Every year, Apple releases a new version of iOS. Each iteration promises new features to make using your iPhone that much better. This year, iOS 13 introduces over 200 new features and changes, including system-wide Dark Mode for the first time on iPhone. That said, you might want to pump the brakes before dashing to download and install the new update right away.
If you find the reasons on this list compelling enough to stay away from iOS 13, but you already downloaded and installed the new update, don't worry. You can simply downgrade back to iOS 12. Just know that you will lose any data not backed up ahead of time, so take that into consideration before pulling the plug.
The big story this year might be system-wide Dark Mode, but your eyes still might not be fully protected. That's because you'll still come across loading screens white as a sheet. During the day, it's an aesthetic clash. At night? It can be blinding, especially when you're used to other areas of iOS sufficiently dimmed in Dark Mode.
Want to see for yourself? Just pop open Slack. The app itself works with Dark Mode, so it will correspond with your chosen iOS theme. However, its loading page is the same white canvas, whether you're using Dark Mode or not. We'll see how third-party apps adapt to this issue over time.
Speaking of which, you won't find universal compliance just yet when it comes to Dark Mode. You see, Apple now lets third-party apps tap into system-wide Dark Mode via its API. As in our example above, Slack will switch between light and dark mode depending on the current iOS system theme. It works great, and more and more apps are adopting it.
But not all apps are on board yet, leading to plenty of inconsistencies across your iPhone. You could jump from Messages to Twitter in perfect Dark Mode, but then open up a banking app that lights up the whole room. Until we see universal compliance throughout the App Store, iOS 13 will be a bit of a jumble when it comes to system-wide Dark Mode.
In the past, you could select a group of pictures in Photos, share them via the Share sheet, then return to the main Photos page with your pictures still selected. No more. In iOS 13, your photos will deselect when leaving the share menu, which can be annoying if you want to move or delete them right afterward.
That's not to say all the changes in Photos are bad. Far from it. In fact, the new Photos app is one of the best updates to iOS 13:
- More Info: 31 New Features in Camera & Photos in iOS 13
A minor bug, but irritating nonetheless — when you open a photo, you should see its location at the top of the window. In iOS 13, you'll just see the date. This issue is fixed on my iPhone running 13.1, so expect a patch when Apple releases that version.
We've seen reports that moving apps in iOS 13 is quite buggy. If you run into issues while organizing your home screen, it wouldn't be completely out of the blue — Apple added a new "Rearrange Apps" option when long-pressing on apps, so perhaps that option messed with the overall system here.
While major tech reviewers seem to totally dismiss 3D Touch, there's still a dedicated fan base saddened by its removal from the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. While Apple didn't take away 3D Touch functionality from compatible iPhones, you will notice a change in the way it works.
The new update adds 3D Touch's long-press replacement to all iPhones, not just ones without 3D Touch. That means you'll be able to activate expanded option menus either with a force touch or with a long-press. If you try a force touch on your 3D Touch-enabled device, you'll recognize the difference immediately. It just doesn't feel the same.
We'll have to get used to a 3D Touch-less iOS experience at some point. But right now, it's still too fresh.
Throughout beta testing, iOS 13 suffered from a variety of bugs and issues. But no app was more affected than Mail. Beta testers complained with each update that Mail was unusable, with bug after bug turning the app into more of a pest than it should be.
Mail has greatly improved since then, but it's still buggy. If you rely on Apple's stock email client to check and send your digital messages, you might want to hold out for a bit.
Here's something annoying about iOS 13's Mail that isn't a bug — replying to an email requires two taps instead of one. See, when you tap the reply button, you open an expanded menu, including a reply type, the option to trash the email, and various other options. It's a bizarre choice that gets frustrating fast if you reply to emails often. Even the reply shortcut when swiping on an email requires you to select a reply type.
The only way around this is via a long-press on the email from your inbox. You'll be able to tap "Reply" from this menu, rather than open any other windows.
In the past, you could manually refresh your friends' locations in "Find My" by pulling down on the display. That feature no longer exists in iOS 13, instead forcing you to rely on Find My to decide when to refresh. Luckily, the app refreshes pretty frequently, but it's a shame we've lost manual control over the feature.
While Apple Arcade is likely to be a hit for Apple, players might be frustrated by an App Store that's not quite up-to-snuff. In my experience, the App Store in iOS 13 isn't very stable, constantly producing errors when searching for titles. Hopefully this is something Apple can fix on their end, otherwise we'll need to wait for a stability patch.
Apple has tried to bridge the gap between iOS and macOS with this year's round of updates. While that connectivity is always welcomed, it causes issues when the software isn't released at the same time.
If you update to iOS 13, you might find certain apps (especially Reminders and Notes) to give you headaches on either your newly updated iPhone or your Mac. Apple advises you to update all devices before using these apps, but there's no way to do that on Mac without jumping on the beta.
Right now, you can jailbreak iPhones all the way up to iOS 12.4. If you haven't pulled the trigger on iOS 13, that means your iPhone is just a few downloads away from total freedom, a sandbox free from Apple's constraints. Once you update to iOS 13, you'll need to wait until someone jailbreaks that version of iOS, which could take a while.
- More Info: Jailbreak iOS 12 to iOS 12.4 on Your iPhone
If you feel more comfortable jumping on software trends after a stability update or two, know that iOS 13 will soon be replaced by iOS 13.1. Originally scheduled for release on Sept. 30, Apple moved the release date up a week. On Sept. 24, you'll have access to an update that addresses iOS 13's bugs, plus adds new features, like audio sharing for AirPods, ETA for Maps, and Shortcut automations.
Feeling like this list is pretty short? There's a good reason for that. Apple's latest iPhone update is actually really cool. If any or all of these issues bug you, then, by all means, wait to update. But know that the hundreds of new features far outweigh the shortlist of cons this year.