There's a keyboard that lets you swipe to enter text, for example, and a new dark mode that you can set to automatically turn on at night. There are fun new Memojis you can design to make look like yourself. And you can connect two pairs of AirPods to the same iPhone.
Here's a bunch of secret little tricks in Apple's big new iPhone update.
Now you can connect two pairs of AirPods (or Powerbeats Pro headphones) to the same iPhone. This is useful if you're traveling with someone and you want to share your music or watch the same movie. To set it up, just do this:
Dark Mode is a new option that lets you set the theme of the phone, and apps that are built to support it, to show darker backgrounds and colors. It's easier on my eyes at night, since there are fewer bright white colors, but it also just looks cool. There are two ways to turn on Dark Mode. The easiest way is to do this:
You can schedule Dark Mode to turn on at specific times by doing this:
You can use your iPhone as a Wi-Fi hot spot (if you have phone hot spot data included with your wireless plan) and automatically share it with your family members. This is good if you're somewhere without Wi-Fi, say an airport, and your kids want to connect their tablets to the internet. Here's how to turn it on:
I still like to tap on my keyboard to type, but some people prefer swipe keyboards. IOS has supported third-party versions of this, which let you swipe from letter to letter to create a word, but iOS 13 now builds it into the keyboard automatically. Just open the keyboard anywhere, like in Messages, and swipe your finger across the keyboard to form a word. It takes some getting used to, and some people can type faster this way once they adjust.
The update will automatically remind you if apps are using your location or Bluetooth connection. Sometimes you might not want an app to always track your location in the background, so now you can choose to set it to "only while using" when Apple reminds you.
It looks like this:
You can always adjust this manually doing this:
The software now supports Bluetooth PS4 and Xbox One controllers. This is one of my new favorite features, since it lets me use my PS4 controller on the road while streaming games from my PS4 at home. But the controllers also work with some games in the iTunes App Store. To set it up, do this:
Here's another hidden trick: You can long press inside Control Center for even more options. My favorite is using this for connecting to a specific Wi-Fi network without having to open settings. It also works for Bluetooth devices. Just do this:
IOS 13.1, a small update that rolled out this past week, now lets you share your ETA with friends or family from Apple Maps. So, if you're driving somewhere, they can follow along with you on the map and know that you're safe and when you'll arrive. To use it, do this:
You can now make your Memoji look more like you. These are the fun animated videos and still photos you can send to people and are basically just emojis that are made to represent your personality. To edit your Memoji, do this:
I use Apple Photos and Google Photos to back up my pictures. But I really love the new "Day" view in Apple Photos, which shows the best pictures and video clips I took on a certain day. Apple will show some pictures it thinks are important, like portraits of people. And video clips are played, too, making the gallery feel alive. Here's how to see it:
Portrait mode was launched a couple of years ago to let you take professional-looking pictures. Apple blurs the background using a "bokeh" effect. There are a few different portrait mode options that change the lighting in your pictures, but a new one in iOS 13 is called "high-key light mono." It takes a black-and-white picture and makes the background completely white. It can make even a sloppy blogger look cool, as the photo above shows.
Here's how to take your own high-key light mono portrait:
Apple has a new "optimized battery charging" option in iOS 13 that will keep your battery healthy so that it doesn't age as quickly. This doesn't mean more battery life right now, but it means your battery might not need to be replaced as quickly. It will stay in tip-top performance longer. Apple explains it like this: "To reduce battery aging, iPhone learns from your daily charging routine so it can wait to finish charging past 80% until you need to use it."
To turn it on, do this:
There's more to find. IOS 13 includes improvements to battery life, new accessibility options, support for faster Face ID and other changes. It's a big update and worth switching to if you haven't moved from iOS 12 yet.