Apple announces a new software update coming to the iPhone every summer, and this year is no different.
As expected, at WWDC 2019, Apple took the wraps off iOS 13. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, described it as the "next big release for iOS". He said it will bring a number of improvements to the company's mobile operating system, including a dark mode.
Here's a round-up of all the major changes coming to iPhone.
iOS 13: The biggest new features
The headlining new feature, and perhaps the most apparent visual change made to iOS since iOS 7, is the addition of a true, system-wide dark mode. It's completely black, and all of Apple’s first-party apps are supported. Even notifications and the dock get these new dark colours.
Third-party apps can support the new look as well, so expect your favourite apps to ditch their light backgrounds by later this year.
Apple has merged its Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps into a single app called Find My. All of Apple’s tracking tools are will be in one place, so you can locate both missing devices and loved ones using the same interface. The new app can also locate devices that are offline - by sending a secure Bluetooth beacon to other Apple devices, then relaying it back to Apple, and to you.
It's all end-to-end encrypted, too.
Apple is updating its default keyboard with a new swiping function reminiscent of SwiftKey, Swype, Gboard, and others. Apple is calling this the “Quick Path” keyboard. It’s not a massively new feature, but it’s new to Apple, and also cool.
Apple is revamping the Reminders app with a whole new look.
Gone is theskeuomorphic-like paper look, thank goodness. Apple has also added new Today, Scheduled, Flagged, and All filtering options. Apple’s is also integrating AI smarts into the app. You can type, and Reminders will auto- suggest when you’d like to be reminded. You can also tag contacts and be reminded when you open up their Messages thread.
Apple is also totally revamping Apple Maps, so it'll be rebuilt from the ground up. It looks more 3D-like and is loaded with detailed map data that'll make the service comparable to Google Street View. Apple said it used thousands of LIDAR-equipped cars to gather this data. The new maps will be available in select locations at launch, but it should roll out in the US in 2019 and globally in 2020.
Apple is retooling some things in iOS 13 to provide a greater focus on privacy. For instance, you'll be able to choose to give your location data to an app “just once".Apple is also launching a new “Sign in with Apple” feature, which is for logging into apps and services. You will be able to log into Face ID and create a new account for a service “without revealing any personal information".
Part of this will involve the ability to create new email addresses for apps that forward to your real email. The hope is that apps and services and sites with your login details won't have too much info on you and won't be able to spam your email with their offers.
Messages is getting profile pictures and display names so you can share easily share your photo and name with other users. You’ll even be able to use your Memoji as a profile picture. Speaking of Memoji, Apple is also adding more options for personalising them. You'll also be able to use them as stickers, similar to the way Bitmoji works. These will work in apps like Mail and even third-party apps.
Apple made a new photo and video interface, so you can easily edit brilliance, highlights, shadows, contrast, saturation, white balance, sharpness, definition, vignette, and noise reduction. Videos are getting these tools for the first time, including the ability to rotate them on your device.
The Photos app is also getting a new interface and will use machine learning to remove duplicates and clutter, such as screenshots.
Both iOS 13 and WatchOS 6 are adding the ability to track menstrual cycles, which is a perfect for female Apple Watch users. It's a simple and free. And you can get Fertile Window predictions, too. This will all be available in the Health App in iOS, and will work without an Apple Watch.
Apple updated many of its apps in iOS 13. Apple Mail, for instance, is getting desktop formatting, while Safari is getting per-website preferences, and Notes is getting a new gallery view. Apple is also improving iOS 13 so that things like Face ID will unlock 30 per cent faster and apps will launch twice as fast in iOS 13. These are just a few of the highlights Apple discussed.
We hope to bring you a closer look soon.
iOS 13: When can you try it?
Apple said the iOS 13 developer preview is available now for the iPhone 6S and above. A public beta program will launch sometime in June 2019. The official release for consumers isn't expected until this autumn, when Apple announces the next-generation iPhone models.