Apple announced its newest operating system, iOS13, at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday with a slew of under-the-hood changes that will crank up the speed and debuts the long-awaited “Dark Mode”.
What is the biggest change I can expect?
Perhaps the most noticeable change in iOS 13 is its amped-up speeds. While iOS 12 also gave users faster devices, this latest update is improving upon that.
Apple promises app launch speeds up to twice as fast; unlocking your phone with Face ID is set to be 30 per cent faster than before and app downloads will be up to 60 per cent smaller, meaning less data used to get them on your device and speedier access.
Okay, but what else?
Apple is finally addressing its long-struggling navigation app, Maps. But it is still underwhelming. The update is focused mainly in the US with improved road coverage, pedestrian data and more accurate addresses. It will offer users a 3D street view – much like Google’s – and users can also share an estimated time of arrival via text. The new Maps will be rolled out across the US by the end of this year and to some more countries in 2020, Apple said.
iOS13 is also getting a privacy perk: even in cases where apps require a name and email address, users have the option to keep their email address private and share a unique randomly-generated email address that the operating system will store.
Apple’s virtual assistant Siri has a more natural voice now, and it will support customised voice-messages such as “heading to work” or “going to gym” to auto-generate message replies.
The biggest in-app update is to Reminders, which is getting a new look. A toolbar makes it easier to add times, dates, locations and attachments to individual tasks.
What is Dark Mode?
The dramatic look of Dark Mode will offer an improved viewing experience in low-light environments and be less tiring to look at for screen-weary eyes.
Dark Mode has a technical aspect as well: the darker hues burn up less battery and the option can be programmed to turn on automatically at any time – say, a few hours before it is time to power down for the day.
All of Apple’s own apps will support the new Dark Mode from day one of the software update and third-party app developers can access it for integration into their apps ahead of the roll out.
When will iOS13 be available?
The beta (or test) version of iOS 13 is currently available to app developers. Another test version will be rolled out to the public by the end of this month – for adventurous iPhone users who want to try out the latest software and help Apple work out any bugs before the full version is available to everyone.
A final release is expected in mid-September, likely after Apple announces its new iPhones. Users can access it as a free software update for iPhone 6s and later. Apple devices released in late 2019 will come with iOS 13 pre-installed.