iOS 13 is a major update that’s jam-packed with new features. It has so many new features, in fact, that you may have missed some of the smaller but no doubt welcome changes that Apple has introduced.
- Connect Xbox One or PS4 controller on iPadOS to explore your favorite games
- 5 hidden iOS 13 gems that no one is talking about
- Here’s everything new in Photos and Camera in iOS 13
- How to enable Sidecar on incompatible Macs in Catalina
Here are 13 small tweaks and new features that will help you get the most out of your iPhone in iOS 13.
- 1 13. Optimized battery charging
- 2 12. Swipe through Screen Time
- 3 11. Headphone Audio Levels
- 4 10. Small Reminders detail
- 5 9. Schedule Safari tabs to Close
- 6 8. Keyboard separation
- 7 7. Stop untrusted Shortcuts
- 8 6. Mail toolbar
- 9 5. Sort individual Notes folders
- 10 4. New Subtitles button in Remote
- 11 3. Siri suggestion
- 12 2. Set default zoom in Safari
- 13 1. Live Photos stitching
13. Optimized battery charging
Apple has added a small feature to iOS 13 that should extend the longevity of an iPhone’s lithium-ion battery. And the feature actually has some cool tidbits.
Optimized battery charging analyzes your charging habits and will delay charging your iPhone to 100 percent battery life until a set period — like right before you leave for work. That’ll save your battery in the long term.
The feature will also send you a notification letting you know when the battery is scheduled to fully charge. You can even 3D Touch or Haptic Touch the notification and tell it to finish charging your device immediately.
12. Swipe through Screen Time
Screen Time is a great way to track the time you’re spending on apps, and Apple is continually improving the platform.
In iOS 13, there’s a small but welcome change to the way that Screen Time displays stats. Basically, you can now swipe through Screen Time to see stats for different days.
Just go to Settings —> Screen Time and tap on See All Activity. From there, you can swipe left or right on the actual stats to scrub through previous days and weeks.
11. Headphone Audio Levels
watchOS 6 includes a new feature that will alert users to dangerous noise levels in their environment. But there’s a lesser-known feature in iOS 13 that will do the same, except for headphones.
Basically, there’s a new Health feature that will alert users if their headphone audio levels are at a dangerous level for hearing health.
You can edit this behavior in Settings —> Health —> Headphone Audio Levels. You can measure levels for both calibrated headphones or all headphones (though the latter toggle will only estimate the volume level of your iPhone).
10. Small Reminders detail
The Reminders app has been completely overhauled in iOS 13. And although the app has been reworked from the bottom up, it’s the tiny details that show how powerful the feature can be.
For example, taking a screenshot of an email in Mail and sharing it to Reminders now automatically adds a link to the message in that Reminder.
Try it out for yourself. Screenshot an email and save it as a reminder. You should notice a small Mail icon next to the reminder itself — tap on it and you’ll be brought to the email.
9. Schedule Safari tabs to Close
If you’re like many iPhone users, you probably rack up open tabs in Safari pretty quickly. Once you get to a certain number of tabs, it can be pretty annoying to close them all.
Luckily, Safari in iOS 13 has a clever little feature that lets you schedule a time interval for tabs to close. You can, for example, have Safari automatically close tabs after a week of not using them.
To enable the feature, just go to Settings —> Safari —> Close Tabs. You can use to close them manually, or have Safari close them after one day, one week or one month of inactivity.
8. Keyboard separation
When it comes to small but incredibly useful changes, Apple has included a small tweak in iOS 13 that will make anyone with multiple keyboards happier.
Basically, Apple has separated the Emoji keyboards from the language keyboards in the new update. There are toggles for both, meaning you won’t have to sort through emoji keyboards to get to your secondary language keyboard.
Unfortunately, this looks like it’s only the case for X-series devices — the iPhone X through the iPhone XS Max. That’s because it appears that it’s using the space beneath the keyboard where the bezels would be on other devices.
7. Stop untrusted Shortcuts
While Shortcuts is extremely powerful, it can actually be a security risk if a bad actor takes creates a malicious shortcut. The risk is compounded since anyone can create and share a shortcut.
But in iOS 13, there’s a baked-in security measure that can stop untrusted shortcuts from being added to your Shortcuts app. It’s a bit like the Gatekeeper feature in macOS.
It’s on by default. But you can disable the feature by going to Settings —> Shortcut and hitting the toggle next to Allow Untrusted Shortcuts. (Note: Some beta users aren’t seeing the option on their own devices, so your mileage may vary.)
6. Mail toolbar
Email on iPhone is a vastly different creature than email on a Mac or PC. That’s especially true since the iOS Mail app has always been a mobile-tailored experience — which has long had its own downsides.
But Apple has added a handy toolbar to Mail in iOS 13 that could help alleviate some of the problems with formatting emails in Mail. There’s an easily accessible text formatting pane, as well as new options that make it a breeze to attach photos and files.
Just open up the Mail app and create a new message. You’ll see the new toolbar appear above the keyboard in the app. There are icons for text formatting, pictures and camera, Files, markup and document scanning.
5. Sort individual Notes folders
If you’re a frequent Notes user, you probably already know that you can edit the default sorting pattern for organizational flexibility. (If you didn’t, there’s a free tip.)
But in past versions of iOS, this has been a one-size-fit-all solution. Now, in iOS 13, the options are a bit more granular. You can select a default sort pattern — but you can also edit the sorting for individual folders within the Notes app.
The default sort is changeable in Settings —> Notes. The individual folder settings are accessible by tapping on a folder and pulling down from the top. You’ll see a Sort By section underneath the search bar.
Using your iPhone as an Apple TV remote is a joy. Not only do you have your smartphone close at hand, but you can do away with the annoyance of typing using the onscreen tvOS keyboard.
Apple has subtly revamped the remote in the past few point updates to iOS 12. But there’s a small change in iOS 13 that should go a long way for users who require closed captioning or subtitles.
Basically, there’s now a small subtitle button right in the Remote pane — it’s in between the jump ahead and jump backwards buttons. It’s worth noting that this may not work for all streaming platforms during the beta process.
3. Siri suggestion
Siri has been continually improved since she was first debuted back in 2011. Sometimes, the going can seem slow. But other times, a Siri suggestion that you never would have expected pops up. We spotted one such suggestion.
If you have Siri suggestions enabled, the digital assistant can now detect if the next day is a holiday in you country. If it is, Siri will ask you if you’d like to edit your alarm so that you can sleep in. It’s a small but stunningly intelligent change.
Unfortunately, this only appears to be the case in the U.S. and Canada currently. You’ll also need to use the built-in Calendar app, at least during the beta testing phase. More calendars may be added when the public release drops.
2. Set default zoom in Safari
Navigating the web using the iOS version of Safari is pretty intuitive — particularly the pinch-to-zoom feature that’s been a staple of iOS since the beginning.
But if you’re a frequent zoomer, it can be fairly inconvenient to have to repeat the motion and manually zoom into every webpage you visit. In iOS 13, you can now edit the default zoom for all webpages.
Just open the Settings app and head over to Safari —> Page Zoom. Change the zoom setting to whatever you’d like. After you enable it, it’ll apply the zoom to every webpage you visit going forward.
1. Live Photos stitching
Apple’s Live Photos are an amazing way to capture individual moments in movement. They’re basically the iOS version of a GIF that you can create yourself. In other words, they’re kind of like a video.
iOS 13 appears to take that into account. The latest beta version of the upcoming software will now stitch together multiple Live Photos that were taken consecutively to create an actual video to play through (albeit without any sound).
To try the feature out, just tap and hold on a Live Photo to start playing it. If there are consecutive Live Photos, it’ll automatically play them together. There doesn’t currently appear to be a way to turn this feature off, though that may be added in a future beta.
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.