iOS 13 is out now and it’s packed full of exciting new features. The internet is already electric with talk about Dark Mode, QuickPath typing, and the new Reminders app. But we wanted to shine a spotlight on the hidden iOS 13 features you might not discover on your own.
Apple doesn’t mention any of these improvements in their iOS 13 overview, but we think they’re well worth shouting about.
So settle in, grab your iPhone, and get ready to have your mind blown by the subtlest improvements in Apple’s new software.
- 1 13. Share your ETA directly from Apple Maps
- 2 12. Reduce your phone bills with Low Data Mode
- 3 11. Find an open tab from the Safari Smart Search field
- 4 10. Connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth from Control Center
- 5 9. Set a daily reading goal to reach your yearly target
- 6 8. Scrub through the year to see a photo for each month
- 7 7. Copy, Cut, Paste, and Undo with three-fingered gestures
- 8 6. Drag and drop your cursor or double-tap to select text
- 9 5. Save custom settings for each website you visit
- 10 4. Take a full-page screenshot of websites or documents
- 11 3. Scroll through long documents by dragging the scroll bar
- 12 2. Reorder your checklists with a simple swipe
- 13 1. Silence calls from unknown callers
- 14 Bonus Tip: How to hide Memoji Stickers from your keyboard
- 13 small but incredibly useful changes and features in iOS 13
- 11 hidden and secret features on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro
- 9 key tips to getting more battery life in iOS 13
- 7 iOS 13 features that will improve your digital ‘quality of life’
If you’re anything like me, you’re normally in a rush when you leave the house. As a result, I frequently forget to tell my friends and family I’m on the way to meet them!
In iOS 13, a new feature in the Maps app prompts you to share your ETA (estimated time of arrival) as soon as you start following directions. It’s easy to swipe up and send an automated message. iOS 13 even updates your contacts if you get delayed!
12. Reduce your phone bills with Low Data Mode
Not all of us have unlimited cellular data. And even when you have a large data allowance, it’s easy to burn through it before the end of the month. Luckily for us, iOS 13 introduces Low Data Mode.
Access it from Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options. When turned on, Low Data Mode pauses automatic updates and downloads, reduces streaming quality, and prevents apps from using data in the background.
11. Find an open tab from the Safari Smart Search field
One of the many changes to Safari comes with a subtle improvement to the Smart Search field. This is the bar you use to search the web or enter specific websites. Now you can use it to search through your open tabs as well.
Enter a search term and Safari highlights any related tabs you already have open. Switch to that tab with a tap. Additionally, if you always forget to close old tabs, now you can make iOS do it automatically by going to Settings > Safari > Close Tabs.
10. Connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth from Control Center
Apple already made it easy to turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off from the Control Center, but this hidden iOS 13 feature takes it a step further. Tap and hold the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icons to change your connections.
This makes it possible to switch Wi-Fi network or connect to a new Bluetooth device without going back into the Settings, just swipe open Control Center instead!
9. Set a daily reading goal to reach your yearly target
Book lovers rejoice; the Apple Books app has introduced reading goals! Tell iOS 13 how long you want to spend reading each day and it rewards you with a blue tick when you do it. Stack up these ticks to make an impressive streak.
That’s not all, set a goal for how many books you want to read in a year. Apple Books tallies them up and displays what you’ve read so far. All of this is available from the bottom of the Reading Now tab in Books.
8. Scrub through the year to see a photo for each month
You probably already noticed that iOS 13 presents your photos in a new way, automatically removing duplicates or screenshots and splitting your view into Years, Months, and Days. But did you know you scrub to get a preview of each year?
Pinch out from Days to see Months, then pinch out again to see Years. Now drag your finger slowly across each Year album to see a photo from each month. It’s never been easier to get a snapshot of the year.
7. Copy, Cut, Paste, and Undo with three-fingered gestures
Apple introduced new universal gestures for editing text in any of your apps. Pinch in with three fingers to copy a selection, then pinch in again to cut it. When you’re ready to paste, use three fingers to pinch out.
You can even use this hidden iOS 13 feature to undo or redo, without needing to shake your iPhone like a mad person. If you made a mistake, swipe left with three fingers to undo. Then swipe three fingers right to redo that action.
6. Drag and drop your cursor or double-tap to select text
It’s quicker than ever before to move your cursor now you can drag and drop it. There’s no more fine-tuning with a magnifying glass, just drop your cursor where you want it with surprising accuracy and keep typing.
What’s more, selecting text in iOS 13 is easier than ever. Repeatedly double-tap to select a word, then a sentence, then the entire paragraph. Better yet, tap three or four times in a row to immediately select the sentence or paragraph.
5. Save custom settings for each website you visit
In Safari, iOS 13 replaces the Reader View icon with a new button that looks like two A’s. Tap this to change the font size, enter Reader View, hide Safari’s toolbar, or request a desktop version of the site.
At the bottom of the list, tap Website Settings to save your preferences for each website. Set your preferred view along with the information that each website can access on your iPhone. Safari remembers it for the next time you visit.
4. Take a full-page screenshot of websites or documents
If you spend a lot of time with lengthy documents and websites, you’ll enjoy the full-page screenshots added to iOS 13. Use them to capture entire documents, websites, notes, or anything else your iPhone screen only shows a portion of.
Snap a screenshot and tap the Full Page button at the top of the preview. This lets you annotate, save, or share the entire page instead of a small iPhone-sized section of it.
3. Scroll through long documents by dragging the scroll bar
This is another useful feature for those lengthy articles and documents. Whenever you see a scroll bar on your iPhone, tap and hold on it to start dragging it around.
This is great for browsing the web, perusing long documents, or even getting to the bottom of your Settings.
2. Reorder your checklists with a simple swipe
I love lists. They help me keep my ideas in order and stay on top of the day. If you use checklists in Notes as much as I do, you’ll be excited to learn how easy it is to organize them with new swipe features in iOS 13.
Not only can you automatically move completed items to the bottom of the list, but it’s easy to indent items by swiping them to the right. You can also rearrange your list by dragging and dropping each line into a new place.
1. Silence calls from unknown callers
Did you ever rush to find your ringing iPhone only to discover it’s a call from an unknown number? Probably one of those robo-spammers. Well, now you can silence calls from unknown numbers so that never happens again.
Go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers. But before you do this, make sure you save a friendly voicemail greeting to encourage real people to leave you a message.
Bonus Tip: How to hide Memoji Stickers from your keyboard
Not everyone is thrilled to have Memoji stickers available in their Emoji keyboard, so we thought we’d include a bonus tip to show you how to get rid of them.
Most of the hate for Memoji stickers is because they take up half of the Emoji keyboard. But you can easily hide (or unhide) the new stickers by tapping the Recently Used icon. You’re welcome.
Of course, there’s a lot more to be discovered in iOS 13 than these hidden features. In fact, we already wrote about other useful changes in iOS 13.
Let us know your favorite new features in the comments below and share any other hidden features you find yourself!
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.