If you're still working your way through the hundreds of features and changes that iOS 13 brings to your iPhone, you might be a bit surprised to learn that your device is now out of date. While Apple only dropped the big update for iPhones on Thursday, Sept. 19, the company has already released its successor. All iOS 13-compatible iPhones can now update to iOS 13.1, out today, Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Because this is a "point" update, iOS 13.1 doesn't introduce nearly as many new features as iOS 13. That said, the update does include a number of changes, including previously announced features left out of iOS 13's original release. Most notably, you'll find ETA sharing in Maps as well as Shortcut automations, but there are also updated Dynamic wallpapers for LCD iPhones, and a slew of new UI changes for the better.
Also, there's an update for the iPhone 11 models for the AirDrop interface, which takes advantage of the new U1 Ultra Wideband location chip. Supposedly, you can point your iPhone at other devices to share files with them more easily.
The new Apple-designed U1 chip uses Ultra Wideband technology for spatial awareness — allowing iPhone 11 to understand its precise location relative to other nearby U1-equipped Apple devices. Think GPS at the scale of your living room. So if you want to share a file with someone using AirDrop, just point your iPhone at theirs and they'll be first on the list.
This update doesn't cover all bases, however. Siri still won't announce new messages to you through your AirPods; you can't share audio between two pairs of AirPods; and Image Capture API is still missing, which would allow you to import photos directly to a third-party app. There are more announced features still to come, as well, so all we can do is hope for iOS 13.2 to include them all.
What you might notice most when you update is a general feeling of stability. While there's a lot to love about iOS 13, bugs do get in the way. In fact, many reviews of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max explicity called out iOS 13 for these performance issues, something Apple couldn't be too happy about.
This latest update spent nearly one month in beta testing and came as a bit of a shock to us testers. Apple seeded developers the first beta for iOS 13.1 while iOS 13 was still in beta testing, confusing even the most seasoned beta testers. We had to decide whether to continue beta testing iOS 13, or to jump ship to this mysterious point update. Now that both versions are officially out, it will be interesting to see what Apple releases next.
You can view the release notes for the update below:
iOS 13.1 includes bug fixes and improvements, including AirDrop with Ultra Wideband technology on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, suggested automations in the Shortcuts app, and the ability to share ETA in Maps.
- Ability to select who you want to AirDrop to by pointing from one iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max to another using the new U1 chip with Ultra Wideband technology for spatial awareness
- Suggested automations in the Gallery personalized to your daily routine
- Personal and home automations for automatically running shortcuts based on triggers
- Home app support for shortcuts as advanced actions in the Automation tab
- Share ETA to send your estimated time of arrival while your route is in progress
- Optimized battery charging to slow the rate of battery aging by reducing the time your iPhone spends fully charged
- Performance management feature for iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs
- Notifications for when Battery Health is unable to verify if a new, genuine Apple battery is in iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and later
This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements. This update:
- Adds a link to the Me tab in Find My to allow a guest to sign in and locate a missing device
- Includes notifications for when the display on your iPhone is unable to be verified as a new, genuine Apple display in iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- Addresses issues in Mail that could cause incorrect download counts, missing senders and subjects, difficulty selecting or flagging threads, duplicate notifications or overlapping fields
- Fixes an issue in Mail that may prevent background downloading of email messages
- Addresses an issue that could prevent Memoji from correctly tracking facial expressions in Messages
- Fixes an issue where photos might not display in the Messages details view
- Fixes an issue in Reminders that prevented some users from sharing iCloud lists
- Resolves an issue in Notes where Exchange notes may not show up in search results
- Addresses an issue in Calendar where birthday events could appear multiple times
- Addresses an issue that could prevent third-party sign in screens from appearing in the Files app
- Fixes an issue that could cause Camera orientation to appear rotated when swiping to it from the Lock screen
- Addresses an issue that could cause the display to sleep while interacting with the Lock screen
- Resolves issues where app icons could appear as blank or as a different app on the Home screen
- Resolves an issue that could prevent supported wallpapers from switching appearances when - changing between Light and Dark modes
- Addresses stability issues when signing out of iCloud from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
- Fixes an issue where signing in to update Apple ID settings could fail repeatedly
- Fixes an issue that could prevent the device from vibrating when connecting to a charger
- Addresses an issue that could cause people and groups in the Share Sheet to appear blurred
- Fixes an issue that could prevent alternate words from displaying when tapping on a misspelled word
- Resolves an issue where multilingual typing could stop working
- Addresses an issue that could prevent switching back to the QuickType keyboard after using a third-party keyboard
- Fixes an issue that could prevent the edit menu from appearing when selecting text
- Fixes an issue where Siri may not read Messages in CarPlay
- Addresses an issue that could prevent sending a message using third party messaging apps in CarPlay
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
To download and install the new update, head to Settings –> General –> Software Update. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to begin the process. If you have "Automatic Updates" enabled, you can simply let your iPhone update to 13.1 overnight, so long as the device is connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into power.