Apple's iOS 13 has been available for beta testing since June, and now we're just days away from a stable release for everyone on Thursday, Sept. 19. To help get you excited about iOS 13 for iPhone, we've rounded up everything you'll want to know, whether a colossal feature, small settings change, interface update, or hidden improvement.
If you're not ready to install iOS 13 because you're worried about stability issues that usually plague first releases, you can at least see what's in store for you when you finally do update. And since we focus primarily on the iPhone side of things, the features below are all found in iOS 13. However, most if not all of the features will also work in iPadOS 13 for iPad models.
Skip to a particular section: System-Wide & General Settings | Siri | Control Center | Mail | Messages | Photos & Camera | Music | Apple Maps | Reminders | Notes | Safari | Security | Home | Voice Control | Accessibility | Performance | Other
There are a lot of new features and changes that affect how you use your iPhone as a whole, from system-wide visual differences to how you share things.
After years of waiting, Apple finally delivered with its dark mode implementation. Way better than Smart Invert, the new Dark Mode applies system-wide and works in every Apple app. Developers can also hook into Apple's API to bring the dark mode to their apps with minimal work.
What's even better than having a Dark Mode you can change quickly from the Control Center? Scheduling the appearance to fit your light-to-dark schedule.
- More Info: How to Put Dark Mode on a Schedule in iOS 13
Apple's iOS 13 comes with four default still wallpapers that look great with Dark Mode. So it's almost like having eight new wallpapers.
There's an option when choosing wallpapers to dim them during Dark Mode. Just toggle on "Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper" and when you turn on Dark Mode, your custom wallpaper will dim depending on the ambient light around you.
The distracting volume overlay had always been a problem in iOS 12 and under, showing up right in the middle of the screen in most cases. Now, Apple finally changes things up, with a smaller volume overlay indicator on the side or at the top. It appears thick at first to so you can see the speaker icon, then minimizes to a thin line.
The Silent Mode overlay, which looked like the old volume overlay, is replaced by a pill-shaped banner notification when you use the Silent Mode switch on the side of the iPhone.
Joining the likes of Gboard, SwiftKey, and other swipe-typing keyboards, Apple's default QuickType keyboard now has a "Slide to Type" glide option. It's enabled right away, and you can even disable it if you want, but why would you want to?
Apple added some much-needed gestures in iOS 13 for text editing, and they work no matter what keyboard you use. Swipe left with three fingers to undo (sure beats shaking your iPhone like a crazy person). Swipe right with three fingers to redo. Spread three fingers to paste. Pinch three fingers to copy. Pinch three fingers twice to cut. Tap with three fingers to open a menu that lets you don all of that.
Before, whenever you needed to move the cursor, you could tap-and-hold to bring up the magnified view, then drag to where appropriate. The magnifier was kicked to the curb in iOS 13, so now you just grab the cursor and move it without much thought.
In iOS 12 and under, you could tap the center of a word for the rest of your life and you'd never get it to go anywhere but at the beginning or end of the word. In iOS 13, that changes.
You could always double-tap a word to select it when editing text, but now you can double-tap to highlight the sentence and triple-tap to highlight a whole paragraph.
The previous "Indent Right" and "Indent Left" options in the contextual edit menu are now labeled as "Indentation." Tap that, and you get options to "Increase" and "Decrease" the indent.
You can long-press the scroll bar in any app that it appears in, such as Notes, Safari, and Settings, then move up or down to fast-scroll a page.
You could install custom fonts before on iOS, and either TTF, OTF, or TTC files would work, but there was no way to manager them. Now, there's a "Fonts" manager that corrals them all.
If you install fonts via the old way, they are separate configuration profiles (not always safe), and you can only view them in the Fonts manager. However, third-party font apps that support iOS 13's new Fonts manager can install fonts directly to the system without any profiles involved. Those can be directly managed in the Fonts manager. Needless to say, all installed fonts are only available in apps and can't be used to change the system font.
There's an option in the Wi-Fi settings to "Auto-Join Hotspot" which can be set to ask, never, or automatic. These are for personal hotspots, like using another phone's cellular data.
You can view the data in the "Cellular" settings. Each device that connected to your iPhone's hotspot will show up with how much data each used next to it.
You can use virtually any computer mouse, whether wireless or wired, to control pretty much everything on your iPhone. Great for people who have trouble swiping and tapping, but also fun for everyone else.
There's a setting that helps make your battery last longer overall. You'll notice it in action when your iPhone won't charge past 80% when plugged in or on a wireless charging hub.
There's a simpler, rounded glyph design for menu icons across iOS 13. Overall, they're cleaner and stand out more.
A lot of the things you could do with 3D Touch you can now do with Haptic Touch, such as view quick actions on the home screen. You can even "peek" in most places no matter which iPhone you have, though, the ones with 3D Touch seem to work faster. An overall, "pop" seems to be gone entirely, replaced by a static preview you tap again to view.
The use of "Bedtime" for Do Not Disturb schedules was confusing in iOS 12 since it could be mistaken for the Bedtime feature in the Clock app. The latter lets you set an alarm, while the former just dimmed your lock screen and sent notifications straight to Notification Center. Now, Apple cleared it up by calling DND's scheduled option "Dim Lock Screen."
Sheet and full-screen modals in Apple apps look like the Wallet ones from iOS 12.2, where the options in square white boxes appear in rounded white boxes with more padding overall (but it's still not everywhere).
There's a new toggle in the Face ID & Passcode and Touch ID & Passcode settings to disable Wallet on the lock screen.
Some header tabs look different across apps such as in the Battery settings and in the iTunes Store.
Some Apple apps have changed the "Edit" button in the top right to an ellipsis (•••) that holds "Edit" and more options via an action sheet.
The dictation tool is now available in Search menus via the microphone button. Pretty much anywhere there's a search bar there's a mic now.
Share sheet, aka activity view, is completely redesigned, with a header with basic info on what you're sharing, quick contacts, and a new vertical action extensions list.
The row of quick contacts (seen above) not only has people you call or message frequently but also devices you AirDrop too, so you can transfer content much faster now.
AirDrop in the Share sheet is now an app-style icon in the sharing options row. However, devices you frequently AirDrop to will show up in the row of quick contacts. When you tap the AirDrop button, devices are separated by your devices and other people's devices.
The actions options in the Share sheet have moved from a bottom row to a vertical list of options. It better distinguishes share vs. action extensions, so there is no confusion what's what.
The markup tool icons such as pencil and markers look like real ones now vs. just outlines.
When you tap the plus (+) icon in the markup tools, there's a new option for "Opacity," which gives a slider in which you can add a white overlay at different degrees of opacity. So if you need to draw more attention to your markups than the image, you can add a semi-transparent white layer over the image so that it's less distracting.
While Apple had a framework for cryptography before that developers could use, now there's a new CryptoKit for devs to utilize in Swift. New features include encryption algorithms such as SHA-256, as well as some other features, so you may see some improved cryptographic operations in apps. This framework does not mean iOS 13 has built-in support for cryptocurrency, though it's a step in that direction.
If you use Siri or Shortcuts, there are a few new things you'll want to know about.
Before, it was either you use Siri with voice input or Type to Siri with the Home or Side button shortcut. You could still use Hey Siri either way, but you may prefer using the button shortcut instead of saying "Hey Siri," while still retaining the ability to type to your assistant when needed. That's now possible. Instead of turning on Type to Siri, swipe down on the home screen and type your search in there. Then, scroll to the bottom and tap the new "Ask Siri" option.
In iOS 12, we saw the new Shortcuts app, which took over Workflow, but it wasn't automatically installed on devices that updated. Instead, you had to download it just like you had to with Workflow in past years. Now, since it's a bigger and bigger part of iOS, it's finally preinstalled. You can still delete it, but you don't have to worry about downloading it either.
Before, Siri-suggested Shortcuts were available in the Siri & Search settings, which many people wouldn't even know to find. Now, with Shortcuts being preinstalled in iOS 13, suggestions have moved into the app.
The title there pretty much explains it all.
Speaking of voices, Siri's voice is more natural-sounding, "particularly while speaking longer phrases, with a voice that is generated entirely by software," as Apple puts it. Its neural TTS system helps by improving prosody, or the patterns of stress, intonation, tone, and rhythm in spoken language.
Siri offers more personalized suggestions in Apple Podcasts, Safari, and Maps, and it can even detect events in third-party apps and has more integration in Apple Messages and Reminders.
If app developers choose to implement SiriKit for Audio, you could then use Siri to play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and radio stations from within those apps instead of Apple's own apps.
If you have a favorite radio station in Apple Music or a third-party radio app such as TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Radio.com, you can now access it even faster by telling Siri to tune into it.
The updated Siri for HomePod can now recognize different family members by voice. By doing so, Siri can provide a more personal experience for each home member. So if someone wants to listen to a playlist from Apple Music on their account, they can without affecting your Apple Music account. They can even send messages and perform other personalized requests.
And if you or a family member wants to hand off music, podcasts, calls, etc. to iPhone, it just takes bringing the iPhone close to the HomePod to do so. Live radio is also supported as described above but requires sign-in with the Apple ID used for iTunes.
The Control Center, which you access from either a swipe down from the top right or a swipe up from the bottom, depending on your iPhone model, has a few more things that make it even more convenient.
After expanding the connectivity control panel in the Control Center, long-press the Wi-Fi icon to select a different Wi-Fi network right away.
After long-pressing the Wi-Fi icon, there's a new option for "Wi-Fi Settings" that jumps you right to them in the Settings app, something we've been wishing would happen for a long time.
After expanding the connectivity control panel in the Control Center, long-press the Bluetooth icon to select a different Bluetooth device right away. You won't be able to pair Bluetooth devices here, but you can select from any paired ones that are available to connect to.
After long-pressing the Bluetooth icon, there's a new option for "Bluetooth Settings" that jumps you right to them in the Settings app. If you need to pair a new set of headphones, a computer mouse, or other Bluetooth peripheral, this is a fast way to start doing it.
There's a glyph icon in the Control Center's volume slider that shows an iPhone when you aren't using external headphones or speakers, and it displays a Bluetooth symbol for Bluetooth devices.
There's a new "Appearance" option in the brightness slider to go from Light to Dark Mode quickly, so you don't always have to go into the Settings or reply on your Dark Mode schedule.
Mail has needed improvements for a while now, and iOS 13 is finally starting the process. While there is a lot of new stuff here, the thing I wanted the most — a "Select All" option during search queries — is noticeably absent. However, there is a new gesture to select multiple emails at once that fills that gap.
The Search box appears immediately in mailboxes and folders.
The toolbar when reading an email now only contains a Reply and Trash icon, but the Reply button houses the Flag and Move Message options.
In the Reply menu, there are options for replies, mark as unread, move to junk, move to a different mailbox, and flag options.
Mute conversations either via the new Reply menu, from the "More" menu when swiping on emails in lists from a mailbox or folder view, or when long-pressing to bring up the contextual menu.
Settings are available to choose "Mark as Read" or "Archive or Delete" when muting threads.
You can choose when to include attachments with replies.
There are more options when long-pressing an email on all iPhone models vs. what was only available when Peeking and Popping with 3D Touch before.
When flagging in an email directly, you can choose different flag colors. But only from the Reply menu in the email itself.
There's an option to block incoming emails from a specified sender now. First, you choose whether you want emails from blocked senders to go to your trash folder or to just go to your inbox silently. Then, you block the contact or sender either from within an email directly or from within Mail's settings.
A new formatting bar above the keyboard lets you insert media and attachments and perform other edits.
There are new text formatting options for fonts, size, color, strikethrough, alignment, lists, and indents.
All system fonts and acquired fonts are supported.
The new photo selector is smaller so you can view email and choose photo at the same time.
The old "Send" button when composing a draft is now an up arrow icon.
Emails and contact names in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields are now highlighted with a background when one of those fields is selected, to help separate them better.
Not much to say about this one but the obvious: It provides better email address auto-complete.
When composing a draft, the "New Message" header, which also shows the subject line when filled in, is HUGE now and below the "Cancel" button instead of beside it, though it can be hidden and reverted to the old view by swiping up on the draft.
You can no longer create a new draft when reading an email, only Reply or Forward.
Multiple emails can be selected by dragging two fingers together down or up a list while in edit mode.
The Messages app got some love in iOS 13, too. There are some interesting features for iMessage, as well as Animoji and Memoji news to be excited about.
If there is no photo of you in the other person's contacts, you can add a profile photo and share it on a case-by-case basis. Profile pics, profile Memoji, or profile monograms all work.
We've got more Memoji customizations such as braces, piercings, makeup, hairdos, etc.
Three new ones, so have fun with the mouse, octopus, and cow heads.
The smiley lets you capture the perfect expression to share.
Memoji stickers packs are created for each Memoji you make.
The details pane for each conversation is more organized.
Searching messages gives immediate suggestions.
Searches will have categorized results with terms highlighted.
You can search in specific conversations, not just the whole app.
All A9 and higher devices support Memoji and Animoji sticker packs.
The Photos app in iOS 13 receives a lot of love, with a slightly better interface, better curation, more on-device machine learning to help show you only the important stuff, and so on. The Camera app also has a few goodies to know about.
You could view in days, months, and years in the "Photos" tab before, but it was a bit confusing. Now, it's very clear, with "Days," "Months," and "Years" getting their own tabs, as well as "All Photos."
In the new "Years" view, content is contextual so that you may see different results on different days. For the "Months" view, it curates photos and videos by events, which could be anything, such as a birthday party, family outing, concert performance, festival, social event, special trip, anniversary, and so on. When it comes to "Days," the feed is curated so that only your best shots show up; Pictures and videos are highlighted in bigger slots that may be interesting to you or may represent the day best — those highlights will playback in a live preview full of motion.
80. Duplicate Content Is Hidden in the 'Photos' Tab
In the "Photos" tab, the app automatically hides duplicate content in the time-based views, so that you see the best shots always and less clutter. However, you can view the rest in the "All Photos" view, as well as in albums directly in the "Albums" tab.
In the "Years" view, Photos may look back at images and videos from a significant event around today's date in past years, so you reminisce more accurately.
If it's the birthday of somebody found in your "People" album, you may see media that involves them over the years in the "Years" view of the "Photos" tab. These will remind you of past experiences and help jog your memory so you can send the appropriate birthday wishes, if any.
For the "Months" view in the "Photos" tab, it curates photos and videos by events. As mentioned before, that's birthday parties, family outings, concert performances, festivals, social events, special trips, anniversaries, and so on.
Months displays the location or event's name to help you discover past content more easily. You can see events such as a birthday party, family outing, concert performance, festival, social event, special trip, anniversary, etc.
Things that won't appear in the "Days" view in the "Photos" tab are screenshots, whiteboard photos, receipts, and other documents.
When navigating content in any of the "Photos" tab's views, there are animations and transitions that help you keep your place in the timeline. Switching between "Years," "Months," "Days," and "All Photos" is easy since you'll never lose your place.
There are new auto-play previews for highlighted videos and Live Photos in the "Photos" tab. By default, they are muted, but if you tap one to view it, the sound will play. Go back to the list view before it's done playing, and the audio will continue, but only for that particular video or Live Photo.
The "Photos" tab has a lot going on. As for smart photo previews, it varies the size of images and videos in the grid to help you better distinguish between media. And to make it even better, you may see a zoomed-in version of the real deal to show off the best part of the photo or video. Tap on it to view the full uncropped content.
If you want to view all of your content, you can in the "All Photos" view in the "Photos" tab. There's a new (+/-) button that lets you zoom in from a five-wide grid to a three-wide one. Zoom in one more time, and you're viewing the image or video in the center of the screen. You can also use the buttons to zoom back out. Pinching also will let you zoom in and out in a similar manner.
Live Photos can play longer if other Live Photos were taken within 1.5 seconds of the one being played. Since Live Photos already contain up to 1.5 seconds of footage before and after the shot — and depending on how many Live Photos you take within the needed time span — you can have a seriously long playback. However, from what we've seen, this is only for your enjoyment. If you send a Live Photos you saw that seemed overly long to someone else, they will only get the three-second version.
You can perform multi-keyword searches without having to tap each word individually.
If you use the "Memories" option in the "For You" tab, whenever you view a memory, the music that plays was pulled from the Music app based on your listening history, so it's more in tune with the type of songs you enjoy.
Perhaps the biggest new feature in iOS 13, the majority of the edits you could perform on photos you can also perform on videos now.
Video edits are nondestructive, so you can revert back to the original state, just like you could before with photos.
When editing a photo or video, whenever you adjust the slider underneath an adjustment such as Brightness, Saturation, Sharpness, and so on, the circle surrounding the adjustment's icon in the toolbar will show the strength of the intensity you chose. This makes it easy to see which effects are increased or decreased at a glance.
Just like with the adjustments toolbar, the enhance feature, which is basically the new "Auto" option in the adjustments list, can also have its intensity adjusted. Works for both image and videos.
There were filters before, but now whenever you chose one, you can adjust its intensity via the slider underneath it, just like you can do on Instagram. Works for both image and videos.
For every icon in the adjustments toolbar that's highlighted with the intensity preview indicator, you can tap on it to toggle off the effect, to see what the image or video looked like before that adjustment. Tap it again to reapply the effect.
In edit mode, you can individually review each effect applied in before-and-after views. When on any tool section except cropping, tap the photo or video itself, and the original image will show you what it looked like before your edits.
In both photos and videos, there are new white balance adjustment tools for "Warmth" (temperature) and "Tint." The temperature one goes from blue to yellow, while tint goes from green to magenta.
Control the intensity of the new "Definition" slider for clarity adjustments in photos and videos. Also new are the "Sharpness" and "Noise Reduction" which also help with the quality of the image.
The last new adjustment for photos and videos is the "Vibrance" tool, which brings out the colors in vivid detail.
In both photos and videos, you can use the new "Vignette" tool to add shading to the edges. It's been said that there are options for Strength, Radius, and Falloff vignettes, but those options have not been discovered yet.
If people in your photos have the red-eye effect, you can tap the new "Red Eye" icon, then tap each red eye, to remove the redness. This does not work in videos.
Just like it sounds like, you can pinch-to-zoom during edits on photos and videos. Before, you were locked into the full frame.
There's a new "High-Key Light Mono" effect for monochromatic Portrait photos on a white background in the Camera app. Works on compatible iPhone models.
Adjust the position and intensity of Portrait Lighting effects in the Camera app. This only applies to iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.
Apple's Music app didn't get a massive update this time, but there are some very welcomed features to use with your Apple Music subscription service and some for your personal music library too.
You could always view lyrics in Apple's subscription service, but now you can have an easier time singing along to music you haven't memorized the words for with time-synced lyrics. Not all songs that had lyrics before will have synchronized lyrics, but many do.
Before, to view the songs in the queue to play next, you'd swipe up on the Now Playing screen in Music. In iOS 13, the "Up Next" list has a tab at the bottom of the Now Playing screen you toggle on to view what's coming up. The play controls are still visible unless you swipe up on the list to view songs playing seven or so spots later, then it takes over the whole Now Playing screen. If you always want to see what's coming up, leave the tab highlighted. Otherwise, you can tap to go back to the current album view.
From now on, whenever you attempt to add a song to one of your playlists, if it's already in there, Music will prompt you with "This song is already in your playlist." You can "Skip" adding it or add it again if you want.
Maps has a decent amount of improvements in iOS 13, some of which may finally pull you over from Google Maps or Waze or whatever navigation app you were using if not Apple Maps.
Apple has rebuilt the map from the ground up. The map has more details with realistic views of roads, beaches, parks, buildings, and other objects. Satellite images are also more detailed. However, there's a catch: It's only available in select cities and states right now. By the end of 2019, the new map should be rolled out across the entire US, with other countries getting it in 2020.
If a location (e.g., Apple Store, movie theater, etc.) has upcoming events, you can view them on the locations' information card. For the most part, it's up to businesses to add events to Apple Maps, so it'll probably be a while before everyone adapts it.
Before, on the Maps pull-up launch screen, you could tap "Favorites" at the bottom of the list of recent searches to view locations you've hearted. Now, those favorite places are right at the top of the launch screen.
In earlier iOS versions, you could only view your list of favorites. Now, you can do that and rearrange them as well. Tap the "Edit' button, then drag and drop ones with lines next to them to where you want them. This comes in handy if you want something near the bottom of your list up at the top to show up on the launch screen right away.
New to iOS 13's Maps are Collections. You might already have one created from all the pins you've set in the past, but you can also make new ones and add any location to them you want. Better yet, your Collections are shareable, so you can share all your favorite restaurants in one go to anyone.
We've had access to "Flyover" cities and virtual city tours in Apple Maps, as well as satellite 3D views of most locations, but now we've got even more to help navigate places before arrival. The new "Look Around" feature gives an immersive 3D experience with 360-degree views. If you see the binoculars icon, tap that to get started. The transitions as you move around or amazingly seamless.
The US has had "Junction View" for some time now, which helps you get in the correct lane before a turn comes up. Now China has access, so they can be lined up "in the correct lane before they need to turn or enter an elevated road."
Whenever you need to report an incorrect address, wrong business hours, wrong category, or a different issue, it's now a little bit easier. Instead of having to access different tabs from the feedback screen, it's all on the same page now.
According to Apple, Siri gives a "more natural language" experience for navigation in Maps, which should help you during directions.
So instead of saying "in 1,000 feet turn left," Siri says "turn left at the next traffic light." Improved navigation also guides you closer to your end-point destination, which is especially important for large venues.
Instead of installing a ton of airport and airline-related apps to help you on your journey, you can use Maps for most of the general information. While there are already a lot of airports that have indoor maps, iOS 13 also adds real-time info pertaining to your flight departure times, flight terminals, gate locations, delays, and terminal info, to name a few of the prominent features.
If real-time flight status information wasn't enough, we've now got real-time transit information too. You can view live details for public transportation, including departure and arrival times, bus and train locations, and outages and cancellations. There's also a more helpful schedule available for transit stops and connections.
Developers can now do more with Apple Maps integration in their apps. "Vector overlays, point-of-interest filtering, camera zoom and pan limits, and support for Dark Mode," according to Apple.
If you have a vehicle with CarPlay, iOS 13 provides you with easier router planning, better search tools, and improved navigation. And you can also view the Favorites and the new Collections. And for China, you've got access to the Junction View feature in CarPlay as well.
One of the apps that needed the most attention was Reminders, which had always been just a tiny fraction of its full potential, mostly ignored by Apple as least significant. That changes in iOS 13, with a complete redesign that works.
The whole user interface looks less 2013 and more 2019. The main screen of the Reminders app had remained unchanged since iOS 7, and there was something about it that made it annoying to use. Since iOS 13, I've actually been using the Reminders app daily in part because it's just easier to glance at and navigate. There are no cascading cards for each of your lists anymore. Instead, you see groupings which you can expand and minimize while still being able to view other groups and folders.
Speaking of the groupings on the main screen, it clearly shows which lists are connected to what account. Before, there was no way to tell, but now there are clear groupings and labels for iCloud, Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail, and other accounts. This is similar to what the Notes app has done for some time.
Diving into the main Reminders screen some more, you don't just see groups of lists anymore, you see folders up top for items that need attention currently (Today), everything you've flagged as important (Flagged), things that are on a schedule (Scheduled — the old app did have a Scheduled card), and everything if you want to see every item in all lists in all accounts (All).
To make your list stand out more, you can customize the icon to a different color and even a different icon that better represents the list's purpose. The old app didn't even have icons, but now you can choose between 12 colors (there were only 7 before) and 60 symbols. However, the downside is that it only applies to iCloud lists, not lists in third-party accounts. For those, you're stuck with only 7 colors and the default list icon.
On top of being able to view groups and expand/minimize them, Reminders also lets you group multiple lists into a folder you can name. So if a group's number of lists begins to spiral out of control, you can slim things back a bit by organizing its lists into topics.
To keep things even more organized, you can also group individual tasks under the main task. For instance, instead of creating a shopping list and putting everything you need to buy on there, you can group items by recipes. That way you can keep your burger ingredients separate from your salad ingredients without having to create different lists.
Before, Reminders was always just text-based, but now you can add media too. You can take a photo or scan a document right from the app itself, as well as choose an image from the Photos app.
Don't confuse this with the "Priority" level, which is still alive in kicking. Instead, flagging a reminder will put a little flag icon next to the reminder, as well as add it to the "Flagged" smart list on the main page.
Also new to Reminders it the quick toolbar that appears over the top of any keyboard you're using. With it, you can add times, dates, locations, flags, or attachments. Some of those things could be done before only by going to a reminder's Details page, and some of those things are totally new.
Aside from being able to add images and scans to reminders in the app, there's also the ability to throw in a related URL. For instance, if you needed to renew your vehicle registration, you could write that as the reminder, then add a web link to the DMV's webpage for renewing. Even better, doing so will create a preview similar to how links appear in Messages.
Siri is finally helping out in the Reminders app. When you're typing a reminder out, you can use more descriptive information, and Siri will take those details and suggest relevant actions. For instance, if you have a work meeting every Thursday at noon, you could say "Start working meeting every Thursday at noon." Siri will take that "every Thursday at noon" part and set recurring alerts for the reminder every week without having to touch the date and time settings.
Also new to Reminders is the ability to tag your contacts in individual tasks. While at first it seems pointless, unless it's for a reminder you're sharing, it's actually beneficial if you regularly message that person. That's because the next time you get a note from them in the Messages app, when you go to read it, there will be a Reminders notification there to jog your memory.
I haven't seen this one in action yet, but during a Messages conversation, Siri is supposed to offer suggestions to add to Reminders when a task-oriented message is sent or received. Someone could be asking you to do something or remember something, or you could be telling somebody you're going to complete a task.
In iOS 13, by default, a "Today Notification" will be set for the Reminders app that'll appear in your Notification Center at 9:00 a.m. every day, but only if you have reminders due that day. With it, you can see all of the tasks you need to get done without ever having to open the Reminders app itself.
Notes received some minor updates in iOS 13, and while mostly minor, they make writing, jotting down notes, and organizing folders that much easier.
In iOS 12 and under, the main Folders screen in Notes was auto-expanded with no way to minimize sub-folders in the list. That changes in iOS 13, as you can expand and collapse sub-folders to your heart's content.
Before, the only swipe action Notes had for folders was "Delete." Now, there's an option to move the folder to another location. However, it only applies to folders in iCloud or On My iPhone, not any in third-party accounts. (You can't even create folders for third-party accounts anyway.)
Plus, in the new ellipsis (•••) menu that replaces "Edit" inside of folders, you can hit "Move This Folder" from the action sheet. Additionally, you can long-press a folder or sub-folder from the main Folders screen and move it that way too.
Inside of a folder in iOS 12 and under, the four-squared icon would show you all attachments found within the Notes app. That button is no longer there, though, that's not technically true. If you swipe down when in the folder to view the search bar, you'll see it appear up top. However, it does not show attachments anymore. Instead, it lets you view your folder's contents as a grid of icons now, not just a list.
In iOS 13, when you swipe down to reveal the search bar inside a folder, there's a new option to sort your notes. You could sort notes before, but only via the Settings menu for Notes, and it would apply for all of your folders. You can still do that to choose the default sorting, but now you can sort just one folder's content by Date Edited, Date Created, or Title.
If you want to give another iCloud user access to an entire folder, you can do so from the swipe menu. Best of all, you can make it either view only or let other people make changes. It's also possible to do so from within the folder itself via the new ellipsis (•••) menu that replaces "Edit."
You could share a specific note with others for a collaborative experience, but there were no options to share the note without giving others access to modify things. Now, you can choose to let users view the note only.
Just like before, you can via all attachments — photos and videos, document scans, sketches, websites, and other documents — found within the Notes app. Previously, you'd do so via the four-squared icon inside of a folder in iCloud or On My iPhone. Now, you do it from the new ellipsis (•••) menu. It's actually a little slower this way.
There still is no option to limit what you see to just the current folder, which hopefully will be coming soon. But one improvement is that the Attachments screen is no longer a full-screen modal. Instead, it's a sheet modal, so instead of only being able to hit "Done" to exit, you can swipe down on it.
Before, you could only choose between Title, Heading, and Body to start new notes with. For instance, if you have it set to Heading, whenever you create a new note, the first things you type will be formatted as a heading. Now, you've got another option — Subheading.
Normally, when you tap on a checklist item in a note to check it off as done, it would stay right where it's at. In iOS 13, that's still the case, but in Notes' settings, you can choose to have checked items move to the bottom of the list automatically to put emphasis on tasks still at hand.
Apple previously had five default color options available after tapping on the marker, highlighter, or pencil in the drawing tools. You could also touch the color picker to view more options. Now, in iOS 13, those defaults colors are gone, and only the color picker remains. While it may seem like less options is not a feature, it actually declutters things. First, you may not ever use those default choices. And second, tapping the marker, highlighter, or pencil tool no longer hides the other tools so that you can switch more easily.
Sketch is gone. And that could be good depending on your idea of how helpful it was. I never sketched anything before, but instead drew things directly in the note itself, not as a sketch attachment. So now, the plus (+) sign in the toolbar has changed to a camera icon to better illustrate that you can only scan documents, take photos or videos, and choose from your photo library.
Apple has added even more privacy and security-related features to iOS to an already strong system. But when it comes down to it, there can always be an improvement. And that's what iOS 13 does.
You can sign in to apps and websites with "Sign in with Apple," which uses your Apple ID. To use it, you need two-factor authentication on your Apple account. You don't have to fill out any more forms or create passwords, and you can use Face ID or Touch ID to work its magic.
All apps that have third-party sign-in options are required to support Sign in with Apple. And those developers can even let users who already have accounts switch to Sign in with Apple, so they don't have to deal with the other login credentials.
One of the things developers can ask for when letting you create an account with Sign in with Apple is your email address. You can choose to share your Apple ID email address, or you can select to use an alias with the "Hide My Email" feature. It automatically creates an alias email address that will forward messages to your real email address, and you can always cut the alias out entirely if you're getting too many unwanted emails.
While the new Sign in with Apple works on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, it also works in any web browser as long as the site's owner added the option. Plus, app developers can include the sign-in option in Android and Windows versions of apps, so you don't have to be tied down to the Apple ecosystem.
Instead of having to keep track of privacy and security-related settings for two apps, Find My iPhone and Find My Friends, you can now do it all from one single "Find My" app. The consolidation makes sense, making it less confusing overall when trying to manage features for the two services.
One of the biggest things in the new Find My app is the added ability of "Offline Finding." What that does is gives your devices matching public encryption keys that change throughout the day. They talk with other users' Apple devices via Bluetooth, sending location data from their devices to Apple's servers. When you go to find your device, you're sent the location data, which is decrypted with your private key.
Ultimately, this means if you lost your device and its not connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data, all hope is not lost, since you can leverage Bluetooth and other people's internet nearby. The implementation is secure, anonymous, and can't really be explained in a couple paragraphs, so check out our full explainer to learn more.
Before, you would either give an app location access or not. That created a problem if you wanted it to use your location in some scenarios but not always. That changes in iOS 13, as you can now select to give the app access never, always, or just during the current user session.
You could always tell an app was using your location in the background when the tiny location symbol showed up in the status bar. But which app was it? Who knows. To find out, you'd have to dig deep into your settings, and even then it might not be obvious. In iOS 13, it is obvious, as you'll get an alert whenever an app is using your location in the background.
According to Apple, "API changes and new controls help prevent apps from accessing your location without your consent while you're using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth."
From now on, whenever you share in images from Photos with the Share sheet, you can choose not to include location data. Just hit the "Options" button in the Share sheet, and you can toggle location on or off.
Apple previously stated that there are new browser font protections in Safari to prevent fingerprinting devices. These protections would help keep companies from tracking your web-browsing activities across sites.
However, we're not entirely sure if it was implemented yet or if it was in a previous iOS 12 update. Apple's preview site originally had "Enhanced anti-fingerprinting protection in Safari" as a feature but has since removed it from the webpage, though, it still exists on other country versions of the preview.
Safari has been given quite a bit of love in iOS 13, so there are a ton of significant new changes to help make browsing the web easier on your iPhone.
If you wanted to show off a full webpage in one image before, you'd have to stitch together multiple screenshots or just record your screen for a video instead. That changes in iOS 13, as you can take one screenshot, then choose to capture the entire webpage without any more snapping. Results save as PDF files in your preferred location in the Files app.
There are more options for viewing webpages in Safari, so Apple had to create a place to put them all. You can find that menu in the "AA" icon in the search bar. Here, you can use Reader, adjust page size, ask for the desktop or mobile site, turn on or off content blockers, and more.
- More Info: The New Website View Menu in iOS 13's Safari
Before, you could only whitelist websites so that they could show ads, and that could only be done in the content blocker's app itself — if it even gave the option. Now, not only can you disable or enable content blockers per domain, you can toggle it on or off for just the one webpage you're on. So if one webpage has obtrusive ads that prevent you from viewing the real content, you can reload just that page with the content blocker enabled.
162. The Top & Bottom Toolbars Can Be Hidden While Scrolling
To give you more reading room on webpages, iOS 13 now lets you easily hide the top and bottom toolbars as much as possible. You could hide the same toolbars before, but now you don't have to do any scrolling to do it. Plus, once you hide the toolbar the new way, scrolling won't bring it back. Instead, you'd have to tap the top minimized toolbar to open them back up.
Instead of pinching-and-zooming to enlarge webpages, you can now use the "Page Zoom" settings to adjust most of the content on the page from 50 to 300 percent. Plus, you can choose the default zoom level for the domain, so you never have to adjust the size again.
Before, you'd have to long-press on the refresh icon to get to ask a website to give you its desktop version. But it's an easily missed feature since it's hidden. Now, it's moved to the View menu, clearly labeled.
When going back to the mobile view for a website, there's now a "Request Mobile Website" option instead of a confusing "Request Desktop Site" option. It's about time Apple fixed this.
If there's a website you're constantly viewing the desktop site for, why keep requesting it when you can set it and forget it? That's right, iOS 13's Safari now lets you set domains to either load directly to their mobile or desktop versions, if available.
You can specify that specific sites use Reader Mode by default from the View menu instead of a long-press. Plus, you can still turn on or off Reader on a per-webpage basis.
You can now long-press the "AA" icon to enter and exit Reader Mode quickly. Before, it was a tap.
If you ever change your mind about which site you want to default to Reader Mode or not, instead of hunting them down site by site in your browser, you can dive into Safari's settings and see the whole list of domains you've set preferences for and adjust them accordingly.
Permissions are available per website to ask, deny, or allow access to Camera, Microphone, or Location. Before, it was all or nothing, which was a pain, to say the least. Now, you have total control from the "Website Settings" in the View menu, and you can adjust your site preferences for the Settings app.
When you use the Share sheet to share a webpage, you can tap "Options" to pick from Automatic (which sends as normal), PDF, Reader PDF, or Web Archive.
That's right, you can finally download files from Safari. Just tap a download link for music, videos, documents, and other files and the Downloads Manager will appear with the download's progress.
- More Info: Use Safari's New Downloads Manager in iOS 13
With the new Downloads Manager, you can pause and resume downloads at any time, like if it's a large file and you need to free up bandwidth for something else temporarily.
Also in the Downloads Manager, you can play some content, such as music files, right away. You can also view images and other media without ever leaving Safari.
You can also share downloaded content right from the Downloads Manager.
The Downloads Manager lets you jump right to the folder when items download, located in the Files app.
By default, the location for downloads is in the "Downloads" folder in iCloud Drive, but you can change it to be in any folder you want, even in third-party cloud services.
The list of downloads in Downloads Manager can be cleared manually or automatically every day or when downloads are successful, so it never has to stay cluttered.
An updated start page includes bookmarks and frequently visited sites and Siri suggestions.
It's a small change, but it looks much better.
Another small change for the start page, but every little bit counts.
If you have too many tabs open but are afraid of losing some of them, you can save all of them as bookmarks. That way, you can reset Safari's tabs while making sure you can still go view things you had "saved" in tabs before.
In iOS 12 and under, you'd tap-and-hold a bookmark folder on the start page to get "Edit" and "Delete" options. On 3D Touch iPhone models, pressing just right could be difficult. Now, iOS 13, a tap-and-hold or long-press will bring up the options in a redesigned contextual menu.
Why you would want to do this, we're not sure, but if you want, you can open up all of the bookmarks in one folder at the same time. Each bookmark would open in a new tab.
This feature might be one of the ones that make it into a later iOS 13 version. Right now, it doesn't seem to be live. But when it was working, you could set your tabs to close on a schedule.
The Smart Search field (the URL bar) can be used to switch to open tabs for sites you search for. When you search for a domain, it'll suggest you open up a tab already from that site.
You're not stuck uploading the original size photo anymore. Now, you can choose between the actual size, small, medium, or large.
Private Browsing Mode has a HUGE notice on the start page so there is no confusion when in Dark Mode.
There's end-to-end encryption for bookmarks and browsing history that sync to iCloud.
A warning will appear whenever you try using a weak password for a new account.
If you have a few HomeKit-enabled devices and accessories or a lot of them, you'll likely be happy by some of Apple's HomeKit improvements in iOS 13.
With the new HomeKit Secure Video feature, you can set your compatible HomeKit-enabled cameras to detect and record moving activity. Pets. People. Cars. Whatever. While the camera manufacturer may have features like that, Apple's implementation keeps your home's video and audio footage safe and secure.
If you're wondering how the new activity detection works in iOS 13 for security cameras, it uses one of your local Apple devices, such as an iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV. Instead of analyzing data in the cloud as most camera companies do right now, it's much more private to analyze streams locally. Then, when necessary to record, it uploads that footage encrypted to iCloud where it's safely stored.
Speaking of HomeKit Secure Video, which is new in iOS 13, it keeps all of your security footage off of the security camera manufacturer's servers. Instead, any footage that needs to be recorded will first be encrypted, then uploaded to your iCloud account. And it can only be decrypted by your connected Apple devices. That way, no one can see your recordings, not even Apple — only you. Overall, it's a more secure way to view, share, and store any activity that the camera sees.
However, it's not a requirement. You can still choose to have your video and audio data analyzed and stored by the camera manufacturer if you want. And you can even use both theirs and Apple's services. But when using Apple's HomeKit Secure Video, you will need to be on a paid iCloud plan with 200 GB of storage or more. That may change to 50 GB or more soon.
If you use Apple's new feature, video clips will be held in iCloud for ten days and won't count against your storage allotment. And some cameras will be updated to support HomeKit Secure Video, so you may not need to get a brand new security camera system.
If you choose to use HomeKit Secure Video, new privacy settings give you total control of when cameras stream, record, or shut off, all right from the Home app.
Going further than video camera security improvements, Apple supports HomeKit-enabled routers in iOS 13. By using a new router with HomeKit compatibility, you're adding an extra layer of security.
Essentially, you're locking down any activity to your home only, building a firewall around each connected HomeKit device, so there is no unauthorized access to lights, security cameras, speakers, and more. With the Home app, you control the services your accessories communicate with in your network, as well as on the internet.
You can play songs, playlists, and radio stations via Apple Music with AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in any scenes and automations you build in the Home app.
That's right, iOS 13 gives you the ability to create automations with the Shortcuts app.
Overall, you'll find more control over your HomeKit accessories in the Home app.
Voice Control is a brand new feature in iOS 13, something that's great for those with accessibility issues, but also fun for those without. Technically, Voice Control has been around for a while, but it was pretty bare-bones and a Siri replacement. Now, its powers are vast, it has its own menu, and you can still use Siri if you want. In fact, the best way to turn Voice Control on and off is to use Hey Siri.
The whole premise of Voice Control is just that — using your voice to control your iPhone. This goes beyond Hey Siri commands, and you don't even need the internet to use it.
Anything you ask Voice Control to do stays on your device. Apple does not analyze any requests from servers in the cloud. Instead, everything is done locally.
When you need Voice Control to do something on your iPhone, simple commands make it easy to jump to certain areas of the screen or perform specific tasks. Commands include things like "open [app]," "go home," "open Control Center," "deleted that," and so on.
If you don't know what a task is called, you can make Voice Control show you the names of buttons on the screen. Or, you can have it show you numbers next to each tappable option. Just say "show names" to view names or "show numbers" for numbers.
When names or numbers aren't showing up right for buttons or when you need to interact with a particular section of the screen that's not labeled, you can make Voice Control show you a grid on the screen instead. The numbers in the grid are situated over each item in the app you're in so you can interact with everything.
The command is "show grid," and you can say a number to show a smaller grid for just that number's square. Then, just say "tap [number]" to tap that area, "swipe left [number]" to swipe left on the selection, and so on. You can zoom in, drag and drop items, and even perform complicated swipe gestures. "Hide grid" will hide all numbers.
Even without the grid above, you can still use touch gestures. "Tap [task]," "swipe left [email title]," and "zoom in" are just some of the touch gestures you can perform using your voice.
When you need to write an email or compose a nose, you can do so with Voice Control, which uses the Siri speech recognition engine and machine-learning for accurate audio-to-text transcriptions.
What's the point of being able to write text with your voice if you can't edit it the same way? That's why Voice Control comes equipped with rich-text editing system. A lot of the commands to do so are easy and intuitive, such as "undo that" or "redo that." If you need to replace some text, just say "replace [the text in quetion] with [the text you want to replace it]." Need to move up three lines? Say "move up three lines." Other commands such as "select," "capitalize," "bold," etc. work as well.
If Voice Control doesn't understand a word you're trying to say, you can teach it that word. In the Voice Control settings, you can tap "Vocabulary," then the plus (+) sign to add a new word.
When you type the wrong word or you'd rather use an emoji instead, you can ask Voice Control to correct a word and give you a list of suggested replacements. Just say "correct [text]" to see the list appear.
Think you'll have a hard time using both commands and having your speech dictated? According to Apple, "Voice Control understands contextual cues, so you can seamlessly transition between text dictation and commands."
There are a ton of built-in commands you can start using right away, but if you need something that's not there, you can make it yourself. In the "Customize Commands" section, you can tap "Create New Command" to get started. You can even record multistep commands and give them a keyword phrase to speak instead of having to speak the whole multistep command. As an example, if you love to send messages with Invisible Ink, you can set all of the required steps to do so in one custom command for quicker action.
If a particular built-in command is causing you issues, you can go into the Voice Control settings, find it, and disable it, so you have no more problems.
Voice Control has Attention Awareness built-in, which can be toggled on or off. With it on, whenever you look away from the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X and up, the microphone input is disabled. That way, if you're talking with a friend in person and aren't looking at your screen, your iPhone isn't trying to interpret anything being said. When you look back at the camera, the mic turns back on.
The Accessibility settings menu has received a few upgrades besides Voice Control.
Before, you'd have to go into Settings –> General –> Accessibility. Now, you just go to Settings –> Accessibility, as it has its own dedicated space up front and center.
To go with its new location, Apple reorganized everything in the Accessibility menu. There are quite a few changes, from name changes to moved settings and more.
You can enable haptic feedback for successful authentication with Face ID. So whenever you use Face ID to unlock your device, you'll feel it. There was some vibratory feedback in other Face ID uses before, so the new thing here is device unlocking.
As we said, haptic feedback for Face ID was supported before pretty much everywhere besides device unlocking, but there was no way to disable it if you didn't like it. Now there is.
- More Info: How to Turn Off Haptic Feedback for Face ID
You can disable auto-playing videos not just in the App Store and iTunes but in other Apple apps, with third-party apps being able to use the public API to let you do the same.
Previously, the only way you could disable Message Effects, whether bubble or screen effects, was to enable "Reduce Motion," which unhid the setting. Now, you can disable Message Effects from the "Motion" accessibility settings without having to also enable "Reduce Motion."
If you're not getting a new iPhone 11 model, it doesn't matter. Your older iPhone will still work fine with iOS 13 — and it should even work better.
This applies to iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR models.
This applies to all iPhone models that support iOS 13.
This also applies to all iPhone models that support iOS 13.
Yes, you can see where I'm going with this — this applies to all iPhone models that support iOS 13.
- Daily Reading Goal in Books, where you can build streaks and reach achievements
- You can create a new folder for On My iPhone in the Files app
- You can send spam and unknown callers for Phone directly to voicemail
- Caller verification will appear in the Phone app if the carrier supports SHAKEN/STIR
- There's a new Contacts app icon that looks smoother
- The Reminders app icon looks slightly different
- App Store's "Updates" tab is gone, replaced with new "Arcade" tab
- To view updates for apps in App Store, you need to tap your profile icon from any of the working tabs
- The subscriptions menu item is more noticeable, coupled with purchases now
- Voice Memos has a new splash screen
- You can pinch to zoom in Voice Memos
- Health will show you if the volume of your headphones is too loud
- You can share audio between two sets of AirPods, each with their own volume controls
Have an iPhone? Check out all 200+ new features coming in iOS 13.