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Home » Devices / Gadgets » What’s new in Apple iOS 13: major updates to the apps, Dark Mode, all-new Photos tab

What’s new in Apple iOS 13: major updates to the apps, Dark Mode, all-new Photos tab

Gregory FrenchSep 26, 201992516 votes +12 rating

Apple officially released iOS 13, the update will be available to all users gradually. iOS 13 is compatible with iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and later, seventh generation iPod Touch. Update 13.1 and the iPad version of the system will be released in less than a week: Apple released them on September 24th. So let’s get to know about the latest features and enhancements, app updates, and more in iOS 13 for iPhone.

What is new in Apple iOS 13

Dark Mode

Apple iOS 13: Dark ModePhoto: Apple

Dark theme is the main visual change in iOS 13, which completely switches the system interface, wallpapers and all standard applications to black and gray shades. This mode is suitable for use at night and in dimly lit places, such as cinemas, as the screen backlight less tiring the eyes and does not bother others.

Also, a Dark Mode can be useful for owners of iPhone with OLED displays (iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max) due to the peculiarities of the screen: black pixels do not light up, but turn off, which reduces battery consumption.

The activation of the Dark Mode is configured: you can turn it on forcibly through the button in the “Control Center”, according to the schedule, or select the “From Dusk Till Dawn” mode. In addition to the dark theme – four pairs of desktop wallpapers with light and dark shades, they can be automatically activated depending on the theme. Own backgrounds of the user can also be adapted to the theme of design.

Major updates to the apps

In iOS 13, updates received some standard applications: Safari introduced a full-fledged download manager, “Reminders” changed the design, and “Photos”, according to Apple, turned into a “user life diary”.

Apple iOS 13: PhotoPhoto: Apple


The application has changed the appearance of the main screen: all user media files are now formed into collages – by days, months and years. The application automatically selects the best frames and parts of the frame for the preview, removes similar shots and clutter, documents and screenshots, and videos and live photos are played automatically.

You can scale the tape and enlarge the pictures on the main screen of the application with a pinch, as with normal scaling. The application also shows the titles of events and, for example, the names of the performers at concerts, displays photos depending on the context (these may be annual photos on the child’s birthday), and the soundtracks in the Memories take into account the user’s preferences in Music.

A full-fledged video editor appeared: you can not only crop clips, but also apply color filters to them, adjust exposure, sharpness, brightness and saturation. Video editing is supported for all formats, including slow motion 1080p with 240 FPS and 4K video with 60 FPS.

Apple iOS 13: NotesPhoto: Apple

New Notes interface

The application has a viewing mode in the form of a gallery, and the search recognizes text, objects and places in the pictures in notes. Notes can be sorted by folders and subfolders, share them.

Apple iOS 13: RemindersPhoto: Apple


Now the application consists of four sections: “Today”, “Scheduled”, “Everything” and “With a flag”. Reminders are grouped by lists with customizable colors and icons, you can add subtasks and attachments – photos, location, documents and links, and combine lists.

Apple also claims that Siri will be able to create reminders based on the analysis of correspondence in the “Messages”.


The start page has been updated in the browser: in addition to selected and frequently visited sites, a section with the latest open sites has appeared, as well as Siri recommendations based on the browser history, sent links and other messages.

A full-fledged download manager has appeared – Safari can download any files in the background and save them to the phone or iCloud. Download history – in a separate list where you can manage and track their status.

The View menu has changed: now you can adjust the scale, turn on the reading mode, open the desktop version of the site and control access to the camera, microphone and location. All settings will be individual for each site.

When uploading photos using Safari, you can select the desired size and quality, and pages of the site – send by mail a link, a PDF file and in read mode. Safari also warns if a user chooses a weak password when registering on the site.


The built-in file manager received support for ZIP archives, shared folders in iCloud, document scanning and support for USB drives, SD cards, SSDs, hard drives, SMB file servers. Downloads from Safari and Mail are integrated into the Files – downloaded files will be displayed in the Downloads folder.

Apple iOS 13: Find MyPhoto: Apple

Find My

The new application combines the functions “Find iPhone” and “Find Friends”. Now the user can find the stolen device, even if it is in sleep mode and is not connected to the Internet. To do this, “Find My” uses a “collective search”: a stolen or lost device sends encrypted Bluetooth signals to nearby Apple devices, and they send data about its location to the cloud. This information is received by the owner of the missing device.

The function uses end-to-end encryption, therefore it works only when the user has at least two Apple devices: the signal is transmitted as a public key, which is encrypted on other people’s devices and decrypted only on the user’s devices.

iOS 13: Sign in with ApplePhoto: Apple

Sign in with Apple and other security enhancements

Apple introduced its authorization system using Apple ID, which will work in applications and on sites. It will allow you to enter a third-party service through iCloud, hiding real mail. Where authorization is required to specify an email address, the user will be able to generate a random one from which Apple will redirect all letters to a real address in iCloud.

Authorization through Apple ID is authenticated by Face ID or Touch ID. Apple will oblige developers to implement authorization through Apple ID in applications, if it offers to use Google, Facebook and other services for login.

Access control to the user’s location has also changed – now you can provide data only once or only at the request of the application. If the application uses location data in the background, including via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, iOS 13 will send a notification – how many times the data has been collected and where, – and will offer to change access settings.

When a user sends a photo to the network, in the sending settings you can remove the geolocation from the image metadata. Also, iOS 13 restricts the collection of data from VoIP applications and instant messengers by disabling part of the API for collecting data in the background.

iOS 13: Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade

At the same time with the release of iOS 13, Apple Arcade subscription games service will launch, which will work through the App Store on iPhone, iPad, macOS and Apple TV. Only premium games without micropayments and in-app purchases will be presented in Arcade – projects are selected by Apple moderators. All games are available without an internet connection.

At launch, Apple promises about 150 games, some of which are exclusive to iOS. Cross-platform service: you can start the game on the phone and continue playing on the Apple TV or other device. Subscription price – $4.99 per month for six users.

Also in iOS, native support for gamepads from PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has appeared – they are directly connected to devices via Bluetooth.

Text Editing: new gestures for working with text

  • A full-fledged scroll bar has appeared for quick navigation through pages and documents. To do this, hold down the scroll bar and pull it in the desired direction.
  • To quickly select a sentence you need to tap on it three times, and to select the entire paragraph – four times.
  • Swipe with three fingers to the left cancels the input, and to the right – will repeat the action.
  • A short tap with three fingers will open a mini-panel of text tools.
  • To copy the selected text fragment, you can bring three fingers together on the screen, a double gesture will cut the fragment. To insert, you need to spread three fingers.

Performance improvement

Apple says the new version of the system has become even faster. For example, Face ID recognition has accelerated by 30% compared to iOS 12, and applications run twice as fast. Their size decreased by half during the first download from the App Store, and the size of updates decreased on average by 60%.

Briefly about the little things

  • In iOS 12, you couldn’t download or update an app larger than 200 MB over the mobile Internet. In the update, Apple removed the restriction.
  • In the settings of “Phone” appeared the function of ignoring unknown numbers. When activated, iOS will block all incoming calls if the phone number is not in Contacts.
  • The volume slider has become more compact and moved to the top of the screen.
  • In the “Control Center”, a long tap on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allows you to select the desired network or device without having to go into the settings. Also in the “Control Center” appeared a QR-code scanner.
  • Support for third-party fonts has appeared, they can be installed through the App Store.
  • Swipe typing appeared in the keyboard, but in iOS 13.0 it does not work, for example, with the Russian layout.
  • Lyrics in “Music” are now displayed and work in karaoke format.
  • Added support for the mouse.
  • In the App Store, the Updates tab has been replaced with Arcade. To manually update apps, you need to tap on the user profile in the App Store in the upper right corner and pull down the panel that opens.
  • In the new application update panel, you can delete by swiping to the left, like letters in Mail.
  • 3D Touch gestures were replaced with a long hold. Now to remove the application you have to hold your finger on the icon for four to five seconds. First, the menu from the 3D Touch gesture will open, you must ignore it (or select “Change application order” from the menu).
  • In the “Books” app, you can set a goal for daily reading by setting the necessary time.
  • In the application “Health” appeared tracking women’s cycles.
  • Updated “Maps”: improved detail, added panorama view. In 2019, the maps of the United States will be updated.
  • Memoji stickers have appeared, they can be used on devices without a TrueDepth camera (front camera on iPhone X, Xr, Xs).

iOS 13.1 update

Apple postponed some of the features planned for iOS 13 until the first major system update, which was released on September 24th.

For example, a script automation system will appear in the “Quick Commands” application, you can share your location in Apple Maps, scroll with the mouse, and icons of connected accessories, for example, AirPods, will be displayed on the new volume control panel. Also, iOS will allow you to share music with a second pair of AirPods.

On September 24th, Apple released iPadOS, a version of the operating system for tablets. It will support widgets on the iPad home screen, and will also improve multitasking: it will be possible to launch several windows of one application, for example, two Microsoft Word documents and drag and drop their contents.

In iOS 13.1, Apple promises to increase stability – in the release version of the system there are crashes and hangs of applications and general failures. They faced both the Russian bloggers and The Verge reporters, who recommend waiting for iOS 13.1 to be released.

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Discussion: 5 comments
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  1. Sarah Gillmor
    Sarah GillmorJournalist
    2019-10-2, 11:01AM
    New iOS feature removes blur from photos taken on iPhone 11

    As part of the annual autumn presentation of new products last month, Apple, among other things, announced the latest development - a technology for new iPhone camera called Deep Fusion.

    So, thanks to the use of machine learning, the technology is able to process images, optimizing textures, as well as reducing noise and "pulling up" the overall quality of images received on a new generation of iPhone. Deep Fusion works simply: even before the user presses the virtual shutter button, the Camera application already manages to take four pictures. After the user finishes taking pictures, the application will take four more photos. Next, artificial intelligence determines those photos that turned out better than the others, and then combines them into one photo of the highest possible quality in HDR.

    Source: TechCrunch / Photo taken using Deep Fusion technology

    Deep Fusion is currently unavailable on the latest generation iPhone, but according to the latest data, the technology will appear with an upgrade to iOS 13.2. Those who really want to try Apple's new development can install the beta version of iOS for developers - there Deep Fusion is available now.

    Deep Fusion has little in common with HDR+. It has more in common with pixel shift (only not using IBIS) and exposure stacking.
  2. Tommy Miles
    Tommy MilesJournalist
    2019-09-26, 3:27PM
    When you finally add everything that every other phone company has had before. iPhone XS here, swipe typing, being able to manage volume without buttons and not having to go to settings for it, the separate key next to the space bar for emojis, and emoji face stickers along with dark mode (and more customizable UI) has been out on Nokia, razer, LG and Samsung phones for years.
  3. Randall Mark
    Randall MarkJournalist
    2019-09-26, 3:09PM
    Why am I watching this when I don't care about updating my phone from my iPhone 6? Besides saving a few moments with a faster phone, what's the point in it? I'm not paying $1000+ for a Dark Mode and other features that I won't use after a week.
  4. Jason Hensel
    Jason HenselJournalist
    2019-09-26, 3:06PM
    Apple bullshitting all these updates over the years and yet we still don't have the ability to have incoming calls in a small box at the top right or left of your phone instead of manifesting the whole phone screen while you're using and Inconveniencing you for the moment.

    So I've just recently updated my phone to iOS 13. I go into my photos app and click to top left (where the time is showing). Usually it will take me to the oldest photos. But now it just keeps kicking me out. I thought it was cause my iPhone X has little storage. I changed to the iPhone 11 Pro 512 GB and this happens too...

    Is there a fix for it?
  5. Gregory French
    Author: Gregory FrenchJournalist
    2019-09-26, 10:50AM
    For some reason, I didn't notice my friend updating most of the built-in applications when he had a Samsung Galaxy Note, services like Google Keep and Google Photo are updated, which on the iPhone are also updated through the Store, in principle, all the software is practically available on Android and on the App Store. To update the built-in application in the iPhone, a small update, such as 13.1, is enough, some Apple applications are updated through the application Store. And with the update of the services of the "applications" of Google in the system of new functions does not add. So there is a problem with updates on Android.

    A significant advantage of the android platform in updating embedded applications without pathos and presentations, including on iOS, what specific advantages does this android provide? Nothing, the lack of presentations and pathos also affects the much lesser popularity of these applications, which seems to be a minus for Android. It's very good that Google updates its Google Duo without pathos and presentations, it's so good that no one really uses it, unlike FaceTime, it's good that Android does not have a single standard for audio or video calling, telephone communication and hardcore only. It's so cool that having Google keep you won't be able to work on a note with anyone because nobody knows about keep.

    But how cool it is to remove unnecessary applications from the desktop in Android, in fact, what Android is missing is to remove unnecessary applications. What makes you think that everyone wants to have two lists of applications like this on Android?
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