iOS 13: Everything you need to know

What's new with iOS 13

September 24, 2019: Apple releases iOS 13.1 for iPhone

It's official; iOS 13.1 is here! Fresh off the heels of the iOS 13 release, iOS 13.1 is a more stable and improved build of Apple's iPhone software and it adds a few features that weren't in the original launch, like Share my ETA in Maps, Automations for Shortcuts, and more!

September 19, 2019: iOS 13 is available for iPhones.

Apple has stated that iOS 13.1, which is currently in beta, will be available the very next week on September 24. For iPads, there is a separate software version dubbed iPadOS 13, which will also be available for everyone on September 24.

iOS 13 is a huge release that is packed with a lot of new capabilities and performance improvements. Everything is faster, from unlocking with Face ID (30 percent faster) and app downloads will be 50 percent smaller, and updates 60 percent smaller. Apps will launch twice as fast in iOS 13, and much more.

Everything is faster

ios 13 optimizations

With iOS 13, there are a lot of speed improvements overall. Unlocking with Face ID will be 30 percent faster. App downloads will be 50 percent smaller, with updates being 60 percent smaller as well. Apps will launch twice as fast.

Dark Mode

iOS 13 Dark Mode

Dark Mode is finally arriving in iOS 13. The dynamic Dark Mode means dynamic wallpapers that change between light and dark when the sun sets or rises, widgets will also have a dark theme as well. Messages, Photos, Notes, and other native apps will come with built-in support for Dark Mode.

The keyboard will also be dark themed, and there is swipe support, called "Quick Path," for faster typing.

The Notes app has a refined texture and is more of a dark gray color, rather than straight black, in Dark Mode. Photos will look sharper than ever with the black background instead of white.

Dark Mode is also available in Apple Music. As a bonus, when you play music, lyrics will have time-synced lyrics so you can sing along or follow the song easier than ever before.

How to use Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad

Reminders reimagined

iOS 13 Reminders

Reminders also gets a total rework in iOS 13. As you type in reminders, the app will try and guess when to remind you. Siri will which words you want and make them actionable. If there are any names in the reminder, it will remind you about them in Messages.

How to add attachments and tags to reminders on iPhone and iPad

Apple Maps

iOS 13 Maps

Apple has been hard at work with Apple Maps. The entire US will get these new maps by the end of 2019, with other "select" countries next year.

These new maps are much more detailed with building layouts always visible, similar to Flyover but for everywhere. Users can also have a Favorites row on the launch screen, as well as "Collections" for organizing your favorites, sharing lists with friends, and more.

Look Around

There is also a button that lets you "look around" on the map. It's essentially Google Street View, but built-in natively to Apple Maps. Moving around in this view is also much more smooth than Google Street View. Apple also shared that there will be a junction view in China, as well as ETA sharing for everyone.

How to create Favorites and Collections in Maps on iPhone and iPad

With iOS 13.1, the Share ETA feature is now enabled in Maps. The feature is pretty simple and useful; when you start a route in Maps, there will be a Share ETA button at the bottom of your screen. When you tap it you'll be given a list of your recent contacts, plus the options to go through your contact list, and with a couple of taps, send them your ETA through messages.


With iOS 13.1 activates the U1 chip in the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max for AirDrop. This means by pointing from one U1 chip device to another, you should be able to AirDrop files.

Privacy and Security

iOS 13 Privacy features

iOS 13 brings a lot of new privacy and security features. There will be system-wide location tracking protection, or give an app permission to use location "just once." If you give it permission to always use your location, iOS will provide you with detailed reports.

Apple will add "Sign in with Apple." This uses Face ID to start a new account without revealing any personal information. While apps can request information, you can hide things like email, and Apple will create a random email that will forward to your actual email. These random emails can be disabled if need be.

This "Sign in with Apple" will also work on the web.


HomeKit Secure Video partners

HomeKit Secure Video is Apple's solution to cloud services that analyze video. With this, Apple will analyze video data locally, and then encrypt it and upload it to iCloud. All iCloud accounts will get 10 days of this service for free, and this will not count against your storage limits.

Brands like Logitech will be supporting this new feature, along with others.

HomeKit support is also coming to routers. This means that it will "firewall off" accessories. Brands like Linksys, Eero, and Spectrum.

These companies will support HomeKit Secure Video


iMessages profile

Names and photos are shared more easily with iOS 13. So when you text someone, they'll automatically get your name and photo.


Memoji come with more options, including makeup and accessories, such as monocles, hats, and AirPods. All of your Memoji also get a sticker pack that you can use in Messages, but they'll also be built-in to the keyboard as emoji so you can use your new Memoji system-wide in any app.

Memoji stickers

The Memoji Stickers are now supported in any device with an A9 chip or later, so it's more accessible than ever.

Camera and Photos

iOS 13 Photos

Camera and Photos get a lot of new features in iOS 13.

There are new Portrait Lighting effects, so you can increase or decrease the intensity of the light (think of moving actual lights closer or further from the subject).

iOS 13 Photo Editor

Photos has a new photo editing interface. Just tap and drag for adjustments, and iOS 13 adds new editing tools like noise reduction.

iOS 13 video editing

This new photo editing interface also applies to video. And for the first time ever, you can rotate your videos.

There's now a new way to navigate through your photos in iOS 13. The device will also use machine learning to remove duplicates and clutter. This is fantastic if you often have your Camera Roll cluttered with things like screenshots and receipts.

iOS 13 Photos

A "Photos" tab now appears in the Photos app, which is the new way to browse through your images. Pinch-to-zoom is still supported, along with a scrubber for years, months, days. Videos play directly in the browse view, as well as Live Photos.

In Months, everything is organized by event and month, with large thumbnails that can also play video. Years will have even bigger thumbnails.



Siri will now be able to read incoming messages, and you can respond directly with the AirPods. You no longer need to say "Hey Siri" to reply, and this works with any app that supports SiriKit.

How to manage message announcements on iPhone and iPad

Audio Sharing

ios 13 audio sharing

The new Audio Sharing feature lets you send your audio to another phone or device so they can hear what you're listening to.



HomePod now has Handoff support, so you can pass off your iOS device audio directly to your HomePod. This is also done automatically if your iPhone is near your HomePod.

Siri also supports live radio with iHeartRadio or TuneIn. This means access to over 100,000 stations.

HomePod now has multiple user support. It will recognize each person's voice and respond with the corresponding information for each person.


Rather than having you download the Shortcuts app separately, Shortcuts now comes built-in to every device with iOS 13 or later. With the release of iOS 13.1 the Shortcuts app will now have an Automation tab. This allows you to create personal and home automation that automatically run based on triggers. For example, you can set up an Automation to show you the daily weather forecast when you turn off your alarm in the morning.


iOS 13 CarPlay

The new CarPlay dashboard will show you much more information in a single glance. The music app has been redesigned from the ground up, and Siri does not cover the entire screen anymore. Siri will also now work with Pandora and Waze.


iOS 13 Siri

Speaking of Siri, it now uses Neural text to speech that is entirely generated by software. It sounds much more natural, and puts the emphasis on correct words in a longer sentence.


iOS 13 Voice Control

iOS 13 and macOS Catalina will both introduce Voice Control. This leverages Siri voice recognition technology so you can control your devices completely with your voice and dictation.

With Voice Control, you get rich dictation and editing, comprehensive navigation, iOS attention awareness, and on-device processing. This means that everything you say is not kept by Apple, and it's just locally on your iOS or Mac.

Find My app

iOS 13 Find My app

The new Find My app combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone into a single app. This app will also be able to find offline devices. This is able to be done because each Apple device creates a secure Bluetooth beacon. Apple then creates an end-to-end encrypted mesh network of Apple devices to locate your offline device.

iOS 13's offline device finder already helped recover a lost iPad


iOS 13 ARKit 3 Motion Capture

ARKit 3 is called RealityKit. With RealityKit, you will be able to do photorealistic rendering, environment and camera effects, and even motion capture.

With Reaity Composer, you can do real-time people occlusion (objects go behind them), and real-time motion capture with your iOS camera.

iOS 13 ARKit 3 Minecraft AR

Minecraft will support the new ARKit 3, allowing players to fully interact with the Minecraft world.

Other miscellaneous bits

iOS 13 also has a low-data mode that you can activate to use less data, making it perfect for those with limited data plans. There is also Wi-Fi selection in the Control Center. iMessage supports Dual SIM. There is also Dolby Atmos playback.

What devices are compatible with iOS 13?

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

iOS 13 is iPhone and iPod touch only. iPads will now be getting iPadOS instead, which is a more powerful version of iOS that is specially designed for the larger screens.

Here are the iOS 13 compatible devices:

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod Touch (7th Generation)

What devices are compatible with iOS 13

When will iOS 13 be available?

The final release of iOS 13 arrived September 19, 2019. More features will be coming in iOS 13.1 on September 24, 2019, which is also when iPadOS 13 is available.