News: Still Using an Older iPhone? This iOS 13 Feature Gives You Back Some Screen Real Estate

Still Using an Older iPhone? This iOS 13 Feature Gives You Back Some Screen Real Estate

With over 200 brand new features, iOS 13 is a worthy update for all compatible devices. That said, not all iPhone models are created equal. There is a new feature only older iPhones will see, one that skips over Apple's Face ID devices entirely. So if you have a traditional Home button iPhone capable of running iOS 13 but haven't updated yet, this is one benefit you're missing out on.

In past versions of iOS, on 16:9 iPhones, status bars double in size during a phone call or FaceTime call; when using your iPhone as a mobile hotspot; when using a navigation app like Apple Maps, Google Maps or Waze; and sometimes even during audio or screen recordings. When you exit the app performing the duty, that's when you'll notice the larger status bar. Plus, its color will change to green for calls, blue for hotspots and navigation, and red for recordings.

The color change still applies in iOS 13, but Apple ditched the expanded status bar in those situations. What that means is you get back more screen real estate.

The expanded status bar in iOS 12 or older pushes content on the screen down, while there's no pushing at all in iOS 13. Plus, since the status bar is transparent, some beginner developers may make the mistake of not optimizing their app for the double-size status bar, so content in the app could be obstructed partially in iOS 12 and older, but iOS 13 doesn't have that issue.

For example, with navigation active, articles may lose a sentence or two in iOS 12, but in iOS 13, nothing is affected. So you can read more without scrolling.

With phone calls and FaceTime calls, content also gets clipped in iOS 12, such as in the iTunes app. It's not a massive amount of space cut, but every little bit counts.

As for the personal hotspot connection, that also pushes content down in iOS 12, like in the App Store. Again, not a big difference, but more space is always welcomed.

When audio or screen recording, which shows a red status bar at the top, you'll see the same differences between iOS 12 and 13 as seen above.

Why isn't this update included in iOS 13 for Face ID iPhones? Because those iPhones change the colored indicator to a circle behind whatever appears in the top left, such as the time and maybe even a location arrow. While those iPhones might still have 16:9 iPhones beat when it comes to how they deal with status bars aesthetically, this change is still a big one for us Home button owners.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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