The best new features coming to your iPhone in iOS 13 that Apple didn't tell you about


Apple’s iOS 13 software update is a massive upgrade that brings a variety of new features to the company’s mobile devices that span across its apps, user-interface design, privacy and security, and performance, among other areas.

While other updates in recent years focused more heavily on the camera, augmented-reality experiences, and iPad productivity features, iOS 13 feels like the first update in years that touches almost every single aspect of the company’s mobile software.

Some of these updates bring Apple up to speed with third-party apps such as WhatsApp and Google Maps. Others are tools designed to protect consumer privacy in new ways at a time when concerns over how social networks and tech firms handle user data are higher than ever.

Suffice it to say, iOS 13 is a giant release, and Apple only scratched the surface during its Worldwide Developers Conference opening keynote.

Here’s a look at some of the other useful features coming in iOS 13 that Apple didn’t get to discuss on stage.

Scheduled dark mode


Apple kicked off the iOS 13 portion of its keynote with a splashy demo of dark mode, a long-requested feature that darkens the iPhone’s user interface, providing better contrast and easier viewing at times when you may not want to look at a bright screen.

What Apple didn’t say during its presentation was that you’ll be able to schedule dark mode to automatically activate at certain times of day. So if you want to switch over to dark mode before going to sleep or first thing in the morning, you can schedule it to do so.

Smarter charging that helps your iPhone’s battery last longer

Hollis Johnson

The lithium-ion batteries that power Apple’s iPhones and many other smartphones are known to deteriorate over time after a certain number of charge cycles. That’s why in iOS 13, Apple is adding a new feature designed to help you get the most out of your iPhone’s battery.

With iOS 13, your iPhone’s software will reduce the amount of time your iPhone spends fully charged, therefore extending the battery’s shelf life. Apple said the software will learn from your daily habits so that it can wait until you really need the power before charging your phone past 80%.

The ability to choose WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices from the Control Center

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Apple’s Control Center provides quick access to a variety of handy settings, but you still have to dig into the settings menu to choose a WiFi network or select a Bluetooth accessory. That will no longer be the case in iOS 13, as you’ll be able to carry out both of these tasks directly from the iPhone’s shortcut menu.

Better search in Messages

Aleksey Khilko/Shutterstock

The search function in Apple’s messaging app is getting a big upgrade in iOS 13. When placing your cursor in the search field, Apple will surface content you might want to look for before you type anything, such as recent messages, photos, links, and people. Messages will also categorise search results, and you’ll also be able to search individual threads.

Flight status in Maps


There are a bunch of new features coming to Apple Maps later this year, including the ability to view detailed information about your upcoming flight. In iOS 13, Apple Maps will display up-to-date data about your flight terminal, gate location, and departure time.

Oral-health tracking


Health was a large focus during Apple’s keynote, as the company revealed that new features for tracking hearing health, activity trends over time, and women’s menstrual cycles are coming to its products. But the Health app is also getting support for logging oral health in iOS 13, allowing users to monitor time spent brushing their teeth using data from third-party apps, such as Colgate, in Apple’s app.

The option to jump to an already opened tab in Safari


If you’re anything like me, you probably have dozens upon dozens of tabs open in your mobile web browser, making it difficult to keep track of them all. A new Safari feature in iOS 13 will hopefully help with situations like this, considering the browser will soon offer an option to switch to an open tab if you start typing the address of a website that’s already launched.

Google’s Chrome browser already offers this feature.

New Animoji

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple emphasised the new customisation features coming to its Memoji 3D personalised emoji characters in iOS 13, but it’s also launching a few new Animoji, too. The update will bring mouse, cow, and octopus Animoji.

More options for customising how you share photos

Steve Kovach/Tech Insider

When sharing photos through Apple’s share button in iOS 13, you’ll have the option to customise certain aspects of the image. For example, if the photo you want to share is a Live Photo, but you’d rather share it as a still image, you can remove the Live Photo action. You can also remove the location at which the image was taken when sharing it.

Family members can automatically connect to your iPhone’s hot spot

For times when there’s no internet connection available, Apple will offer the option for family members to automatically connect to your iPhone’s personal hot spot in iOS 13. Just make sure you register your family members in Apple’s family-sharing feature, which makes it possible to share App Store purchases, Apple Music memberships, and other services with up to five family members.

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