iOS 13 – The best new features and what to expect

Updated on November 19th, 2019

Apple recently announced that iOS 13 will be available on September 13 and this was made known after the iPhone event. It will come with various advancements such as better privacy controls, improvements in stock apps and a new dark mode have been made.

It must be noted that the company will carry out an update of all devices to iOS 13.1 alongside additional software features on September 30.

Now that the aforementioned details are out of the way, we’ll now focus on the best features of the iOS 13 software. It comes with very good features and we’ll mention the few that have tickled our fancy with regards to efficiency thus far.

iOS 13

1. New text editing gestures are available

iOS 13 enhances the simplicity of manipulating text on the iPhone. The first major change enables you to tap and hold on the cursor to pick it up and move it around.

Secondly, you can swipe on a text block so that you can select it instantly. After the text has been selected, you can pinch-in with three fingers and copy it and also pinch out with three fingers to paste it.

Meanwhile, Undo is a three-finger left-wipe gesture while Redo is a three-finger gesture to the right. However, if gestures don’t thrill you, tap and hold on the screen with three fingers. This action reveals the new formatting bar which comprises of shortcuts for tasks such as cut, copy, paste, undo, and redo


2. Dark Mode

iOS 13 introduces a system-wide dark mode that uses a true black theme. This means that the background of a good number of apps is pitch black. Therefore, iPhones with OLED screens such as the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max will have very beautiful backgrounds as the black pixels do not light up. This will surely enhance the life of the battery.

You can enable dark mode by going to the Control Center, tapping and holding on the Brightness slider, and then proceed to tap on the Dark Mode button.

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It bears similarity to the macOS Mohave because the dark mode switch applies to all apps and websites in Safari. Therefore, if it’s supported by the app or website, they’ll automatically switch between dark and light appearances.


3. New Photo and Video Editor

Navigating to the Edit menu while viewing a photo or a video ensures that you find a new editor. This new editor comes with a straightforward interface very similar to the design on Instagram. A carousel of editing tools will be available below the image. After selecting any of the tools, use the slider to determine the intensity.

There are also new editing tools in iOS 13 which allow for the adjustment of Vibrance, Noise Reduction, Vignette, Definition, Sharpen and White Balance. Heads up! iPhone users can now set the intensity for filters.

For the new video editor, features like the aspect ratio can be changed. You can also rotate or crop a video. It comes with its own adjustments tools that allow you to increase exposure and apply filters to videos. Meanwhile, photo and video edits are now non-destructive.


4. Files can be downloaded in Safari

When you find a download link, you tap on it and see if there’ll be a popup prompting for the file to be downloaded. Tapping on the Download button reveals a new Downloads icon in the toolbar where you can analyze your downloads.

Downloaded files are set to be stored in the Downloads folder in your iCloud Drive. You can avoid this by switching to local storage on your iPhone. The process is easy. Just go to Settings -> Safari -> Downloads; then choose ‘On my iPhone’.


5. Memoji Stickers now available

iOS 13 has been designed to create a sticker pack for every Memoji character. These stickers can be found in the Memoji Stickers app in the Messages app. The Memoji and Animoji stickers will also be available in the Emoji menu in the keyboard so that they can be accessed in any messaging app.


6. Location and Bluetooth Access Controls have been tightened.

It’s no more news that a good number of rogue apps have been using data from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to track an iPhone’s location. This won’t be the case in iOS 13 as Bluetooth access can now be disabled for untrusted apps.

The Location Services feature has also been revamped in a major way. Therefore, no app can access the constant background location instantly after its installation. This means that the ‘Always Allow’ button on the popup for location access will no longer be available on first sight.

Rather, options like ‘Allow Once’. ‘Don’t Allow’, and ‘Allow While Using App’ are the only available options. Regardless of the one you opt for, the settings can be altered by going to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services.

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7. New Photos Tab

Apple sought to make the browsing of photo collections easier. This is noticeable because the photo collection has been organized into years, months and days, Therefore, when the iOS 13’s Photos app is opened, you’ll see a new ‘Photos’ tab in the bottom toolbar.

Tapping on it gives you access to four sections namely; Years, Months, Days, and All Photos. There is an intelligent selection of the best photos from the library. Meanwhile, you’ll find Live Photos and auto-playing videos as you scroll through.


8. You can now do Audio Sharing on AirPods

This feature comes in handy if you and your friend possess a pair of Airpods. They can be connected to a single iPhone and have the audio shared to both devices.

This can also be done manually by pairing a second pair of AirPods to your iPhone. All you have to do is open the AirPods case, press and hold the Round button at the back of the case. After this, tap on ‘Connect’ on your iPhone.


9. New Volume HUD and Silent Mode Switch

Joy at last! Could be relative though. iOS 13 has seen a remodification of the HUD which usually took over the middle of the screen. It’s now a small slider that shows up near the volume buttons.

Meanwhile, when the physical mute switch on the iPhone is triggered, you’ll see a new pop-up that appears at the top of the display. It carries information about the current mode of the smartphone as well as the ringer volume.


10. A more standard Maps App

This is as a result of Apple’s new mapping project which has improved the maps data in popular western cities. As the mapping project progresses, the same improvements will be seen in more areas around the world.

The Maps app now comes with a Favorites section which allows you to highlight a place for quick access. You can also take advantage of the Collections feature to create a collection of places you might want to visit.

There’s also the Look Around feature which comes in handy when you’re exploring a city albeit dependent on if the location is supported. If the location is supported, you can tap on the Binoculars icon which activates the immersive mode. You can then proceed to pan and swipe to enable you to find your way in the city in question.


11. Smart Battery Charging

There is a new toggle labeled ‘Optimized Battery Charging’ when you visit Settings -> Battery -> Battery Health. This new feature enhances battery life and reduces battery aging.

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iOS 13 will see the iPhone learn the user’s charging pattern and only charge the smartphone up to 80%. However, when it appears it’s almost time for you to wake up, the battery will be recharged to 100% by the device.


12. No more Download limits for apps over cellular

In iOS 13, download limit for apps over cellular has been removed. Therefore, if you attempt to download an app larger than 200MB with mobile data, you’ll receive a prompt asking if you want to go ahead with such a download.

However, the prompt can also be disabled by navigating to Settings -> iTunes & App Store -> App Downloads -> Always Allow.

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