As expected, the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) proved to be a great opportunity to give the world a preview of what to expect with iOS 13, the next big operating system for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. If you notice that iPad is missing from the list of devices that can run iOS, that is because the iPad will shift to the new iPadOS, to better utilize the larger screen real estate and enhance productivity. But we digress. In fact, iOS 13 walks further on the path that its predecessor, iOS 12 embarked on. That is, to make the existing iPhones perform better once you download and install the new iOS 13 on that. That leads us to the question—when can I install iOS 13 on my iPhone? As every year, the developer beta version of iOS 13 is now available and will be constantly updated over the next few months. The public beta, which is slightly less risky comparatively, will be available from July. The final release should happen in September, post the announcement of the next iPhones.
In fact, Apple says that Face ID will unlock your iPhone 30 percent faster than before, and apps will open two times faster than before. Those stats, when we see them in action on existing iPhones, will surely make for a significant improvement in terms of the user experience. This is the result of significant under-the-hood changes, and the way apps will download, install and load on iOS devices.
Then there is the much-awaited Dark Mode. This will be system-wide, and all of Apple’s own apps will support it from the outset. Expect third party apps to also gain support for the Dark Mode, as developers enable that on their apps before iOS 13 releases later this year. When enabled, the dock and the notifications will also attain darker hues, simply adding to the experience.
This was a critical update cycle for Apple’s own apps. Considering how the company doesn’t usually update these apps in the middle of the year, it was imperative for iOS 13 to bring significant updates to apps such as Mail, Messages, Notes, Reminders and so on. Apple Mail, for instance, is set to get desktop style formatting tools. Safari is getting more controls for how you view each website and will remember the finer details such as font size. The Photos app has been extensively redesigned, with a completely new (and potentially more intuitive) photo editing interface, improved memories sorting and extensive use of artificial intelligence (AI) to declutter the photos tab by removing screenshots, receipt photos etc. and moving them to a side.
This was perhaps a long time coming, but the keyboard app on iOS will get the swipe functionality. Now you can simply swipe your finger over the keys to type out words, which combine together into sentences and eventually into a hopefully complete conversation. Google’s Gboard has had it for a while now, and its good to see iOS users will get the same functionality now.
Last but not least, iOS will now support external storage devices from within the Files app.
What iOS 13 doesn’t bring with it are any extensive changes in terms of the design, layout, the usability and therefore no learning curve. No re-anchoring of home screen icons, for instance. Your iPhone with iOS 13 will work largely the same way, except that a lot of elements will now look better.
Apple has confirmed that iOS 13 will be available from the iPhone 6S onwards, which means if you are still rocking an iPhone 6 or an even older iPhone 5s, your luck with iOS updates has finally run out. Time to stop being stingy and upgrade to a new iPhone?