Apple seeded the official version of iOS 13 to compatible iPhones on Sept. 19. Since then, we've seen two major updates — iOS 13.1, which, by our count, introduced 22 new features, and iOS 13.2, which also added 22 new features. Today, Dec. 10, Apple introduced the third major update: iOS 13.3.
Version 13.3 went through four rounds of beta testing, following the same path as iOS 13.2. In that time, most of the new features and changes came with the first beta release. The subsequent three updates featured one or two visible changes at most, with the majority occurring under the hood.
Some of those under-the-hood changes include security updates, like fixes for bugs that could execute arbitrary code in FaceTime and WebKit. Also, there's a patch for an issue when calling with Siri that would call with the wrong number when you have two cellular plans, and a fix for Photos where Live Photos you share with Live Photos disabled may still appear as enabled Live Photos when using iCloud links.
While 13.3 might not be as feature-rich as its predecessors, the latest version of iOS is nothing to sneeze at. When you update, you'll find a new toggle for disabling Memoji stickers in the Frequently Used section of Messages' emoji keyboard.
Also, there are new mouse controls, including "hot corners," which allow you to assign different actions to each corner of your device. And there's an update to Apple News, featuring the return of the thumbs up/down options for loving and disliking articles, as well as back and forth buttons for moving between articles.
It also appears Apple released iOS 12.4.4 for iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, and iPod touch 6th-gen. If you have one of these devices, don't get too excited — 12.4.4 simply contains stability patches and performance updates. Still, it's encouraging to see Apple continue to support devices as old as the iPhone 5S, even in minor, non-iOS 13 updates.
Here are the full release notes for iOS 13.3:
iOS 13.3 includes improvements, bug fixes and additional parental controls for Screen Time.
New parental controls provide more communication limits over who their children can call, FaceTime, or Message
Contact list for children lets parents manage the contacts that appear on their children's devices
- New layout for Apple News+ stories from The Wall Street Journal and other leading newspapers
- Easily like or dislike stories with a tap
- Stories from Apple News are now available in Canada in English and French
- Continue reading with links to related stories or more stories from the same publication
- "Breaking" and "Developing" labels for Top Stories
This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements. This update:
- Enables the creation of a new video clip when trimming a video in Photos
- Adds support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari
- Fixes issues in Mail that may prevent downloading new messages
- Addresses an issue that prevented deleting messages in Gmail accounts
- Resolves issues that could cause incorrect characters to display in messages and duplication of sent messages in Exchange accounts
- Fixes an issue where the cursor may not move after long pressing on the space bar
- Addresses an issue that may cause screenshots to appear blurry when sent via Messages
- Resolves an issue where cropping or using Markup on screenshots may not save to Photos
- Fixes an issue where Voice Memos recordings may not be able to be shared with other audio apps
- Addresses an issue where the missed call badge on the Phone app may not clear
- Resolves an issue where the Cellular Data setting may incorrectly show as off
- Fixes an issue that prevented turning off Dark Mode when Smart Invert was enabled
- Addresses an issue where some wireless chargers may charge more slowly than expected
For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
To update to iOS 13.3, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then tap "General" –> "Software Update." Follow the on-screen instructions to begin downloading the software to your device, then continue to start updating. You can also just wait for it to install automatically if you have "Automatic Updates" enabled.
Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions, increase security when browsing on public networks, and more.
Other worthwhile deals to check out: