In June 2019 we looked at the main features of iOS 13 announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). According to Apple’s website the system will introduce “a bold new look, major updates to the apps you use very day, new ways to help you protect your privacy and improvements across the entire system to make your iPhone even faster to use”. With the operating system now due in September 2019 – and with more details about what we can expect from the latest Apple operating system now out in the wild – we take a closer look at some more features that you can use with this update.
One of the iOS 13 features that received a lot of hype was the latest update to Apple’s ‘Maps’ app. Apple has completely redesigned their version of Maps. The result is significantly improved and more realistic details for roads, buildings and parks, including vector overlays to give a 3D effect. The app can also filter out certain points of interest and supports Dark Mode, a first for iPhones, which was announced at WWDC 2019. In addition, the ‘Look Around’ feature allows you to explore where you are going before you get there with a 3D, immersive, 360-degree view of a place – a helpful feature if you are lost and can’t pin point exactly which building you should be in.
For those of us that use public transport to get around, it is also useful to know that Maps will now offer public transport timetables, arrival time, scheduled stops and connections for quicker route planning. It even includes important real-time information like suspensions and cancellations, similar to other apps, such as Citymapper.
After a slew of high-profile breaches across the industry in the last couple of years, security and privacy continue to be central to Apple’s modus operandi – and their latest OS update reflects that. In iOS 13 Apple introduces weak password warning alerts when if you sign up for a new website account with a password that could easily be hacked. In another security enhancement, the iOS 13 iCloud will have end-to-end encryption meaning your safari history and any open tabs that sync with iCloud are now better protected from online threats. What’s more, iOS 13 will automatically block nuisance callers. When this setting is turned on, iOS 13 uses Siri intelligence to only allow you to receive from numbers in Contacts, Mail and Messages. All other calls are automatically sent to voicemail.
While it may seem like these were obvious areas Apple could make security improvements, one interesting development comes from the content you share with others. In iOS 13 you can customize options for images and videos that you share. For example, it is now possible to remove the ‘Live Photo’ action or the location information if this is something you don’t want the contact to see. With technology companies facing increasing scrutiny around how they use data and protect their customers more security features can only be expected as operating systems continue to develop.
Screen Time for Children
Another area of focus for Apple with iOS 13 is the ability for parents to be able to take better control of what their child is doing on their iPhone or tablet. You can now create combined app Screen Time limits, for example, with a combination of app categories, specific apps and even websites. This allows parents to set timeframes on how long their child can access a certain app during the day. It even works in conjunction with iOS 13 feature ‘One More Minute’ so when a Screen Time limit is met, the child can tap ‘One more minute’, giving them time to quickly save your work or log out of a game. After this minute the app then shuts down.
For even more reassurance and control, parents can use Screen Time to manage the list of contacts that appear on their children’s devices. This allows you to understand who your children communicate with and, most importantly, which of their contacts can communicate with them at different points of the day. The latest operating system also keeps track of phone or tablet usage over 30 days so parents can compare the previous week’s Screen Time numbers should they wish to.
A few other new features coming with iOS 13 that are worth a mention include the ability to choose to download large apps and games over your mobile connection, rather than having to wait for a Wi-Fi connection. While this will eat up your data pretty quickly, if you have a plan that includes a significant amount or unlimited data, then this can be a useful option to have.
You will also be able to select a specific Wi-Fi network from the Control Center with iOS 13. With iOS 12 you can turn your Wi-Fi settings on and off using the Control Center, but the feature does not go further than that. This is also the same for Bluetooth accessories – iOS 13 will show a list of accessory options available in the Control Center, whereas iOS 12 only allows you to switch Bluetooth on and off from this panel.
iOS 13 has also made one other notable change to iCloud, which is iCloud Drive folder sharing. This allows you to share your folder with friends, family and colleagues in iCloud Drive once you give them permission to add their own files. This is particularly useful when you have limited storage on your iPhone and need to move your photos into iCloud so you can free up some space. If your friend or family member has more storage in their iCloud Drive, you can now send these files to them instead, without having to buy more storage.
Did we miss any features in iOS 13 that you like? Let us know in the comments below.