pro|
|iPhone X||9.7-inch iPad Pro|
|iPhone 8||iPad (6th generation)|
|iPhone 8 Plus||iPad (5th generation)|
|iPhone 7||iPad Mini (5th generation)|
|iPhone 7 Plus||iPad Mini 4|
|iPhone 6S||iPad Air (3rd generation)|
|iPhone 6S Plus||iPad Air 2|
|iPod Touch (7th generation)|