Apple has officially unveiled the new generation of its mobile operating system. That’s right, the company has officially announced iOS 13 — and it comes packed with a slew of new features, additions, and improvements.
- iOS 13 Privacy and Security improvements announced at WWDC
- Everything we know about iOS 13 compatibility
- Exclusive: iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, Marzipan, and more from WWDC 2019 detailed
There’s a lot included in iOS 13. So much, in fact, that Apple didn’t even have time to cover all of the new features onstage at WWDC ’19. But here are some of the highlights of the upcoming software.
11. Turn on Dark Mode
It’s official: systemwide dark mode is now baked into iOS 13. That means you’ll no longer have to resort to turning on Smart Invert to get an easier-on-the-eyes night time mode. Apple even showed off the feature with its own video.
Apple built the new dark mode from the ground up to include native apps, as well as system elements like the keyboard and Share sheet. As many third-party apps already support some sort of dark or night mode, a user could conceivably give their iPhone or iPad the complete dark makeover.
Third-party swipe-to-text keyboards have long been available on the App Store. But Apple is now bringing the convenient texting functionality to the native iOS keyboard in the next version of the operating system.
That means users will be able to quickly swipe between characters to input text quickly. And it’s likely a big boon for privacy — since a lot of third-party keyboard apps have privacy policies that are less than stellar.
Have you ever wanted to share what you’re listening to or watch a show with another person on the go, but without resorting to a device’s speaker? Back in the day, there were cable splitters for wired headphones. Now, all you need is an iOS device with iOS 13 and two pairs of AirPods.
Apple only briefly touched on this feature, but it’s a big boon for AirPods users. Basically, you will be able to share audio between AirPods. That means any content you’re listening to on one device can be beamed to another your AirPods and another person’s simultaneously. While we don’t know how it works yet, Apple mentions that all it takes is a single tap.
8. Say it with a Memoji
For better or worse, emoji have definitely become something many of us use in our day-to-day online communication. Apple is now taking that a step further with Memoji stickers. Essentially, when you create a Memoji, iOS will automatically generate a sticker pack for it that will work everywhere normal emoji do.
For TrueDepth-equipped iPhones, there are also a ton of new customization options for Memoji, including various makeup, hairstyle and accessory variants (including, of course, AirPods).
7. Sign in with Apple
Want to log into an app without creating a new account? Right now, your options are Google, Facebook or another social media platform. That’s convenient, but not that great for privacy — since third-party apps can pull information from those platforms. That won’t be the case in iOS 13, since Apple is launching a new Sign in with Apple option.
Signing in with Apple won’t risk any of your personal information. Even cooler is the fact that Apple will create random, private email addresses for each login that you can control and delete at any time. That means you’ll get an app’s email without risking your own email address. The new login option was announced alongside other privacy-focused options like background tracking alerts.
6. Do more with CarPlay
CarPlay is one of the best ways to (safely) use your iOS device in a vehicle. The vehicular UI system is already one of the most popular on the market, but it’s somewhat hampered by its simplistic design and lack of features. But in iOS 13, CarPlay is getting a big upgrade.
For one, there’s an all-new design that can display multiple apps on a single dashboard — as well as contextual Siri controls like the garage door opening when you get near your house. Third-party apps will also now be Siri compatible, and the Music app has been redesigned to be easier to navigate.
5. Set reminders easier
While the new iOS Reminders didn’t get too much stage time at WWDC, it seems like the app is going to be a serious tool for productivity. For one, Reminders now appears to support natural language input — so you can easily create granular reminders.
Users will also be able to organize their reminders into hierarchal lists or smart lists that will group reminders together for easier viewing. If a reminder contains someone in your contact list, iOS will also remind you to talk to them about it the next time you’re chatting in iMessage.
4. Get suggested automations
Siri Shortcuts is a tragically underused Apple app that has nearly limitless possibilities. Partly, that’s because Shortcuts is currently a separate download available from the App Store, despite being an Apple app. That changes in iOS 13, with Shortcuts now a native application.
Part of the tighter integration with the operating system is a new feature called suggested automations. Shortcuts will analyze your habits and phone usage to create automatic workflows that you can add to your shortcuts gallery with a tap.
3. Quickly browse and edit your photos
Apple also added several new photos-focused updates to iOS 13. For one, there’s a new browsing experience that emphasizes your images and videos. That means actual pictures you’ve taken will stand out. Screenshots, duplicated images, and pictures of documents won’t clog up your browsing.
The editing experience has also been overhauled with new tap-and-drag gestures, which now also work for videos. The company also added new Portrait Lighting abilities to all devices that support Portrait Mode on previous versions of iOS.
2. Get your own HomePod profile
If you own a HomePod, go ahead and ask Siri to play some music. If you’re in a household with multiple people, there’s a good chance that the device will start playing tracks based on all of your collective listening habits. That will change in iOS 13.
The software update also includes an update to HomePod which will introduce individual voice profiles. Basically, each user will be able to get personalized messages, reminders, and music recommendations. Siri on HomePod will be able to recognize who is speaking and will respond based on the speaker.
1. See a street-level view
Apple Maps hasn’t always been great, but the Cupertino firm is working hard to change that. In addition to a top-to-bottom overhaul of the mapping data that Apple Maps uses, the company is also adding several new features to the first-party navigation app.
One of those features is a new Look Around mode that will let users get a “street view” of certain locations. It’s an obvious Google Street View competitor, but features smoother scrolling and other more advanced features. Users will also be able to add a list of their favorite places to new Collections within Apple Maps in iOS 13.
What are some of the features you are looking forward to ? Please let us know using the comments below.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.