Whenever Apple announces a new operating system, people immediately start assessing which features are the most important and which might be mere hype. iOS 13, slated for release in September, is no different. Here’s a rundown of some of the offerings that seem to be getting the most buzz so far.
A Function That Blocks Unknown Callers
Robocalls are becoming more problematic, with some people receiving several per day. It’s also annoying when a stranger mistakenly dials your number and intends to reach someone else. iOS seeks to solve these problems with a Silence Unknown Callers feature.
It keeps your phone noise-free if someone not in your contacts list calls it. However, people can still leave voicemails if they wish, and there’s no outward indication that you have that feature activated. The caller hears the same number of rings before the voicemail message starts regardless of if you have the feature on or off.
Apple also caters to the significant portion of tech users that rely on the brand’s gadgets to take photos. On-device machine learning technology curates a person’s entire photo library to show the best images from a particular time. There are also enhanced editing tools to improve snapshots with mere swipes. Most of the editing options work for videos as well.
A Portrait Lighting mode also allows changing the intensity of the illuminated portions of photos in seconds. For example, making the light seem more noticeable on a person’s face could sharpen their features or draw attention to their eyes. Moreover, photos taken in Portrait Mode offer a High-Key Mono setting that gives a monochromatic effect to images.
Better Tab and Download Management
Managing open browser tabs on a smartphone typically isn’t as easy as doing it on a computer. People can’t easily see active tabs across the screen and gauge when it’s time to close them. But, iOS 13 will have features that make smartphone browser tab management more straightforward in Safari. People can set a preference to automatically close tabs after a day, week, or month.
Moreover, Safari will give them an alert if they try to go to a webpage that’s already open in a tab. Also, before iOS 13, people who wanted to download files while using Safari on their iPhones had to rely on third-party apps to do it. That’s no longer the case with this new operating system. A native app called Files allows people to download a file directly to their device, send the content to iCloud, or transfer it to a different supported app.
People can also start, stop, or cancel their downloads via Files, or go straight to downloaded content within the app. This improvement could be instrumental for those who regularly deal with downloaded content on their phones.
Apple also wants to change the way people interact with their iPhone keyboards. It’s introducing something called QuickPath typing. Thanks to machine learning capabilities that recognize where a finger travels on the keyboard, a user can slide their finger from letter to letter to make a word. Suggested word options also appear at the top of the keyboard during typing.
Apple says this new feature will make it easier to type with one hand. That’s good news for people who often multi-task as they use their devices.
A More-Secure Sign-In Feature
As people use the internet, they regularly fill out forms when signing up for apps. Some sites let people shorten the process by using some of their social media login details. But, with the new Sign in with Apple feature, users can have anther another choice. They can use their Apple ID for authentication purposes, including doing so with Face ID or Touch ID. Doing that generates a unique, random ID that gets passed to the app developer.
Then, if an app developer requires a person to provide an email address, that individual can still let Apple send a random email in place of an email address they use. These two possibilities enable people to keep some of their details private on the internet.
iOS will also have a system-wide Dark Mode option. People can activate it manually using a Control Center button. Alternatively, they can schedule it to turn on or off at scheduled times or sunrise and sunset. Users seem to appreciate the Dark Mode so far, especially since some are already accustomed to using it on macOS Mojave and other products outside of the Apple ecosystem.
What If You Have an iPad?
For the first time, the Apple iPad will be getting its own operating system, iPadOS, which will be released at the same time as iOS 13. This new OS will have features tailored to the larger screen, multitasking, and usage models of the iPad.
When Can You Get iOS 13?
If you can’t wait until September, the iOS 13 beta is available now through Apple’s Beta Software program. It’s free to sign up and get your devices registered. In this way, you can get to know these features of the newest operating system and many more by getting engrossed in what’s different and applicable to your mobile life. Be aware that this is still software undergoing development, so it’s best to try it out on a secondary iPhone, not your primary one.
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and productivity blogger. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of her tech productivity blog, Productivity Bytes. You can read more by Kayla at Inc.com, VentureBeat, DMN, and more.