Apple is reportedly planning loads of quality of life improvements to its mobile operating system, as well as under-the-hood performance tweaks that should make everything run snappier and more reliably.
We'll know for sure what iPhone and iPad users are in store for on June 3, when WWDC commences. Until then, here's the latest on all the new features coming to iOS 13, per Bloomberg's report.
One of the earliest rumors we heard regarding new features in iOS 13 was the introduction of Dark Mode — something Apple finally delivered to its Mac users in last year's Mojave update. Users on the mobile side have been requesting similar treatment for a while now, and Bloomberg has offered yet more confirmation that we'll see the feature debut on iPhones and iPads later this year.
Per the report, Dark Mode will be accessible from the Control Center menu. When flipped on, it'll change the system theme from prioritizing white backgrounds to a black and gray scheme, which will likely cut down on power consumption for devices that use OLED displays, like the iPhone XS.
New and Improved Health App
Health tracking has been a part of iOS for years now, but Apple is eyeing a refresh for the app with this year's iOS update. The landing screen will reportedly be overhauled to offer a better snapshot of your daily activity.
Health monitoring will extend to at least two new areas: a hearing section, so you can be mindful of how loudly you play your music over headphones to mitigate hearing damage over the long term, and a section for period tracking that Bloomberg says could build in some of the functionality that third-party apps like Ovia and Clue already employ.
iMessage Gets Profiles, Stickers
Pulling a page from some popular cross-platform messaging apps, like WhatsApp, GroupMe and Line, iMessage will reportedly allow users to set a profile picture and display name. Theoretically, you'd get to choose who sees this information, based on whether or not they're already in your contacts, or perhaps if they're a friend of a friend, versus a total stranger.
Apple will also make Animoji and Memoji more versatile by letting you drop premade stickers using these characters into conversations. These stickers would likely be static or restrained to GIF-like frames of motion, so that they could be shared across platforms, even if you're texting someone on Android who doesn't use iMessage.
Share Sheet and Downloads Management
When you share a link, image or file in iOS 13, the process should be a bit more streamlined, thanks to a revised interface that prioritizes people, rather than apps or channels. Android already sort of works this way when you tap a Share button, though Google's implementation is a bit overwhelming with far too many links to apps, so here's hoping Apple's attempt will make sharing easier, rather than more involved.
Additionally, managing your downloads in Safari should be simpler, thanks to a dedicated screen, which Bloomberg says will be similar to what Mac users already enjoy. This may come hand-in-hand with a new Files app, which will be able to access data from third-party apps. However, while the Share Sheet improvements seem probable, the other changes with respect to downloads and file management are currently in testing and may not make it to release.
Screen Time Gets Contact Control
After facing criticism for imposing new restrictions on parental control apps, Apple will reportedly implement some features from those third-party apps into Screen Time. Chief among them will be the ability to let parents decide who their children can contact and when. That's all Bloomberg has shared at the moment, though we're eager to see how else Apple bolsters Screen Time to make up for some of its deficiencies in the wake of the company's recent moves.
More Powerful Bedtime Features
Currently Apple offers some aspect of simple sleep tracking in iOS 12, via the Bedtime tab of the Clock app. However, that feature is said to expand with iOS 13 into a new comprehensive system-wide mode that tracks more data and instantly modifies device functionality when activated. For example, switching on Sleep Mode in iOS 13 could also trigger Do Not Disturb, silencing all notifications and dimming the lock screen.
Bloomberg's report is light on details as to precisely how this rumored Sleep Mode will function, though users may be able top launch it through a Control Center button, similar to how Do Not Disturb already works.
This one's not a sure bet quite yet, but Apple is reportedly interested in adopting one of Android's most popular input-related features by allowing users to swipe from letter to letter in the on-screen keyboard to type out words, rather than individually tapping.
First introduced by third-party keyboard software like Swype and SwiftKey, swipe typing has become a fast and popular way to quickly fire off messages; as you move from key to key, the system's intelligent suggestion engine gets a better idea of what you want to say, which helps it hone recommendations and get you to the word you're looking for more quickly. Again, though, it's possible Apple doesn't release this feature to the public quite yet, and saves it for a future iOS release.
Tweaks to Books, Maps, Reminders and Mail
As always, you can expect tons of small changes to most of Apple's first-party app suite. Books could see a rewards system and new visual system for displaying progress, to encourage users to read more. Maps may finally implement a long awaited feature that popular alternatives Google Maps and Waze already provide, where users can see all their frequent locations, like home and work, from a glance to navigate there more easily.
Reminders might see a serious overhaul, muscling its way into some of the more powerful to-do list alternatives already on the App Store. This would reportedly include a new interface split into several different panes, to separate immediate tasks from flagged and scheduled ones. Finally, Mail is said to include more options for muting threads and blocking incoming communications from specified contacts.
Lots of iPad-Centric Upgrades
Those are the biggest changes coming to both iPhones and iPads, though the software on Apple's tablets will likely see a few exclusive features, like native support for using the iPad as a second screen or trackpad in tandem with a Mac, as well as multitasking improvements. Check Laptop Mag for a deeper dive into all the iPad-specific enhancements coming to iOS 13.