Enlarge / iOS 13 on an iPhone 11 Professional.

Samuel Axon

Final 12 months, Apple set customers’ expectations with iOS 12, saying it could be centered on bettering efficiency and fixing bugs and stability points as an alternative of including a bunch of latest options. And whereas there have been nonetheless loads of bugs over the course of the iOS 12 cycle, efficiency was improved—notably on older gadgets.

Apple hasn’t tempered expectations for iOS 13 this 12 months, so customers may be anticipating an enormous leap ahead. iOS 13 does carry a brand new look to the software program that runs on iPhones, overhauls a couple of oft-criticized first-party purposes, and places extra emphasis on person privateness. Most of all, it provides new, highly effective interactions for energy customers—a few of which we thought we might by no means see in Apple’s cellular software program.

iOS 13 is profitable at most of what it units out to do, regardless that it leaves some issues that customers have needed to see overhauled—like the house display screen—comparatively untouched.

The massive story this 12 months is in regards to the iPad. Apple has spun off iOS 13 into a definite model for iPads, referred to as iPadOS. However that’s not a part of the preliminary iOS 13 launch—as an alternative it’s coming a number of days later, alongside iOS 13.1. For that cause, we’re focusing solely on the iPhone expertise on this preliminary evaluation, and we’ll handle the iPad after iPadOS goes stay.

At this time, we’ll check out Darkish Mode on the iPhone, assess Apple’s newest efforts on privateness and augmented actuality, and look at the adjustments to probably the most overhauled apps, together with Maps, Photographs, and extra. There’s frankly extra on this replace than we will get to in a single article (regardless that a number of thousand phrases await you, expensive reader), however we have been spending numerous current time with iOS 13 with the intention to completely contemplate Apple’s most vital adjustments, like these to Reminders and Recordsdata, for instance.

We’ll additionally contemplate what all these adjustments imply for the long run path of iOS, which is step by step evolving away from its authentic philosophy of person expertise. There’s loads to speak about, however let’s begin as we all the time do: with machine compatibility.

Desk of Contents


Compatibility with older gadgets was a cornerstone of iOS 12 final 12 months as a result of Apple was making an attempt to struggle in opposition to client notion that it purposely and aggressively ends assist for older telephones with the intention to drive new telephone purchases.

Fact be advised, as was the case with iOS 11 and iOS 12, if you would like a telephone that may get a number of years of software program assist moderately than only one or two, the iPhone is the best way to go. That hasn’t modified with iOS 13.

iOS 13 drops assist for the next iPhone fashions that have been supported by iOS 12: the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus. It additionally ends assist for the primary iPad Air, the iPad mini three, and the iPad mini 2. It now helps the considerably lately launched seventh technology iPod contact, however this launch drops the sixth technology.

This can be a fairly dramatic culling, although it comes a 12 months after iOS 12 didn’t drop assist for any gadgets in any respect that have been already supported by iOS 11. You may primarily summarize iOS 13’s cuts as Apple declining to assist all iOS gadgets that had just one GB of RAM.

Supported iPhone fashions

iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
iPhone XR
iPhone X
iPhone eight
iPhone eight Plus
iPhone 7
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 6S
iPhone 6S Plus
iPhone SE

Supported iPad fashions

iPads will quickly technically run iPadOS, as distinct from iOS. Right here’s which fashions are supported by this 12 months’s software program, although:

12.9-inch iPad Professional
11-inch iPad Professional
10.5-inch iPad Professional
9.7-inch iPad Professional
iPad (sixth technology)
iPad (fifth technology)
iPad mini (fifth technology)
iPad mini four
iPad Air (third technology)
iPad Air 2

Help iPod fashions

iOS 13 helps the seventh technology iPod contact.

Gadgets used in the middle of this evaluation

We primarily based most of this evaluation, together with the screenshots, on a number of weeks of utilizing late iOS 13 beta releases and the iOS 13 GM launch on an iPhone X, an iPhone XS, an iPhone eight, and over simply the previous couple days, an iPhone 11 Professional. All testing was achieved utilizing the GM launch of iOS 13, and we verified a number of issues within the last public launch after it went stay yesterday. We additionally used an iPhone 6S and iPhone SE to check efficiency on the lowest-end supported iPhones. We didn’t take a look at or use iOS 13 on an iPod contact.

Design: Darkish Mode, Share Sheets, and extra

There has not been a significant change to the visible design of iOS since 2013, and in some locations it reveals. However iOS 13 brings the largest overhaul on this entrance since iOS 7. Not all of that’s in regards to the new Darkish Mode function, however that’s what many customers will see first.

While you first set up iOS 13, you’re requested if you wish to use Gentle Darkish or Darkish Mode. You’re not caught together with your selection, although, as you’ll be able to change it within the Settings app at any time (or within the Management Heart). You attain it within the Management Heart the identical manner you get to Night time Mode: you maintain down your finger (both with 3D Contact or Haptic Contact, relying on the machine you’re utilizing) on the brightness slider to pop up extra choices, then toggle from there. You may as well assign this setting to a extra distinguished place within the Management Heart in the event you’d choose.

It’s best to speak about Darkish Mode by really going by some photographs, although, so let’s try this.

Nearly no a part of iOS stays untouched by Darkish Mode. The one main app exception I discovered was Climate, which nonetheless shows a coloured, full-screen picture matching the present circumstances and time of day.

Apart from a couple of customization choices famous within the gallery above, there are not any adjustments in performance right here. Every little thing is the place it was once; Darkish Mode is an aesthetic change. However in the event you’re within the behavior of utilizing your telephone in mattress late at night time whereas your important different sleeps subsequent to you, or if you would like correct colour and distinction with out blinding your self when strolling outdoors at night time, it’s a nice addition.

Apple has offered third-party app builders (and Internet builders) with the means to robotically allow or disable their very own darkish modes primarily based on the system-wide standing. We’ll have to attend and see what number of assist it—if some don’t (we’re taking a look at you, Slack-on-the-Mac-for-the-past-year), you may end up all of a sudden awash in white gentle at undesirable moments as you turn between apps.

The brand new share sheet

The share sheet, that standardized pop-up menu that seems if you attempt to share one thing from an app or an internet web page in iOS, was useful in iOS 12, however Apple sought to enhance it in a couple of methods with this launch. As with Darkish Mode, one of the simplest ways to get it’s to see it.

Lots of the issues you are able to do within the share sheet may very well be achieved earlier than, however Apple has put choices that was once buried within the Settings app within the choices menu right here as an alternative, for instance. It arguably makes for a extra organized share sheet expertise, relying by yourself private workflow and habits, however it’s not a sport changer by any means.



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