When it comes to iOS 13 features, the flashy new additions like Dark Mode and revamped apps are getting a lot of the attention. To be fair, those features are cool and much appreciated. But there are also plenty of performance features hidden in iOS 13 that will improve the digital “quality of life” of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.
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- iOS 13 Privacy and Security improvements announced at WWDC
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From design changes to smaller app updates, here are some of the small ways that iOS 13 will improve the performance, storage, battery life, and general usability of the platform.
7. Performance boosts
Last year, Apple released iOS 12 — a software update with a huge emphasis on performance and speed. And although iOS 13 is packed with new features and capabilities, the next-generation software update also makes some major improvements as far as performance goes.
Most notably, Apple says that iOS 13 cuts app opening times in half. The update also makes Face ID authentication about 30 percent faster. Presumably, there are some other under-the-hood improvements as far as stability and speed, too. In other words, iOS 13 will make your smartphone faster than it is now.
6. Smaller apps and updates
In addition to speed improvements, iOS 13 will also help you make the most of the built-in storage on your device. That’s because Apple is making a couple of updates that, starting in the fall, will change how apps on the App Store are packaged and distributed.
At WWDC, Apple announced that app downloads will be reduced by as much as 50 percent. App updates are also going to be up to 60 percent smaller (on average). Essentially, this means that the 64 gigabytes on your device is going to go quite a bit further than it will on iOS 12. Users with larger storage tiers may not have to worry about app size at all.
5. “Low Data Mode” and cellular downloads
No one likes receiving those “you’ve almost used all of your data” messages. But iOS 13 may be able to help. According to Apple, there will be a new “Low Data Mode” in the update that will limit the network data usage of the apps on your iPhone. We don’t know how it works yet, but it sounds a lot like Low Power Mode, just for your cellular data.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Apple is also changing how users will be able to download apps from the App Store. In iOS 13, users will be able to choose to download apps and games over a cellular connection — no matter how large they are. In related news, Apple also recently bumped up the over-the-air limit from 150MB to 200MB.
4. Battery optimization
Your iPhone’s lithium-ion battery isn’t going to last forever. Lithium-ion batteries naturally degrade over time, which can affect the battery life and performance of your device (or, in the worst case scenarios, case unexpected shutdowns). But in iOS 13, Apple is adding an optional new feature to settings that can help mitigate battery aging over time.
Basically, the feature will analyze your charging habits to see when you juice up your device. It will then stop charging at 80 percent until it knows you’ll be unplugging your device soon (such as shortly before you wake up). After that, it’ll charge to 100 percent. Having a lithium-ion battery at full charge for long periods of time can reduce its longevity, so this feature will help boost its lifespan.
3. New volume indicator
If there’s one tiny detail that iOS users like to complain about, it’s the objectively obtrusive Volume HUD. You probably know exactly what we’re talking about. Change the volume on your device and a massive volume indicator appears directly in the center of the display.
That will no longer be the case in iOS 13. Apple has completely redesigned the volume indicator. When you change the volume now, a volume bar will appear on the left side of the display in portrait mode and at the top in landscape mode. At first, it’ll be fairly large to allow users to tap and hold to change the volume. If you don’t tap on it, it’ll minimize to a small bar.
2. Anti-robocall feature
Robocalls are a huge problem. If you’re like most Americans, you probably receive way more than you’d like. While carriers and government entities are moving to try and fix the issue, Apple has built a clever new feature into iOS 13 that can make those spam and robocalls much less annoying.
It’s called block unknown callers. It does exactly what it sounds like it does. The feature leverages Siri to scan any phone numbers in Messages, Mail or your Contacts. If a number isn’t in any of those apps, then iOS 13 will automatically send it to voicemail so that it never buzzes your phone. This won’t be ideal for all users, of course, so Apple has made it an optional setting.
1. Expanded Peek and Quick Actions
While 3D Touch may be removed from iPhones this year, there’s no doubt that it comes with its own set of handy features. Luckily, in iOS 13, Apple is adding some of the functionality of 3D Touch to any device that can run iOS 13 (or iPadOS). That includes the iPhone XR, which now only has Haptic Touch.
Basically, this means that users will be able to activate the Peek and Quick actions capabilities with a long press instead of a firm press. Mostly, this is a change that will benefit users of the iPhone XR, iPhone SE, iPad Air 2 and other devices that don’t have 3D Touch. But still, it’s a welcome change.
What are some of the features that you are looking forward to in iOS 13 apart from the Dark Mode?
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.