I’ve been using iOS 13 for the last week and in keeping with tradition, I’ve made a list of my top five features worth noting. Before I get into it, I want to add that I know everyone seemed excited about Dark Mode and I love it on certain apps but quickly realised I don’t like it from an operating system level. I added it to my shortcuts for quick access but I’m not using it all the time, well at least not by default. I don’t like how my folders look on the homepage but that’s just me, fussy as ever. Anyway, I installed the version of iOS 13 that will be released globally today, September 19th.
Silence unknown callers
I’m selective about who I give my number to, to the extent it does not appear on my signature. So naturally, I don’t want calls from randoms, and what feels like the best news on iOS 13, you can now silence unknown callers. Unknown, as in people not in your address book or who don’t appear in your email. So if the person has their number on their signature and calls you, it will come through. For everyone else who calls you, you won’t hear your phone ring – at all – the call will go to voicemail and displayed on the Recents list. Uh, goodbye spammers.
Apple loves coming up with marketing terms for basic things and in this case, it’s called QuickPath Typing for what you all probably know as Swype. It’s now a native iOS13 feature where you simply drag your finger across the letters of the word and the word comes up. It’s fast and lets you do quick one finger typing if you’re in a hurry. It’s faster than typing by touching one letter at a time anyway. I’ve had it on Gboard but I don’t always use Gboard, and toggle between keyboards, so this is handy.
Photo and Video editing
The photo and video editing functions have been revamped and look a bit different. It does feel like the the modes you could easily access are somewhat more hidden in a way – I don’t like the layout anymore but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. And OMG, you can FINALLY crop a video NATIVELY. Like why did we only get this feature in 2019? I used to send videos to my spare number on Whatsapp to crop when I was in a hurry but that obviously drops the quality. And don’t tell me about iMovie, it doesn’t support vertical videos. I’ve actually deleted iMovie from my phone and have a third party video editing app now.
The app formerly called Find My iPhone has merged with Find My Friends and is now simply called Find My. It will still pull over all your existing products under the Devices tab. The new section People is where you have close friends or family who you’ve given permission to see your location at any given time. I do not use this feature (no thanks, Big Brother).
Memoji Sticker Pack
If you’ve created a Memoji of yourself already, available on iPhone X, Xs and Xr models, you will now have the option to create a sticker pack of your face in emojis. I thought this was going to be more like Bitmoji replacement, but it’s very limited in my opinion. That said, you can share these stickers on IG stories, Whatsapp, etc. The full list of stickers appear below. The Memoji tool offers more customisation now too, like you can AirPods to yourself, and only on one ear for example.
There are so many other changes but I can’t list them all. There are new system fonts for Mail and Notes, which I don’t particularly like, the headlines are too bold. The Photos app has been revamped but I don’t use it in way that would be beneficial to me, i.e. I’m not going back and seeing what I did a year ago, etc. There’s also privacy and security updates, minor camera updates, and a new “Sign in with Apple” to access websites, which in a far is far better than using existing social networks where your info can be used without your knowledge.
The whole list of new iOS 13 features can be found here: https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13/features/
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 15 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org