Tech

Here are the biggest improvements coming to your iPhone this fall

Key Points
  • Apple introduces lots of new features coming to iOS 13 this fall, including performance enhancements, big new security control updates, Dark Mode and more.
  • Apple puts a big focus on security, which means app developers will get less of your private information.
  • The features also include enhancements to Siri.
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Watch Apple unveil big changes to iOS at WWDC

At its annual developer event on Monday, Apple announced many new features that will begin to roll out to iPhones this fall with the iOS 13 software update. Here's a quick rundown:

Privacy updates include 'Sign in with Apple'

If you use Google sign-in or Facebook sign-in to log in to apps, your personal data can be shared beyond those networks. Now, Apple is introducing "Sign in with Apple" that Apple says removes all the tracking. It authenticates with Face ID, logs in with a new account and doesn't reveal new personal information, Apple said. You can choose to share your email or even hide it, and if you choose to hide it, Apple will create a random address that forwards to your real one.

Apple also said it's building in new protections for location controls, so you can share your location with an app just once and force it to ask you again next time it wants to use your location. Currently, you can give it an option to never use your location or only when the app is open. Apple also said it won't let apps track you with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Performance

Like last year, Apple put a big focus on improving performance in iOS so that everything is faster. Apple's Craig Federighi said Apple "worked top to bottom making things faster." Downloads and updates to apps from the App Store will be 50% smaller, apps will launch up to 2x faster and Face ID is now 30% faster, Federighi said.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Monday, June 3, 2019.
Jeff Chiu | AP

Dark Mode

IOS 13 supports Dark Mode, which makes all the bright areas in the user interface darker. So, instead of a white background in an app such as news, the background is black. Same goes for apps such as the calendar, Apple Notes and Messages. Dark Mode is easier on the eyes, especially at night, since your screen isn't blaring white right into your eyes.

Swipe to type

Android and third-party keyboards have long allowed people to swipe from one letter to another to write a word, but Apple's native keyboard has still required you to touch type. Now, you'll be able to slide from letter to letter to type. Some people can write messages much faster this way, but it definitely takes some getting used to over time.

Apps

Apple revamped some of its apps but said its biggest changes were made to apps such as Reminders, which hasn't been very good in the past. Now, you can type what you want, and it'll remember where and when to remind you. Or you can tap a location to get a reminder when you get there. It also includes smart lists, which Apple says will put the most important items on your list up top. (It's still unclear how it knows which items are most important, though.)

Maps

Apple has been using cars to get more accurate information for its Maps app, a project it's been working on for several years.

Apple said the new Maps are much more deeply detailed and that it plans to roll it out to the entire U.S. by the end of this year. There's a new binoculars icon, Look Around, that works like Google Street View, providing a high-def 3D view of the area where you are. If you turn your phone sideways, you can move down the street, too, again just like Street View. But, with AR support, you can tap on stores to learn more about them.

Home

Apple is adding a new feature to its Home app called HomeKit Secure Video that makes the live camera feeds that are fed into your home app much more secure. You get up to 10 days of clips in your existing iCloud accounts from smart cameras that support the system, such as Logitech and Eufy.

Messages

Apple made some changes to iMessage in iOS 13. Apple said it added new features to Memoji so they look a lot more like you. You'll be able to add things like braces, jewelry, new hair styles and colors, hats, earrings, AirPods, different glasses styles and more.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, speaks during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Monday, June 4, 2018, in San Jose, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

Camera and Photos

Apple is adding a new portrait lighting feature called "High Key Mono" and will let you control how far away the simulated lights are in a portrait photo so that the pictures look more professional. Editing photos will be easier and features more effects, too, and Apple will also let you edit videos with those effects for the first time. So, you can rotate a video, for example, or change the white balance, filters, brightness, shadows and more.

In Photos, Apple is removing advanced machine learning to remove duplicates, screen shots and stuff that Apple doesn't think matters to you the most. A new Photos app has an option called Days to create layouts of the best shots you took on each day, including live photos and video clips. Similarly, Months shows the biggest events of the month, like a trip or a birthday. Years does the same, but will highlight what happened on the day from previous years.

Siri

Siri is being improved for use on AirPods, iPhone, CarPlay and HomePod. On AirPods, Siri will read messages right to you when they come in, and you can reply, without ever touching the side of the AirPods.

For HomePod, Hand-off will now let you walk into the home and tap your iPhone to transfer whatever is playing on your iPhone to HomePod. Siri will also support more than 100,000 live radio stations from places such as iHeartRadio that you can ask Siri to play. And, Siri will recognize who is talking so it can personalize a response — such as the music you want, your reminders and your notes.

Apple said this year it will launch the biggest update yet to CarPlay. You can see your whole calendar, open your garage door as you approach the house, use Siri to talk to Pandora and Waze and more.

Apple said it has improved how Siri sounds across all of its products. It didn't always sound natural. With Machine Learning, Apple says Siri is now entirely generated by software and has more natural cadence and better emphasis, especially in longer or more complex sentences.

Call spam

Apple said iOS 13 will let you automatically send unknown callers, such as spam calls, to voicemail. It didn't expand much on this, but it's a feature that Android on Google Pixel phones has offered and which works well.

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Apple intros new OS, watch features at WWDC