WWDC 2019 has only just begun but as far as exciting news is concerned, it’s already wrapped up. Apple made a ton of announcements during its big keynote presentation on Monday afternoon, and it gave the world its first official glimpse at the updated software that will power its platforms for the year to come. There was plenty of exciting news surrounding all of Apple’s new platforms, but there’s no question that iOS 13 stole the show at WWDC. While last year’s iOS 12 update was all about squashing bugs and smoothing out the overall user experience, iOS 13 is packed full of nifty new features that iPhone and iPad users are going to love. In this post, we’ve rounded up all of the best and most exciting new features headed to iOS devices in iOS 13.
Apple’s new iOS 13 software was the star of the show this year. Speed was a big focus of course — Face ID unlocks are up to 30% faster and app launch speeds are up to twice as fast on the iPhone thanks to 60% smaller app file sizes.
Speed improvements are nice and all, but there’s one new feature that everyone was obviously waiting for: Dark Mode. Now that most of Apple’s new iPhones have OLED screens, UI elements that are heavy on true black means battery life is extended. Dark Mode flips the color scheme so that the background is black and text is light. Dark Mode is available across the main iOS UI as well as in each individual Apple app. Developers will get new guidelines and tools so they can create apps that adhere to the new Dark Mode theme.
Apple’s iOS keyboard now supports swipe typing, which is something that people have been begging for. Swiping on the Apple keyboard works just like it does in other popular keyboards.
The Reminders app has been rewritten from the ground up, and it’s so much better than it had been. A new quick type bar makes it easier than ever to create notes, and Smart Lists is a big improvement over standard lists.
Apple has rebuilt all of its maps with tons more details, and they’re accessible in the new version of Apple Maps in iOS 13, starting first in the US and then elsewhere. Apple drove over 4 million miles around the United States to add all the new detail to its maps. A new favorites section makes navigating to frequently visited placed much easier, and collections allow users to compile a bunch of nearby locations into a folder of sorts. There’s also a new “Look Around” feature that’s just like Google’s Street View in Google Maps.
You can also finally share an ETA with friends and family with a single tap when you’re navigating, which is a welcome addition.
Sign in with Apple
Privacy is always a big focus for Apple since it’s a hot talking point against Google. In iOS 13, you can share location access to an app just once, and then it’ll have to request access again if it wants to access in the future.
In iOS 13, Apple is introducing a new “Sign in with Apple” feature that allows users to sign into third-party services, just like you can do with Google and Facebook. The difference here is that there’s no tracking at all with Sign in with Apple. If services want to access your name and email, you can either allow them to have access or you can have the service create a fake email address that forwards to your email. Each app will get a unique fake email and they can be disabled at any time. Sign in with Apple will be available on all Apple platforms as well as on the web.
HomeKit is getting a big upgrade that ties into security cameras with HomeKit Secure Video, which can analyze security camera video for face recognition features. This new feature also can encrypt your video clips and store them to iCloud — 10 days of free storage are included with all iCloud accounts.
Messages is one of the most frequently used apps on iOS devices, and the app gets a big update in iOS 13. You can now set your name and picture (avatar or Memoji) and they’ll be sent to users when you message. This way, messages sent to new users don’t just appear under an unknown phone number. Where Memoji are concerned, there are tons of new style features available so you can further customize your Memoji. Memoji Stickers, as the name might suggest, creates a custom sticker pack that can be used in Messages, Mail, and elsewhere.
The Camera app in iOS 13 gives users tons of new features as well as portrait lighting effects available in Portrait Mode photos. RIP, Apollo. The Photos app has a new photo editor UI with controls that are easier to find and use. On top of that, videos can now be edited (and rotated!) using the same effects.
The Photos app is getting some other big updates beyond the new editor features, and machine learning will play a big role. Your photos will be intelligently organized into a diary of sorts, and the app will even automatically remove duplicate photos. A new Days tab in the Photos app drills down to show you photos captured on particular data, and videos and Live Photos will preview automatically as you scroll. The Months tab is similar, but it’s organized by month rather than day. Needless to say, the new Years tab is similar but it’s dynamic, so the previews you see will change based on the time, day, and situation you’re in. For example, if you open the Years tab on your birthday, it might highlight photos and videos captured on past birthdays.
New AirPods features
AirPods integration in iOS 13 gets some nifty updates, like having Siri automatically read your messages to you as soon as they arrive. This cool feature works with Apple’s Messages app and third-party apps where it’s enabled. A new Audio Sharing feature lets you share your Bluetooth connection with other iPhones by simply tapping the two phones together (lightly, so they don’t break). HomePod gets a bunch of new features as well in iOS 13, such as Handoff support and a bunch of new Siri features.
CarPlay is getting a huge update in iOS 13. The new CarPlay Dashboard is a widget screen of sorts that can be configured however you want. Siri now works with third-party apps like Pandora and Waze, which is obviously a big deal.
iOS 13 now comes with the Shortcuts app pre-installed, and Siri Shortcuts also gets new features in iOS 13. Unfortunately, the Shortcuts system is still too overcomplicated for most people to find useful. What is useful is the new Find My app that replaces Find My Friends and adds in Find My iPhone features.
Better Siri voice
Apple also used neural text-to-speech to make Siri sound much more natural in iOS 13, which users will undoubtedly appreciate.
New spam filter
Last but not least, a new iOS 13 feature lets you send ALL unknown calls to voicemail automatically. So long, spam calls!