iOS 13 Unveiled: New Features, Release Date, Beta and More

At WWDC 2019, Apple unveiled the new version of iOS 13. The focus is on much improved performance, a new Dark Mode and a completely overhauled Maps app.But there’s a lot more to this new release, including a new Photos app that makes it more fun to browse through your images, a smarter Reminders app, much improved Maps and a new way to sign into apps called Sign in With Apple. (This is going to make Google and Facebook mad.)

iOS 13 Cheat Sheet

  • iOS 13 will load apps up to 2x faster, thanks to improvements to how apps are architected.
  • A new Dark Mode can help save battery life while making your photos, messages and other content pop.
  • You finally get swipe typing with a Quick Path keyboard option.
  • Reminders are getting smarter, as they can automatically recognize dates and times.
  • A new Sign in With Apple feature lets you sign into apps easily without sacrificing your privacy.
  • The revamped Maps app offers a lot more detail and new features like Collections.
  • The Photos app is getting new browsing options that removes clutter, including Month and Year views that highlight your best photos.
  • Siri is going to sound less like a robot thanks to a big text-to-speech improvement.
  • Memoji are getting more personal and customizable, complete with makeup and accessory options.
  • You finally get the ability to select a Wi-Fi network in Control Center.

iOS 13 Beta

For those daring enough to test unfinished versions of iOS, Apple makes beta versions available to developers on the same day as the keynote (which require a Developer Account, which costs $99). So it’s available today, June 3th.

The public beta of iOS 13 will launch in July. You’ll go to to get it.

iOS 13 Release Date and availability

Final Release: Sept. 2019. For most of iOS’s history — the last seven years — Apple has released the official finished build of its major updates midway through September during the same year as its WWDC announcement. During this run, the earliest it’s come out was Sept. 13 (iOS 10 in 2016) and the latest was Sept. 19 (iOS 6 in 2012 and iOS 11 in 2017). We’ll find out the exact release date at the same time Apple unveils all the new iPhones it’s been working for a fall release.

Apple says iOS 13 will run on the iPhone 6s and later. That includes the iPhone SE. iPhone released in 2015 and earlier — the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5s — didn’t make the cut.

iOS 13 Performance: A big boost

Apple says it has focused on faster performance once again. For example, unlocking your iPhone with Face ID is 30 percent faster. Downloading apps are getting sped up, too. That’s because Apple worked to make apps 50 percent smaller. Updates are also 60 percent smaller. The result: launch speed for apps is now 2x faster.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode in iOS 13 makes your content look more immersive, with a dark background for the home screen and in all sorts of apps, from messages to photos. The idea is to make your content pop more, though the company didn’t say anything about potential battery life savings on iPhones with OLED screens.

Apple says that Dark Mode can be scheduled to be turned on automatically at sunset, which is neat. The company is making the feature available for developers so they can give their apps a Dark Mode makeover.

QuickPath Keyboard

There’s not much news here, other than the fact that you can now swipe to type in iOS 13 with the stock keyboard. Android phones have had this for years.


Rewrote from the round up. The app can automatically recognize daays and times to set reminders. If you tag a person in a reminder, you’ll automatically get a notification the next time you send them a message in Messages. Apple also made it easier to add locations and flags, as well as attachments.


Apple says it has driven over 4 million miles to rebuild its Maps app from the ground up. The overhaul, which includes broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses and more detailed landcover, will be completed by the end of 2019 in the US and roll out to other countries in 2020.

There’s a new binoculars button with a look-around window. This gives you a 3D view of your surroundings, making it easier to explore. If you turn your phone to landscape mode, you can zoom down the street, and you can also tap on labels to learn more about nearby landmarks and businesses.

Other features in Maps include collections so you can group things you like in the cities you visit most or live in. A Favorites feature lets you store the places you frequently visit, so you can call up directions with a tap.

Privacy: Sign in with Apple

Apple is building in protections for privacy, such as having apps ask you just once for your location. You can also get background tracking alerts. Plus, Apple is trying lock down side doors that use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.

But the most noteworthy privacy change in iOS 13 involves anew sign-in option to bypass Google and Facebook. It’s called Sign in with Apple. This simple API allows you to log in without revealing any personal info. If an app requests your name and email address, Apple will let you create an anonymous random email address that forwards to your real email. And each app can have their own random email address, making it easier to weed out the apps you don’t want troubling your inbox.

With Sign in with Apple, it will work on devices with Touch ID and Face ID, so you don’t have to have a newer iPhone or iPad. See our Sign in with Apple guide for more.


HomeKit in iOS 13 rolls out HomeKit Secure Video analyzes the video in your home instead of sending your footage up to the cloud. Storage for 10 days will be included in your existing iCloud subscription. Netatmo and Logitech will be among the first vendors to support this standard.

Apple is also bringing HomeKit to routers, so it will “firewall” off all of your connected devices. Linsksys and Eero will be bringing these routers to market, including ISPs like Spectrum.

Messages and Memoji Stickers

Messages are getting more personal in iOS 13. You can choose to share your name and picture. There’s a lot new options in Animoji, too, including makeup options like eye shadow, eyeglasses and sunglasses and (yes) even AirPods.

Memoji Stickers are coming to iOS 13, which give you a lot more options to personalize your messages. And those stickers will be integrated directly into the emoji keyboard, so you can use them in apps beyond just iOS’s built-in Messages.


Apple is making it easier to tweak lighting effects with the Photos app in iOS 13. You can now change the intensity and direction of portrait lighting. iOS 13 is also adding a ton of editing effects to both photos and videos. For example, you can rotate a video and apply all sorts of effects.

Apple is also introducing a new way to browse through your photos. Apple is removing duplicates and clutter via machine learning.Thee are now Days and Months tabs for browsing through your pics, and there’s also Years. The option is smart enough to know what day it is and flash back to the same day on previous years. This can come in really handy when looking through previous birthdays for a loved one.


In iOS 13, you can now quickly respond to incoming messages with your voice without lifting a finger. This is handy when you’re working out. You can also share music with other nearby AirPod wearers.


Apple is revamping the interface for CarPlay with iOS 13, so you can see your Music and Maps at once. Siri will also do a better job of staying out of your way visually while also offering support for third-party navigation and audio apps (maybe Spotify? Please!).


Siri shortcuts is getting smarter with suggested routines. Siri is also going to sound more natural with neural TTS (text to speech). Apple showed off a quick demo, and it sounded a lot more human-like.

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