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WWDC 2019: iOS 13: Top 10 features that are coming to the iPhone

Apple has just announced iOS 13 and it offers a wide range of new features including the most wanted Dark Mode. It will be coming to all supported iPhone and iPod Touch models this fall, which is around September, and here are the top ten features that you should know.

Dark Mode

After introducing Dark Mode on macOS Mojave, the new darker UI is finally rolling out for the iPhone. This makes it easier to read especially in low light environments and you can enable it from Control Centre. Alternatively, you can also set it to turn on automatically at night.

Faster performance and smaller downloads

Last year, Apple had optimised iOS 12 for better performance and it was noticeable especially on older iPhones. Now they have taken a step further on iOS 13 with up to 2X faster app launches and 30X faster Face ID performance.

On top of that, they have also optimise downloads from the AppStore. With a new way of packaging, new app downloads are up to 50% smaller and they have reduced app update size up to 60% smaller.

New Photo and Video Editing Tools

iOS 13 also comes with improved editing tools at your disposal. For photos, you have more refined editing options that can be controlled easily through on screen dials.

For the first time, you are able to rotate videos directly from the photos app with iOS 13. You also get more video editing options, not just trimming.

New Gallery for a better discovery

We all take lots of memories with our smartphones and most of the time, the precious moments are buried deep in the photo gallery. To make discovery a more meaningful experience, they have introduced a new Photos tab that curates the best moments by days, month and years.

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With machine learning, it can hide duplicate photos from view and it knows what to show based on context. Depending on the date and location, the Photos tab will showcase similar events in the past. This allows you can glance through important events like your previous attendance at an annual event or browse through your child’s past birthdays.

Portrait Lighting Control

iOS 13 also provides more control for Portrait Lighting. Now you can adjust the position as well as the intensity of the lighting. Also new is a High-Key Mono portrait mode option.

Improved Siri and new features for AirPods

The voice of Siri has gotten more natural over the years and it sounds even more realistic with iOS 13. Powered by machine learning, the neural TTS (text to speech) technology provides Siri a more natural cadence and emphasis especially when reading out a news article or long sentences.

If you’re working out with your AirPods, Siri can now read out your notification to you and you can also get it to respond accordingly hands-free. All this is done without interrupting your flow.

Another new feature for AirPods is the ability to share your music with another person. Just bring both iPhones together, and your music will play on the other person’s AirPods simultaneously.

Swipe gestures for keyboard

For those who love to text with a single hand, iOS 13 now comes with swipe gestures which they call QuickPath typing. Similar to Swype, you can glide your fingers from one letter to the next and it will recognise the word based on the path you draw. It will support English, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese.

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New Memoji features

iOS 13 offers greater Memoji customisation and you can add makeup effects along with additional accessories including earrings, more glasses and even airpods. The new update also generates a sticker pack based on your Memoji and Animoji characters automatically. The Memoji stickers are also accessible from the keyboard, so you can use them on other apps such as WeChat.

Custom Fonts

For better rich text editing on the Mail and Notes app, iOS 13 allows you to install custom fonts. You can download new fonts from the AppStore and manage them from your iPhone’s Settings.

Download large apps over mobile data

As data plans get better and there are plenty of unlimited data plan options, iOS 13 will give users the option to download larger files over mobile data instead of WiFi. By default, there’s a limit of 150MB and this was recently increased to 200MB. With iOS 13, you will be able to download games that are several GB in size on a 4G connection.

iOS 13 Compatibility

iOS 13 is compatible for the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6s/6s Plus, iPhone SE and iPhone Touch (7th Generation). If you’re using an iPhone 6 or older, you’re out of luck.

iOS 13 beta is available for developers starting today and the public beta will be available in July. There are heaps of new features on iOS 13 and you can check all of them here.

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Alexander Wong