Apple iOS 13 just came out on the 19th of September, and you've probably noticed a few differences thus far, but here's our quick run through of what we feel are the most important changes to iOS this year.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the visual design change on iOS 13, there hasn’t been a significant design change since 2013 (The iPhone 5c Generation of devices) pioneered by Jony Ive who has since left Apple to start a separate design firm FromLove. Expect a dialogue box to ask you if you want Light Mode or Dark Mode mode: a new offering from Apple for this generation of iOS.
As for the rest of the user interface, “Context Menus” have now replaced “3D Touch” a feature that began with the iPhone 6 in 2015. It is very similar in style, the app icon you are touching will respond with different user defined swipes or pressures (light, medium or hard) when selecting them. This feature wasn’t well received in the past, and if it is something that annoys you it’s easy enough to turn off in “Accessibility” Tap on “3D and Haptic Touch” and “Toggle 3D Touch Off”
One of the most used items in iOS 13 will be your keyboard and this also received an upgrade, Quickpath now allows swipe typing without a third-party app, it is a hybrid approach that blends both tapping your keys and swiping without having to change keyboards or settings. Not a fan of swiping to type? You can disable this feature by going to “Settings” “General” “Keyboard” and selecting the “Slide to Type” toggle down at the bottom.
Arguably the Photos section of iOS13 saw the most love of any section in the update.
It has done away with the camera roll style of selecting photos and now divides everything into four tabs, Years, Months, Days, and All Photos. You can now use pinch zooms to select blocks of photos or a single photo. Video will autoplay when selected but without audio. There are also alternate + and – controls if pinch zooming isn’t your thing. Editing has also been expanded to include new tool for photos and video too.
In an attempt to achieve some equality to Google Maps, Apple Maps has improved it’s visual quality, precision and map data which has seen marked improvement since iOS 12. One of the more notable improvements in data gathering has been Apple’s attempt to wean itself off 3rd party data sources. This is an attempt to limit companies other than Apple access to its users location data. Early reviewers agree it’s a big improvement but still not up to par with Google Maps just yet.
Another feature to Apple Maps is called “Look Around” similar to Google “Street View” it allows you to see a view of the street with motion and better clarity than Google's offering. The areas it is available in are limited right now but very high quality. The consistency of quality will be put to the test as it rolls out to more areas but it is promising. Apple Maps Favorites has also been tweaked slightly, with interaction and access changed.
Messages was also touched by this new update, more functionality and better search options while sending texts. Along with new Memojis and Animojis now fill out the pack for the Messages App.
The Files app was updated to now accept external files from HD Drives USB or SD cards local storage options and it now supports creating and expanding Zip files.
For Email you can now block senders and move all messages from the sender directly to the trash. Hyperactive email thread notifications can be silenced, and support for new fonts and downloaded fonts has been added.
Along with improvements come issues
Along with the improvements a few bugs were thrown into the mix, among them: Battery Draining seems to be one of the more annoying issues. When upgrading to the new OS some apps may have compatibility issues causing an increased battery drain. If your concerned about this iPhoneHacks has a great guide on stopping this from happening. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity also took a hit this patch, but the fix tends to be easy, just reboot your phone and that should resolve the issue. Also, if you have an older version of an iPhone, keep in mind that as with past updates, new updates do have a bad habit of slowing down your phone. Do some checking before you update if you are running one of the older models it may cause issues. If any of this is a deal breaker for you, you might consider waiting to upgrade. Here's a list of the bugs found and fixed so far, and if they have been fixed. If there are any deal breakers for you in this list above or the linked list then avoid the upgrade till it becomes more stable.