iOS 13: Everything you need to know about the new software

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple announced iOS 13 during the keynote presentation at its 2019 Worldwide Developer Conference today. This is the next version of its mobile operating system, which will not only come to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod near you soon, but will also arrive on the new set of iPhones expected later this year.

Here’s everything you need to know about it.


The public beta of iOS 13 is here

After a few weeks of the developer beta, the public beta of iOS 13 is now here. The operating system brings a few new tweaks and changes, but the most notable change between the public and developer beta is usually that the public beta is more stable with fewer bugs. You can check out the changes and improvements that iOS 13 beings below, and if you’re interested in getting it for yourself, check out our guide on how to install the iOS 13 public beta.

FaceTime improvements

Apple released this change without so much as a whisper, but it really should have been shouting it from the rooftops. iOS 13 sees some improvements to FaceTime video calls — specifically, eye positioning during calls. In iOS 13, FaceTime will use ARKit to scan your face and subtly change your eye position, so it seems like you’re looking your caller directly in the eye, instead of gazing underneath them at a screen. This is a fairly small addition, but it’s an impressive one and something that anyone who’s spent some time on FaceTime will welcome.


The new iOS 13 software will have better performance than ever before, said Apple’s Craig Federighi. Several statistics were highlighted, including a beneficial 30% increase is speed when unlocking your phone using FaceID. App downloads will be 50% smaller and updates will be 60% smaller, while app launch speeds will be twice as fast compared to previous editions. Mail, Notes, and Safari will all be among the standard apps updated.


Siri can read incoming messages through your AirPods when they arrive, and you can respond right away. This function does not need a wake word to be activated and works with any third-party messaging app that’s built using Sirikit. A Share Audio experience that quickly lets you share music with a friend using AirPods has also been introduced.

For the HomePod, Siri will hand off music when you arrive back home with a tap of your phone. Siri can now play 100,000 radio stations from around the world using the Live Radio feature and includes a sleep timer. Finally, you can create personal routines quickly using Suggested Automations inside Siri Shortcuts

Memoji and Animoji.

New Memojis and Animojis have more customization options, from makeup to jewelry, hats, glasses, and even a different look for your teeth. You can also give your character AirPods. New Memoji Stickers are created automatically and accessed through the iOS keyboard, ready to be shared across apps including Mail and Messages, plus different platforms, such as WeChat.

Camera and photos

The Portrait camera mode as a new lighting effect called High-Key Mono, and new editing features let you change the intensity of the light, which helps smooth skin and brighten eyes. This mimics moving lights around in a studio.

The image-editing feature in Photos has a new design and swipe-based controls. Happily, most of the settings used for stills can now be used to edit video too. It adds filters and even a way to rotate video. The Photo library removes duplicate images and concentrates on what Apple calls your best shots. These are organized by day, month, or year, and displayed in a new album view.

Sign in with Apple

There’s a new fast and easy way to sign in to apps and services without the tracking associated with social logins. It’s called Sign in with Apple, and it authenticates sign-ins using your Apple ID, without revealing any personal information. The new service works with FaceID and TouchID, and has a two-factor authentication system. If the app you’re signing in to needs an email verification, Apple will create a random email address that forwards to your actual email, keeping your real details private. It will operate across all Apple’s platforms, from iOS to the web.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps has been rebuilt from the ground up, with considerable alterations, including the addition of roads, beaches, buildings, and other areas, as well as heightened detail. There is a new Favorites feature on the main screen, plus a Collections menu to organize Favorites and plan trips. Look Around is a Google Streetview-style feature that allows you to see a location ahead of visits. Labels allow you to find out more about specific locations shown in Look Around. Apple stressed that it’s a private and secure service. The new Apple Maps will have the entire U.S. covered by the end of 2019, with other countries to follow.


Redesigned for iOS 13, Reminders has a toolbar to add in dates, times, and attachments, plus its integration with the Messages app has been improved, allowing the two apps to communicate together. This means relevant reminders will show up when you message the associated person.

Swipe typing

Apple will add swipe typing to iOS 13, which was demonstrated during the introduction of its new Dark Mode.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode will come to iOS 13, adding a cool, eye-friendly black background across the operating system. Apple will make Dark Mode accessible to developers, so it can be integrated into third-party apps. Plus, it can be activated at specific times of the day.

Health App

All the functions available in the new Watch OS health app will be available on the iPhone. Watch OS has added activity trends and menstrual cycle tracking to the Apple Watch. The main app has also been redesigned with a new Summary view to show notifications, plus a Highlights section that shows fitness and health data over time. Machine learning is used to display those which are most relevant to you. It’s stored on the phone, or encrypted securely in iCloud, and you can opt to choose whether to share any information at all with other parties.

iPad OS

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple has announced iPad OS. This tablet-specific software includes everything from iOS 13, with new features designed to take greater advantage of a large screen. This means new multitasking features, split-screen options, and a new Home screen.


Things have changed for iOS 13, and it will not be compatible with all the devices you could install iOS 12 on. Apple states iOS 13 will be available for all iPhone models after the iPhone 6S. This means the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and most likely the iPhone SE will not receive iOS 13. The 6th-generation iPod Touch and the latest 7th-generation model should also be included.

Things will change for the iPad in 2019, as many models will use the new iPad OS rather than iOS 13. All the iOS 13 features will be part of iPad OS, along with all its tablet-specific features, and iPad OS will work with the iPad 2 or later, all iPad Pro tablets, all iPad Mini tablets after the Mini 4, and the iPad 5th generation and after.

Release date

Apple has a beta version of iOS 13 is available to registered Apple developers from June 3. A public beta version arrived in July. It can be installed by all iPhone owners with compatible devices, and who are happy to take the risks associated with using unreleased, beta software.

The final, public version will arrive in the fall. It usually releases the new software in September, just before the release of a new set of iPhone models. It released iOS 12 on September 17, and this can be used as a guide for iOS 13’s release.

Updated on July 3, 2019: Added FaceTime’s new feature.


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