iOS 13 landed earlier this week and is packed with helpful tweaks and new features
iOS 13 is here. After a breathless keynote covering all the new features during Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference back in June, the new mobile operating system has started to roll-out to iPhone and iPod Touch owners worldwide.
Honestly, it’s probably worth updating your smartphone to the latest version of iOS for the performance upgrades alone.
Apple has overhauled the way it packages apps within its App Store, shrinking app packages by 50%. That means apps will now load twice as fast with the update to iOS 13. Better yet, Apple has made app updates from the Apple Store 60% smaller, too.
That means upgrading to the new mobile operating system should help you save some storage. If your iPhone is constantly pinging with warnings about low storage, this upgrade is an absolute no-brainer and should free-up some more room for photos, or Netflix downloads.
But what about the shiny new features? Well, here are some of our favourites in iOS 13…
Hello Dark Mode, My Old Friend
Dark Mode is easily iOS 13’s most striking change as it completely changes the look of everything on your iPhone. You can enable Dark Mode as the default during the initial set-up after iOS 13 has installed, or it can be accessed from the Control Centre panel.
Apple says Dark Mode delivers a better viewing experience in low-light environments.With all of the user interface elements that would usually be bright white transformed into black or dark grey.
From the off, Apple has updated all of its apps to support Dark Mode and third-party developers are racing to bring the feature to their applications, so you should have a fully Dark Mode phone in the coming weeks.
One extra bonus of that striking new look? If you have an iPhone with an OLED screen, it should help boost your battery life.
iOS 13’s Dark Mode really changes the looks of your old iPhone
MeMoji For All
Until now, MeMoji – the floating Pixar-like animated heads that you can use to talk to friends, or react to their iMessages – were reserved for iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro.
But with iOS 13, older iPhone users can now create their own MeMoji character to send in a number of preset sticker poses. Better yet, these aren’t only reserved for iMessage anymore and are compatible with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and any other chat app you use.
Sending animated MeMoji clips with your voice is still only possible from an iPhone or iPad with Face ID though.
Sign In With Apple
Apple continues to wage its war on apps and services that sneakily track its customers with iOS 13. As well as more granular privacy controls – as well as warnings that tell you when an app is accessing Bluetooth or other system features behind your back, iOS 13 introduced Sign In With Apple.
This new option will be incorporated into apps alongside those popular Sign-In With Facebook, and Sign-In With Google buttons.
Although these offer a quicker way to access a new app (who wants to spend all morning typing in your name, home address, email address, blood type, and more when Google or Facebook is happy to do the hard work for you?) these can leave your personal data open to targeted advertising.
Sign-In With Apple lets iPhone owners use their Apple ID to sign-in to a new service and fill-in all that information – except Apple promises to protect your privacy. Apple even has the option to generate a random email address that auto-forwards to your iCloud email, so the developer never has access to your personal contact information.
And if there are any leaks or hacks on whatever service you’ve signed-up to, no sweat! You’re protected as the garbled random email address that Apple has created for you is the only thing that leaks online.
Face ID Gets Faster
Apple claims that Face ID unlocks will be 30% faster after you’ve made the jump to iOS 13, which is the kind of boost you appreciate every day.
Photos now intelligently curates your images
New Photos App
iOS 13 boosts on-device machine learning that curates your entire image library to highlight the best photos, automatically hiding clutter and duplicate photos from the same day so that it only showcases significant events from the past day, month or year.
Of course, you can still scroll through the entire photo collection if you want to see every single image. But the main tab now offers a highlights reel of your last year – hiding boring screenshots, or photos where you’ve got your eyes closed.
Photo editing has also seen a boost too. With just a swipe, you can tweak the strength of filters, or adjust contrast, saturation, sharpness, vignette, shadows, black point, and more. There’s also a new Portrait Lightning mode – High-Key Mono, which should give your Portrait Mode photos a professional photoshoot look.
And in iOS 13, most photo editing tools are now available for video editing, making it possible to rotate, crop or apply filters right within the Photos app.
Want to share a new track with a friend or loved one, but don’t fancy the idea of them gumming up your earbud with their waxy ears? Well, you’d better upgrade your iPhone to iOS 13 pronto.
The new update lets you beam audio from your iPhone to two separate pairs of AirPods. Perfect for sharing a movie on a long train journey.
iOS has a new default keyboard called QuickPath, which enables easier one-handed typing by continuously swiping across the letters of each word.
This works when the keyboard is full-width, or compressed to either the left or right hand-side of the screen.
… But what is still left to come? Well, quite a few thing that were initially supposed to be coming to iOS 13.
The biggest new addition will be Shortcuts Automations which lets your Siri Shortcuts run automatically whenever certain conditions are met, instead of having to enter the app – or ask Siri – to trigger them all manually. So, you can make your favourite running playlist kick-in whenever you start a new Outdoor Run workout on your Apple Watch. You could also make the lights at home switch-off at the same time.
Another big new feature is the ability to share your ETA within Apple Maps so that everyone knows how your journey is going and when to expect you.
Apple will also bring a number of new Dynamic Wallpapers to all devices, as well a new indicator above the volume slider to show which device is currently playing audio – so you’ll know whether you’re adjusting your AirPods, PowerBeats Pro, or HomePod.