iOS 13 rumors: Everything you need to know Credit: Jason CrossIDGIDG
Business Management

iOS 13 rumors: Everything you need to know

Like clockwork, Apple releases a major revision of iOS every year. The company formally unveils the new operating system for iPhone and iPad at WWDC in June, followed by a beta testing period and then a final release in the fall (typically in September, just before the new iPhones hit the shelves).

One never really knows exactly what new features and design changes Apple will bring until the company gets on stage at WWDC, but the rumor mill churns early and often. After all, iOS is one of the widest-used and most influential consumer operating systems in the world. We have our own wishlist of iOS 13 features, but we’ve also collected all the rumors about iOS 13 here.

Update 04/23/19: Mouse support may come to the iPad in iOS 13 as an accessibility feature.

Dark Mode

Easily the top requested feature among Apple fans online, Dark Mode would presumably operate much as it does on macOS—with darker wallpaper and dark backgrounds with light text in supported apps. In a Bloomberg article focusing primarily on upcoming iPhones, Mark Gurman and Debbie Wu assert that Dark Mode is finally coming in iOS 13.

Plausible? You bet. Dark Mode is already here in macOS Mojave, and with UIKit coming to the Mac and bringing easy iOS ports along with it (see: News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home), it only makes sense to have similar Dark Modes on both platforms.

CarPlay Improvements

Gurmin and Wu’s Bloomberg feature also claims there will be “improvements to CarPlay” in iOS 13, but that’s all. We have no idea what they may be. Certainly, CarPlay is due for an interface refresh and more extensive developer tools.

Plausible? An overhaul to CarPlay was supposedly one of the things originally scheduled for iOS 12 that was pushed back a year. CarPlay could use a fresh coat of paint and some new tools for developers, so this rumor doesn’t seem sketchy at all.

iPad-focused upgrades

According to the lone paragraph about iOS 13 in a Bloomberg feature about future iPhones, iOS 13 will incorporate several new features aimed at the iPad. They include a new home screen, the ability to tab through multiple versions of a single app like pages in a web browser, and improved file management.

In April, well-connected developer Steve Throughton-Smith tweeted that rumors of mouse support for iPads in iOS 13 are true, and that it will come as an accessibility feature. His intel has been solid in the past on Apple software features.

A recent report from 9to5Mac claims we’ll see a host of other features for iPad users. These include the ability for apps to have multiple windows, and “sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen, but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely.”

Plausible? These would all be welcome, sensible improvements. The iPhone-like home screen is a silly waste of space on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the poor file management was a common complaint in reviews of the new 2018 iPad Pro. Apple’s top-end tablet is increasingly targeted as a laptop replacement, but the ability to multitask effectively and manage files are holding it back. It makes sense that these would be priority areas of development.

New Undo gesture

Currently, you “undo” something on iPhone or iPad by shaking it. It’s an awkward and hard-to-discover gesture that many users don’t even know about. That could change in iOS 13. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the standard Undo gesture for text input will change to a three-finger tap in the keyboard area, after which you can swipe left or right to undo/redo actions.

Plausible? This is long overdue, and it’s a gesture that makes sense. We only question how Undo would work in apps where you don’t have keyboard input (like photo editing). Will the shake action remain as well?

Easier font management

Those who want to use custom fonts on iOS are often frustrated by how complicated it is. You have to install a custom profile (in much the same way you do to install iOS betas). With iOS 13, according to 9to5Mac’s sources, this complex workaround will be replaced by a standard font manager in Settings, and a font picker interface element for developers. This is a big deal for creative apps.

Plausible? Apple is pushing the iPad—especially the iPad Pro—as a laptop replacement for many people. But roadblocks such as difficult font management have made it hard to get the most out of creative apps like image and video editors. iOS 13 seems focused on lifting some of the roadblocks people encounter when using the iPad to do “real work.”

New volume interface

The big obtrusive volume indicator in iOS has been something of a running joke for years now, and is always prominently featured on iOS wishlists. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, iOS 13 will finally change the default volume indicator! Yay!

Plausible? At this point, we would have expected Apple to address this in iOS 10, iOS 11, and iOS 12. We are hopeful, but we’ve been burned before.

Changes to developer features

Every new version of iOS brings changes to the frameworks and APIs developers use to make apps, and iOS 13 will be no exception.

According to 9to5Mac’s “sources familiar with the development of Apple’s new operating systems,” we’re in for some big improvements.

Siri will get a bunch of new intents (specific functions that apps can integrate with Siri), ARKit will improve with the ability to detect human poses and new easier development tools, developers will have more control over the Taptic Engine for haptic feedback, and apps that use NFC will be able to read more tag formats. Apps that use Core ML for machine learning will be able to improve their neural networks right on device, and new tools for image classification and audio analysis will allow developers to make smarter apps more easily.

Plausible? All these developer features sound well-grounded and likely. Our big hope is that new Siri intents and maybe even domains will give it the ability to work better with many more apps and services


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