Whenever Apple releases a new mobile operating system, the buzz centers around a few (OK, many) high profile features, especially those demoed in Apple’s keynotes and advertised on its website. With iOS 13, everyone’s talking about Dark Mode, the new portrait lighting controls, the Photos app curation tab, new privacy-centric sign-in features, immersive 3D maps, QuickPath typing, the revamped Reminders app, the new CarPlay dashboard, AR applications, and absolutely everything Siri.
Digital Trends has taken an in-depth look at iOS 13 from multiple angles, including security and privacy issues like location services, 3D and haptic touch, live radio, and robocall control as well as its numerous new Photo app features.
But what about everything else? What, there’s more? Yes, there are many more hidden features that Apple has brought to the new operating system. Here are a few neat, lesser-known advantages to upgrading to iOS 13 for the iPhone 6S and newer.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth selection in Control Center
The Control Center — that convenient feature that lets you flip up from the bottom or swipe down from the top right corner to access various settings — now includes a super convenient one, the ability to change your network, not just connect or disconnect from the one you’re on. Whereas in iOS 12 you can certainly switch your networks on or off, you would need to go into the settings to make any other changes. Now, all you need to do is long-press on the network icon to get the same choices you’d get in Settings. Except, you can accomplish it without drilling down.
No size limits on cellular downloads
You know how iOS 12 limited app downloads to 200MB? With iOS 13, those limits are gone. Instead, you’ll get an alert telling you that you’re downloading an item that is over 200MB, letting you confirm that it’s OK, or giving you the option of waiting to download it later on Wi-Fi.
Low data mode
The new Low Data Mode — available for both Wi-Fi and cellular — facilitates reduced network use by apps on your device. This conserves power for limited data plans.
- On your iPhone or iPad launch Settings and go to Wi-Fi settings.
- Tap on the info button next to your connected network’s name.
- Toggle on Low Data Mode. If you want to turn off low data mode, you can simply switch off the toggle.
- You can also enable low data mode for your cellular plan via Settings > Cellular > Cellular Options > Low Data Mode.
Optimized Battery Charging
If you habitually charge your iPhone battery overnight, it’s possible that it will sit on your night table for many hours plugged in at full charge. That’s not the best way to maintain your battery’s longevity. With iOS 13, the Optimized Battery Charging feature uses machine learning to examine your overall usage patterns, alarms, and calendar events, to determine the best time to fully charge your device. When enabled, you can plug your device in at bedtime and it will charge up to 80% and maintain that level for a while. Then, it will initiate the final part of the charge just in time for you to get up and start your day. This gives your iPhone a longer life span.
- Under Settings choose Battery.
- Tap Battery Health.
- On the next screen, toggle on the switch to green next to Optimized Battery Charging.
Capture and save a full Safari page
The new iOS gives you a more intuitive way to capture and save whole page PDFs within the native Safari app.
- After taking a screenshot using the method appropriate for your iPhone model, tap on the screenshot when its thumbnail appears in the lower left hand corner of the screen.
- Observe two tabs, Screen and Full Page.
- Tap on Full Page.
- Drag the slider to view the whole screenshot. You will also see all the markup tools for annotating the page.
- Tap on the plus icon to annotate the screen with text, signature, magnifier, opacity, and shapes. Edit with Undo and Redo controls.
- Tap Save and choose from a variety of ways to share or save the file.
Create Animoji within Contacts app
In iOS 13, there’s a fairly convenient way to create an animoji for anyone in your Contacts list or for yourself. When you edit a contact you can also create a portrait for that person or create a brand new animoji. This works for both your own contact card or any other contact. This little studio takes you through the steps of customizing a face, complete with hair styles and colors, fashionable eyewear, and headgear.
Share your ETA with Apple Maps
The new Apple Maps will now show you an ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), so you can share it with people who are waiting for you or who want to make sure you arrive safely. Just punch in your route and the app generates an ETA, which you can share with contacts. The ETA automatically updates if there’s a delay, and is always up-to-date.
Block Contacts and unknown senders in Mail
Do you have a contact or two whom you wish would stop emailing you? Now you can take matters into your own hands. Depending on how you set it up, blocking a sender in Mail funnels that person’s emails to your trash folder or designates the emails as blocked in your inbox. The settings apply to all accounts you have set up to run through the Mail app.
- In the Settings app, tap Mail, then locate the Threading section.
- Tap Blocked Sender Options.
- None turns off all email blocking; Mark as Blocked, Leave in Inbox, does what it says; and Move to Trash moves them to your trash.
- You can manually empty the trash or have it done automatically in your account settings.
Use a Bluetooth mouse
While mouse support on iOS is not exactly the same as on your desktop computer and may seem a bit rough to some, it has been a long sought after feature from Apple’s mobile device users. Here’s how to get started using a Bluetooth mouse.
- Turn on Bluetooth and unpair the mouse from any other device.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Accessibility.
- Under the Physical and Motor section, tap Touch.
- On the next page, enable AssistiveTouch.
- Toggle on AssistiveTouch.
- On the same pane, scroll down to Pointer Devices and tap Devices.
- Tap Bluetooth Devices.
- Put your Bluetooth mouse in pairing mode and follow the rest of the directions.
Apple’s iOS 13 is an advanced operating system with a number of specialized features designed to make your smartphone experience safer, more fun, more intuitive, and more useful. Apple has incorporated dozens of upgrades large and small in the new OS, and it will take some time to discover and make good use of all of them.
- Common iOS 13 problems and how to fix them (iOS 13.3.1 update)
- How to take control of the Control Center in iOS and iPadOS
- The best iPhone X tips and tricks
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max tips and tricks
- Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which one is best for you?