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iOS 13 – Overview & Hidden Gems

World Wide Developers Conference announced the fall release of iOS 13! One of the biggest changes is that, technically, iOS 13 won’t work on your iPad. Instead, a new iPadOS version has been introduced!

iOS 13 on iPad iPad OS

iOS 13 Forked – Long Live iPadOS!

Apple has long realized that more screen real-estate changes how users interact with their device. Thats why iPhone apps were not supposed to just increase in size on the iPad, Apple expected the developer to make use of the screen and customize the GUI to take advantage.. a far cry from what Google tablets did.

Apple expects that iPad users will multitask a lot more, so they’ve improved the Slide Over view to be more of an app launcher. Quickly swipe from the side to bring up a floating window containing whatever app you need to access. You can scroll through those apps easily, and bring up a expanded view to switch between them easier. Split View allows you to run two apps on the same screen, but now you can also run another instance of the same app.

The new Home Screen allows you to include widgets and tightens up margins to allow more apps to be displayed on screen. Apple pencil fidelity has been increased to provide an even more responsive styles, and its on screen menus has been revamped.

Text editing has changed quit a bit; it no longer includes a magnifying glass “to get in your way”.. though I felt this was a helpful feature. Just tap with you finger to place the cursor, drag to select, multitap to select words, sentence, or paragraphs, and 3-finger pinch to copy, 3-finger spread to paste. This is also augmented by a new keyboard option that lets you type with just your thumb. For designers, you can now instal your own fonts.

Some fantastic new features include device support, plug a USB drive directly into the port, a camera, or even use a mouse if you like! PS4 and Xbox controller support was announced as well! A feature that works with the new MacOS Catalina called SideCar uses your iPad as a screen extension, including a TouchBar,  a la MacBook Pro. Lots more cool features will make your iPad even more useful!

iPhone iOS Getting The Goods Too

Since it’s forked, iOS and iPadOS will share most of their features and functionality. Both devices will make use of a system wide option called Dark Mode, giving more contrast to your screen. This should be easier on your eyes! Camera is getting a lot of new editing features, that also apply to video finally! You can apply the same visual effects to video that you could to photos… including finally being able to rotate! Photos is being redesigned to get rid of “clutter”. The system intelligently provides you a new curated view, ignoring all the garbage photos and only showing your best photos. If you have a newer device, you’ll be able to record video from the front and back cam at once! Furthermore, it captures the stream from all physical camera models.. so you’ll be able to switch between the True Depth cam, wide-angle and telephoto lenses, including microphones!

Apple continues to make advances in security and privacy, the biggest item is “Sign In With Apple”. Working much the same way as Login With FaceBook or Google, but without sharing your personal details. In instances where you are forced to share an email address, Apple will provide a temporary relay address you can turn off anytime. Homekit now localizes video and photo processing so none of your personal images from security cameras is processed off site. This on top of many other small improvements promises to make Apple an even better choice for those concerned about Big Tech invading you privacy.

Apple has improved maps to show more details and a improvement over Googles Street View, instead of perky-jerky transitions, it looks more like you are driving through the map!

Siri is getting more powerful as expected, now supporting a feature that will announce things like messages… instead of a alert sound, you can have her announce the actual message. It will be seen for what other functions this will be extended. I for one have been waiting ages for Siri to pipe up, “Rick, your 4:30 appointment with Dr. Spock is coming up, you should leave in the next 10 minutes to make traffic.”. Dunno if we are there yet as I would have expected them to make a bigger deal about it! Siri has a new voice, for the first time not using actual voice recording snippets… its computer generated and sounds amazing! On HomePod she can identify who is talking to her and act on their personal preferences.

For those old enough to remember the heyday of the iPod, it was a “thing” back then if you crossed paths with someone else wearing the distinctive white headphones, you’d swap a bug and see what each other was listing too.. Apple has reintroduced that idea for a more hygienic minded society; you can now share audio from one phone to two pairs of AirPods.

Memories have been given accessories and things like tattoos, make them look like you even more! Your personal Memoji also automatically becomes a sticker pack you can use in messages and such. You can use your Memoji as an avatar for others to see in messengers, kinda like WhatsApp.

iOS 13 Memojis

CarPlay has been redesigned finally, a bit more on screen, and thank God, finally, Album Art! Reminders has been redesigned, hopefully it will be useful this time. Performance has been increased yet again, with Apps launching twice as fast, and App downloads being streamlined.

Small improvements include the ability to delete apps from the App Store view, contextual menus in iPadOS(A long press brings up a list of options), choosing a network from the Control Centre Wi Fi menu, Automatic dark mode based on ambient light, new battery optimization for older cells, Hotspot usage when your phone is asleep and persists… you iPad or whatever will make use of the hotspot if it can’t find another Wi-Fi connection.

The Big Question – What Devices Will Run iOS 13?

Looks like it’s time to say goodbye to the iPhone 5s and iPad Air!

iPhones that will work with iOS 13:

  • iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPod Touch (7th generation)

iPads that will work with iOS 13:

  • iPad Pro (11 inch), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro (10.5 inch), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (2nd generation)
  • iPad (5th generation, 6th generation)
  • iPad Mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd Generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
  • iPad Pro (12.9-inch)

Coming This Fall

Looks like iOS will take another significant step in usability, performance, privacy and more. The new iPadOS is going to be an interesting start to the symbiosis between iOS and MacOS. You can instal betas if you wish, but don’t suggest it!

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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