Forward-looking: Privacy is a big focus in iOS 13. Apps will be allowed to ask you for information but you don’t have to share anything if you don’t want to. Best yet, you can even have Apple create and supply apps with a random e-mail address that’ll be forwarded to your real e-mail address. It sounds like a great way to protect your actual e-mail address from potential spam and drew a huge applause from the audience.
Apple during its WWDC 2019 keynote on Monday introduced the next version of its mobile operating system. iOS 13 includes a bevy of fresh capabilities and features headlined by a new dark mode.
In iOS 13, dark mode replaces the bright and lightly colored shades in apps like Apple Music, Photos and Messages with darker shades – mostly blacks – to improve readability. Dark mode transforms the look and feel of iOS and may even marginally improve battery life. Quite frankly, is a long time overdue and will likely be a big hit with users.
Speaking of improved performance, iOS 13 is said to launch apps up to twice as fast and Face ID reportedly works 30 percent faster. Downloads will be around 50 percent smaller and updates will be roughly 60 percent smaller, Apple said.
Apple in its dark mode demo squeezed in a sneak peek of its quick path swipe-enabled keyboard and additionally revealed music playback with time-synched lyrics. We also learned that Reminders is being revamped, as is Apple’s own mapping application. Maps got off to a rough start but Apple has been working tirelessly to improve them over the years and by the end of 2019, new mapping data should be available across the entire US.
Privacy has been a huge sticking point in the tech industry over the past year. With iOS 13, Apple is making privacy a focal point. For example, you’ll be able to share your location with an app just once and have it ask you again the next time it wants it. There’s also background tracking alerts for apps that you permit to regularly access your location as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth location protection.
Apple has also developed an alternative way to sign in to apps and services. It’s called Sign in with Apple but unlike similar options offered by Facebook and Google, it won’t share your personal information.
HomeKit is also getting some privacy improvements including the ability to analyze videos locally instead of in the cloud through HomeKit Secure Video. HomeKit is also coming to routers with the first implementations expected from Linksys, Eero and Charter Spectrum.
Messages, meanwhile, is getting broader Memoji support including further customization options and sticker packs. There’s also a new portrait lighting feature that lets you simulate moving a lighting source closer or further away from your subject, the ability to rotate video and the use of machine learning to remove duplicate images, screenshots and other photos of lesser interest that might inhibit your photo browsing experience.
Apple has also improved Siri in iOS 13. Thanks to new neural text-to-speech tech, Siri sounds better than ever. The personal assistant can also read messages instantly when you’re wearing AirPods and let you reply to them on the fly. Elsewhere, HomePod is getting HandOff technology and the ability to distinguish voices for personalized experiences.
These features and more will arrive as part of iOS 13 when the new operating system ships later this year, likely in the fall to coincide with the launch of new iPhones.