iOS 13 was released last week, filled with fun and useful new features that will make your existing iPhone feel like a new phone. Even if you aren’t upgrading your iPhone to a new model this year, you can still feel as if you got a new phone when you update your current iPhone to iOS 13.
And the good news is that it won’t cost you any money to update your iPhone to iOS 13. It’s free!
Unlike past years, Apple’s iOS update this year is only for iPhones, not for iPads. That’s because Apple will be launching iPad OS next week so that iPhone and iPad will run their own unique software instead of sharing an operating system.
iOS 13 not only gives new features to your iPhone, it makes your phone run faster and frees up space on your phone, making your iPhone even better than when you first got it. According to Apple, with iOS 13 iPhones launch apps twice as fast and unlock with Face ID 30% faster. Apps from the App Store will take up to 50% less space on your phone and app updates will be 60% smaller.
Be sure to read to the end to find out not only why you should update, but when you should do it.
If you stare at your screen too much, or prefer a darker view, check out Dark Mode in iOS 13. Dark Mode turns your screen dark to make using your iPhone easier on your eyes and prevent illuminating a dark room.
You can control when you use Dark Mode, so that you can have it on all the time or schedule it to turn on at night. You can manually turn Dark Mode on and off using Control Center.
Note that third-party apps must release an update that allows for Dark Mode in iOS 13 for the feature to work in those apps.
Use Siri with 3rd Party Apps
Siri now is available to work directly with third-party apps. With iOS 13 you can ask Siri to navigate, make reservations, or play music, audiobooks or podcasts with apps such as Google Maps, Waze, Open Table, Pandora, etc.
After you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 13, Siri should work with compatible third-party apps on your iPhone and with Apple CarPlay and HomePod.
This new feature doesn’t work with all third-party apps, unfortunately. Apps must be updated in iOS 13 to work with Siri. To find out whether a third-party app works with Siri, just ask Siri to do something with an app. If Siri doesn’t work with an app, you’ll see a message such as this one:
(Hey, Audible, if you’re reading this I would love you to update your app to work with Siri. And I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who wants this…)
Also, you cannot select a default third-party app (as you can with Amazon’s Alexa) so you must say the name of the third-party app every time you make your request to Siri.
Keyboard Swiping with QuickPath
Those who prefer to swipe to type will enjoy the new QuickPath feature in iOS 13. QuickPath is a new feature that lets you swipe your finger over the keyboard to type words. Glide your fingers over the keys and lift your finger when the word appears.
You can switch between QuickPath and regular typing on the keyboard without having to adjust settings. Just tap or swipe and the keyboard will respond accordingly. QuickPath is available on the native keyboard for iPhone.
iOS 13 brings new features to the Photos app on the iPhone, making finding photos easier and making the most of photos in the app. Your photos are now organized by Years, Months and Days to help you locate them more easily. You’ll be able to search using multiple terms such as “beach” and “dog”.
The For You section shows Memories with albums created around trips, places, and subjects such as Fluffy Friends. Live Photos and videos play automatically (without sound) so you can begin to enjoy them as soon as you see them.
New photo editing features give you more control over how your photos look. Use the dial to change saturation, vibrance, brilliance, warmth and much more. New filters allow you to set the mood of your photos.
Privacy and Security
App Location Permissions
Apple adds a new option to app location permissions. Previously, when an app asked for permission to track your location, your options were Never, While Using the App or Always. With iOS 13, the options are now Never, Ask Next Time and While Using the App. Always is only offered as a location tracking option with a limited amount of apps.
You will be more aware when apps are using your location with iOS 13. Your iPhone will occasionally show you reminders when an app is using your location, then ask whether you want to continue granting location permission.
Don’t Miss => How to Know Which Apps Are Tracking Your Location
A new security feature in iOS 13 makes apps request permission for Bluetooth tracking, something that most people weren’t aware was happening. When you open an app in iOS 13 you may see a request that the app would like permission to use Bluetooth.
You may be confused if the app doesn’t seem to need Bluetooth to work, such as an app for a store. But some apps use Bluetooth to track your location, which was previously done without permission.
iOS 13 changes that by requiring apps to ask permission if they want to use Bluetooth on your iPhone. Some apps, such as fitness tracking apps, may need Bluetooth to connect to a fitness device such as a Fitbit. But other apps may not benefit you by using Bluetooth.
Feel free to deny permission if you’d prefer the app not to connect to your iPhone’s Bluetooth.
Silence Unknown Callers
If robocalls are driving you a bit mad, you may enjoy the new call blocking feature in iOS 13 called Silence Unknown Callers. Now you can set your iPhone to block all calls from numbers that aren’t in your contacts, mail or Messages.
No longer will your iPhone accept calls from numbers if those numbers are not in your Contacts, Mail, or Messages apps. Calls from those number will not ring and will be sent directly to voice mail.
Go to Settings => Phone to turn on this feature. Beware though, if you turn on this setting you may miss important calls such as potential employers, lab test results, repair people, etc.
Also see => Apps to Block Annoying Robocalls
Quicker Access to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirDrop Settings
iOS 13 brings a convenient update to Control Center that allows you to see which Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth devices you’re connected to. You can easily switch networks and devices from Control Center as well. You can also change your settings for AirDrop in Control Center.
Use a long press on the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or AirDrop icon in Control Center, then a long press on either the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or AirDrop icon on the next screen to see the settings. For Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Control Center will show what you’re connected to and lets you make changes.
This new Control Center access is much quicker and easier than opening Settings and performing these tasks.
Deleting Unwanted Apps Is Easier
When you update your apps in the App Store app on your iPhone, you may discover an update to an app you’re no longer using. You may have even forgotten that the app was on your phone.
You may update that app, just to be sure it’s current, thinking you’ll delete the app eventually. But then you forget and the app continues to reside on your phone.
Now you can delete an app from the App Store app in the Updates section. If you see an update to an app you no longer want on your phone, just swipe the update to the left to reveal a Delete option. Handy dandy!
If a friend sends you a photo, link or useful advice via Messages, you may soon find that message lost in the past. Finding something sent to you in Messages was a challenge.
With iOS 13, that challenge is now easier. Open the Messages app and swipe down on the screen to reveal a search bar. There you can see links, photos, locations and attachments sent to you in text messages. You can also search messages using keywords. You can search all of your messages or search by an individual sender.
Find My Friends and Devices
Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps have been combined into a single Find My app. Open the app to see where your friends and your lost devices are on a map.
iOS 13 can also help you find your devices that aren’t connected to the Internet. Finding your devices becomes a crowd-sourced task now. Mark one of your devices as missing and it will try to connect with other Apple devices via Bluetooth to locate your device on a map.
According to Apple, this new way of finding your missing device is “completely anonymous and encrypted end‑to‑end, so everyone’s privacy is protected.”
Sign In with Apple ID
With iOS 13 Apple now offers you the ability to sign into apps and websites with your Apple ID. By using Apple ID to sign in to your accounts, you won’t have to create a new password. Instead, you can log in using Face ID or Touch ID on your Apple devices.
If you’ve ever been annoyed by the volume indicator blocking the screen, you’ll have to find something else to be annoyed with in iOS 13. Gone is the volume indicator that blocks the screen.
Instead, an indicator is tucked away on the left side of the screen, so that you’ll no longer have your view obscured when you change the volume on your phone.
iOS 13 is available for iPhone 6s and later. Older iPhones cannot be updated to iOS 13, though they should still work with the version of iOS they are using now.
As eager as you may be to update your iPhone to iOS 13, you probably should wait. Just a day.
If you’re reading this today, Monday September 23, please wait until at least tomorrow, Tuesday, September 24, when iOS 13.1 is released, to give Apple a chance to squash bugs in iOS 13.0.
See, Business Insider, People are complaining that Apple’s big new iPhone update is filled with bugs
Have you updated your iPhone to iOS 13 yet? What are your favorite features of iOS 13? Which features do you think will be most useful for you?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!