Every year, Apple releases new iPhones, but with them comes something even more exciting: a new version of Cupertino’s mobile operating system, iOS 13, which drives the new iPhones and adds functionality to existing iOS devices. iOS 13 is compatible with all iPhones back to the 6s and SE.
If you have an iPhone 6 or 5s, you’ll be stuck with iOS 12.4.1 forever, but hey, the OS had some cool new features back then, too.
Many of the new features in iOS 13 were unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. This includes dark mode (finally), the ability to check in with Apple using anonymous email addresses, improved video editing, AirPods audio sharing, and redesigned Reminders, Apple Maps, Mail, Memoji, and Siri Shortcuts apps and features.
But what about the new features in iOS 13 about which Apple has said very little? We’ve discovered a few tips that all iOS power users should be aware of.
Unknown Callers Will Be Forwarded to Voicemail
This is a brute-force option you’ll love if you never, ever want to take a call from someone who isn’t in your contacts list—especially the army of robocallers who won’t leave any of us alone.
Turn on Silence Unknown Callers in Settings > Phone. “Calls from unknown numbers will be hushed, forwarded to voicemail, and shown on the Recents list,” says the warning below it. Only if the caller is in your contacts, was a recent outgoing call, or appears in your Siri Suggestions will you hear a ring (like if Siri saw the number in your email).
To be honest, it’s a terrible that robocallers have access to your voicemail, but it’s an excellent way to ignore a lot of incoming junk. If you need to keep your line open to unknown callers, you should consider getting a second SIM card or setting up a VoIP burner account.
Allow Special People to Pass Through the DND Barrier
Do Not Disturb is a terrific way to mute bothersome messages temporarily, but iOS makes it simple to allow specific groups of people to contact you at any time. Allow Calls from Favorites or a group preset from your contacts, for example, in Settings > Do Not Disturb > Phone.
If you wish to offer someone who isn’t part of a group total access to you, perform the following: In Contacts, locate their entry and click Edit in the upper right corner. Click either their Ringtone or Text Tone entry on the edit page for that person. Emergency Bypass is located near the top of the screen, and it “allows sounds and vibrations from the individual even when Do Not Disturb is on.” If you do this, use a beautiful quiet ringtone because you’re allowing that person a lot of discretion to call you at any time of day or night.
Apple CarPlay allows you to multitask
If you use Apple CarPlay, iOS 13 gives the dashboard interface a new design, including dark mode, so your in-car display matches the settings you choose in Settings > Display & Brightness > Appearance.
The dash can now display data from multiple apps. It’ll show your location on Apple Maps by default (even if you prefer Waze or Google Maps for navigation), with a button to turn on GPS directions to get home, buttons for relevant devices like a smart home garage door opener, and a smaller tile for stopping/starting audio.
That means you won’t have to switch apps to turn off the music while you navigate. You may also see album art thumbnails alongside music from compatible music-streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and even Audible.
The phone and message interfaces have also been changed. In the Calendar app, you may see your appointments for the day (and only that day’s appointments). The best part is that if someone else uses your phone while it’s connected to CarPlay, the app they use won’t take over the dashboard. So your navigation won’t be disrupted by youngsters squabbling over music control on your phone.
Change Settings Per Webpage
You used to be able to adjust font size in Safari and have it apply to every site you visited in that browser. Because the options are now per-website, you can have large font on one site and smaller type on another.
You can also instruct Safari to always display the desktop version of a website rather than the mobile-friendly version. Set some pages to override your ad-blocker (like PCMag, for example) or have them automatically fed through Safari’s Reader function (shown), which scrubs out the useless content on supported sites.
Don’t charge to 100% until the morning
You won’t drain your iPhone battery by charging it all night while sleeping, but it won’t take long for it to reach 100%. After that, there’s no reason for the phone to keep charging all night. Apple’s answer is to enable Optimized Battery Charging in Settings > Battery > Battery Health. It will learn how you charge and will build up a routine of only charging your phone to 80% until the moment it predicts you will wake up, at which point it will charge it to 100%.
Increase the volume
Previously, pressing the up or down volume control buttons on the iPhone’s left side displayed the volume level overlay in the middle of the screen, which was particularly unpleasant when watching video. With iOS 13, you’ll notice a cool slider on the left, which seems like it’s been added to the volume up/down controls. Better yet, when it first emerges, it is thick, allowing you to use your finger to move it up and down to the desired volume level.
Undo with three fingers
I’d like to believe that no one utilizes the iPhone’s “shake to undo” feature since it could theoretically undo so much. (You can and should disable Shake to Undo in Settings > Accessibility > Touch.) Now, in iOS 13, you may undo by double tapping three fingers. You can also swipe left with three fingers, then right with three fingers to redo the effect.
Gestures Make Editing Easier
Text can also be cut, copied, and pasted using three-finger motions. Select some text first. To imitate, pinch three fingers together.
After that, place the cursor where you want the new text to appear and paste by spreading three fingers (as if dropping something).
If that seems too complicated, whenever you have text chosen (or copied), do a simple three-finger touch on the screen; you’ll receive a menu up top to rapidly cut/copy/paste as needed.
Text selection is now easier than before. As always, double tap a word with one finger to highlight it, but keep tapping. The entire sentence will be highlighted next, followed by the entire paragraph on the next tap.
Drag the Cursor in All Directions
In iOS, moving the cursor around to start typing in a different location has always been possible. Holding down the space bar on the virtual keyboard until it turned into a virtual touchpad was the greatest. iOS 13 still allows you to accomplish that, but it now allows you to drag the cursor wherever you like.
You can now tap a word on the screen to place the pointer directly in the centre of the letters, which was previously impossible in previous iOS versions.
Apple’s Keyboard Swipe-Type
Although practically every other third-party iPhone keyboard already has this feature, if you only use Apple’s built-in keyboard, it now supports QuickPath, which is a fancy name for swipe-based typing. Never again will you scribble a message with your finger. It’s extremely useful on an iPad (especially with the new iPadOS), where you can compress the keyboard to iPhone size and swipe about.
Fonts-for-All by Little Lord
You could download and utilize custom fonts in TTF, OTF, and TTC formats within apps in prior versions of iOS, but it was impossible to manage. Under Settings > General > Fonts, there is now a Fonts Manager. Getting a typeface through an app that supports it is the best method to use it (like Ulysses). Alternatively, utilize a font manager to make the font system-wide, however this necessitates the use of a specific font downloader tool (such as iFont, pictured) because nothing is ever simple. MorningTick gives an overview.
More Emoji Treats
With iOS 13, you may add to your own personalized Memoji face (like braces! ), and three new Animoji, including a cow, mouse, and octopus, that you can manipulate with your face.
Memoji sticker kits are more intriguing. The stickers, like third-party Bitmoji, take your customised face and add a variety of positions to it, such as mind blown, thumbs up, sleeping, peace sign, swearing, hearts in the eyes, and so on—you know, all the things you can do with standard emoji, but now with more you. They may also be used with Animoji to make an octopus give a thumbs up. It has no thumbs, so it’s kind of like that.
A New Approach to App Updates
If you’re anything like me, you get irritated when your apps aren’t updated on a regular basis. I like to manually push updates rather than waiting for Automatic Downloads (which you can enable in Settings > iTunes & App Store > Cellular Data). However, you can no longer simply pick Updates from the App Store app. Arcade has taken the place of that icon. Instead, go to Account by clicking on your profile symbol at the top. To update the page, swipe down. You may either click Update All or Update on the specific programs that require it under Updated Recently.
By the way, if you notice an app that requires updating but that you no longer want, you don’t have to wait—swipe left to delete it.
Rearranging Apps in a Different Way
Long-pressing an app icon until it wiggled and could be dragged around was the previous technique to move apps around on your screen. In iOS 13, the long-press still works, but a pop-up menu appears instead. To get to the wiggles that allow you to drag apps around and create folders by dragging apps on top of one other, select “Rearrange Apps.” (Alternatively, wait a few seconds for the wavy icon movement to begin.)
Sharing the app is also available from the menu (via the Share menu with all the options to send it to your friends). You may also see other options, such as starting audio, starting a search, reading something later, creating a video, taking a picture, making a post, or whatever else the app developer built in as a time-saver, depending on the app.
Connect to Wireless Easily
Here’s a little faster way to connect to a new Wi-Fi network or connect to a Bluetooth device if you’re tired of going into Settings. Long-press the connection box in the Control Center to display the icons for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, and Airplane Mode.
Long-press the Wi-Fi symbol to get an immediate list of visible wireless networks, according to the new pop-up. Long-pressing the Bluetooth icon displays your current list of connectable devices, allowing you to instantly connect. It can even alter AirDrop settings quickly, allowing you to turn off receiving totally or switch between utilizing it with everyone or just contacts.
iMessage your profile picture
The Messages app in iOS 13 now allows you to transmit a copy of your favorite profile photo to other Apple users over iMessage. You’ll be asked to do so in iMessages you send, or you may pick Edit Name and Photo from the ellipsis menu at the top of Messages. After that, you can change your name and choose an image from your photographs or an Animoji, including your own Memoji.
If you don’t want your picture to be public, just use your initials (which you can at least put on different colored backgrounds). When you update your photo, you’ll be asked if you want to use it in all Apple-related places, including your Apple ID and Contacts listing. Set the page to always ask if you want to share it or only share it with people you know.
When sharing photos, remove any data from them
In the Age of Instagram, this is a long overdue privacy choice. From the Photos app, choose any number of photos you want to share. At the bottom, click the Share button. Before you share, go to the top and select Options; you’ll have the option to include or exclude location data. The removal of geoIP metadata makes it much more difficult to track your exact location.
It is a lengthy overormation or not. Eradicating the GeoIP metadata makes it so much more durable to track your actual location.
Obtain Long Screenshots
Because of new screengrab features in iOS 13, the ecosystem of apps that allow you stitch together several screenshots on mobile phones may be on the verge of extinction. When you make a capture in Safari (or Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Mail, or Apple Maps), you’ll see a new feature running down the right side of the iPhone screen on the editing screen. It’s a thumbnail of the entire page, not just the part you saw on screen when you pressed power-volume up to capture it. Save it as a PDF in the Files app for later review.
Any Bluetooth Mouse can be used
In iOS, you can now navigate with just about any Bluetooth mouse, simulating your own fingertips. If you can connect it to the Lightning port, it will also work with wired mice. You can enable it in Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Assistive Touch, which you can then enable. Then go to Pointer Devices > Devices > Bluetooth Devices, where you can connect your mouse or joystick. After you’ve paired the device, make sure to adjust the mouse clicks to match how you’d use your fingers. GadgetHacks has a detailed tutorial on how to do that.
Siri Has Improved
You don’t have to do anything; simply enjoy the improvement: Siri now sounds much more natural. In this video from June’s WWDC, you can hear (and see) the difference. Because of Apple’s neural text-to-speech (TTS) algorithm, it will be better, especially for longer sentences.
Another great feature is that if you send an iMessage to someone using Siri, it will be tagged as “Sent using Siri” on the other end, so people will know to blame Siri for the sloppy dictation (still/always).
Siri is now a Spotify fan (or Will)
When you ask Siri for music, your iOS device usually defaults to Apple Music, which makes logical but annoys individuals who use other music streaming services. However, new Siri updates will promote other services when you’re talking. According to The Verge, Spotify is already beta testing an app that allows you to request songs and playlists using your voice; it even works with AirPods. Look for it in the coming weeks.
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