What’s new in iOS 13? Here’s our review and a list of the best features.
The iOS 13 update is here to introduce new features to your old iPhone, offering new software perks even if you haven’t upgraded to Apple’s brand new iPhone.
Dark Mode is the best iOS 13 feature and the most visual change. It inverts white and light gray colors for less eye-straining black and dark grays – at least in major apps.
In case you need to know how to get iOS 13, we have a step-by-step guide for that, although the update comes pre-installed on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
What’s new in iOS 13? What devices are compatible with iOS 13? We have all of those answers – and a mini iOS 13 review – below, as we await the iOS 13.1 update.
The two-minute iOS 13 review
Dark Mode: We’ve been getting the most use out of this iOS 13 feature. It changes up the interface (except for some third-party apps), exchanging bright white and light gray colors for black and dark gray hues. That’s more pleasant on the eyes, especially at night. iOS 13 pro tip: You can schedule iOS 13 Dark Mode to turn on and off at particular times, and add it as a Control Center menu shortcut.
iOS 13 compatibility: iOS 13 is compatible with a lot of iPhones – as long you have the iPhone 6S or iPhone SE or newer. Yes, that means both iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 don’t make the list and are forever stuck with iOS 12.4.1, but Apple didn’t make any cuts for iOS 12, so it’s just catching up in 2019. Fair.
Photo editing tools get advanced: You can now change up photos in 15 different ways, tweaking highlights, contrast and shadows. It’s more robust to the point where we’re opening Adobe Lightroom less. iOS 13 pro tip: Edits also work for video, and you can edit photos without destroying the Live Photo properties.
A new QuickPath keyboard: Want to swipe on the keyboard rather than tap? It’s now in there. There’s no line that follows your finger’s movement, and it’s a little tricky to get used to at first, but it’s closer to what we liked about Gboard. iOS 13 pro tip: We found this most useful on any large Max or Plus phone.
FaceTime correction: You know that thing in a FaceTime call where you look at your screen and therefore aren’t looking at the camera? Apple will use AI to move the direction of your gaze. A bit creepy in principle, but hugely useful.
Face ID is much better: We love this feature – the field of view for unlocking your phone with your face is wider, so looking at the phone on the desk will open your iPhone up without needing to lift the handset.
iOS 13 is not coming to the iPad: Tricked you. iOS 13 is strictly for the iPhone (and iPod Touch). iPadOS is debuting for iPad with exclusive productivity features for the bigger tablet screen on September 24.
‘Find my iPhone’ and ‘Find my Friends’ are fused: The two apps are now in one ‘Find My’ app, and Apple’s added in functionality that can find offline devices from other iPhones or iPads. Best of all, we got fewer timed out tracking errors.
iOS 13 improves battery life: By that we mean ‘lifetime of the battery’ not ‘time between charges’ – the new iOS 13 platform is smarter at charging and will curtail the power input at the right times. Dark mode should help too on iPhone OLED displays, though we’re testing that.
Reminders gets a huge (and useful) overhaul: A clear new design, Reminders now allows for attachments and better sorting. Might not sound massive, but a big jump for those that use it.
The camera is getting a big upgrade: Portrait mode (if your phone supports it) will offer more customizable lighting and a new ‘High Key Mono’ mode for when you want to look like you’re in a Calvin Klein advert.
Siri sounds better: A refined voice with more natural diction, Siri is much nicer to talk to now. You might not notice it without a side-by-side comparison, but it’s here.
All new Memoji to play with: You can add make-up, throw in Memoji stickers from the keyboard – if you’re into your own cartoon face there’s a lot to try here. iOS 13 pro tip: Stickers works on iPhone 8 and older iPhones, even if you don’t have the TrueDepth camera for moving Memoji.
Control Wi-Fi and Bluetooth more simply: We love this: long-press (or 3D Touch for certain iPhone models) on the Wi-Fi / Bluetooth buttons in the Control Center and you can access all your connections in one simple place.
Use your PS4 controller on your phone: Does what it says… now you can pair your console controller to play games in a more immersive way. PS4 support is here today, while Xbox One support is coming. Perfect for Apple Arcade, right?
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