Hands on with the best features of iOS 13 and iPadOS

Posted:
in iOS edited June 3
There are more features to count in iOS 13 and iPadOS, so we narrowed down the list to our top six, which run the gamut from huge system-wide changes to small, but extremely useful tweaks.

Dark mode in iOS 13
Dark mode in iOS 13 looks great

Dark Mode

Likely one of the most requested features in recent memory, Dark Mode is finally here. It was seemingly inevitable for Apple to implement this feature as requests poured in and developers took it upon themselves to integrate versions individually into their apps. With Apple officially on-board, it will be much easier for developers to take advantage of this feature natively.






Dark Mode looks particularly striking on the iPhone X, XS and XS Max thanks to the true blacks of their OLED panels. There is also a chance we may see slightly improved battery life here as the OLED displays don't require power for any black pixels. We will certainly put that to the test.

QuickPath Keyboard

The next new feature we were quick to try out is the new QuickPath keyboard. Similar to Swype and countless others, to type one just needs to drag their finger across the keyboard touching the letters they intend to type. It really is a faster way to input text and it is nice to see it natively supported rather than through third-party apps.

Typing is easier with the new QuickPath keyboard
Typing is easier thanks to the new QuickPath keyboard


Third-party apps are limited in their functionality and don't work in places such as the Lock Screen when quick replying, so being able to use a native iOS version is preferred.

HomeKit cameras

HomeKit has quite a few new features in iOS 13 but what got us most excited was support for iCloud storage. Now, video recordings from select HomeKit cameras will be stored right within iCloud rather than relying solely on a manufacturers servers. The video is first encrypted locally in your home, then upload to Apple's servers where no one -- not even Apple -- can access it. Well, other than you.

HomeKit cameras now support iCloud storage
HomeKit cameras now support iCloud storage


The common 200GB iCloud Storage Plan will support one camera and ten days of footage while the 2TB iCloud Storage Plan will net support for five cameras. This footage will not count against iCloud storage.

Additionally, within the Home app the camera UI has been significantly revamped. All cameras can be accessed at the top of the screen when viewing a select camera and all the room's accessories can be accessed from the bottom.

iPad Home screen

The iPad's Home screen got overhauled in iOS 13
The iPad's Home screen got overhauled in iOS 13


The iPhone didn't receive a new Home screen, but the iPad certainly did. It starts with smaller app icons across your Home screens. Swiping right is an elegant new animation for accessing Today View. Today View can also be locked to your Home screen so you always have your widgets accessible. This makes much better use of the larger screen real estate found on the iPads.

External storage support

You can use external storage devices in iOS 13
You can connect external storage devices in iOS 13


Also for the new iPads is support for external storage. Connect a USB-C storage device and it will show as a source within the Files app.

You can copy files to or from external storage such as thumb drives and even scan documents directly to them.

CarPlay

Last is CarPlay. CarPlay got a huge overhaul and there is far too much to touch on here, but from a high level the biggest change is the new dashboard view. You can toggle between the classic app home screen and the dashboard.

CarPlay has a new dashboard view
CarPlay has a new dashboard view


When on the dashboard, you will have Maps to the left and small widgets to the right. Items such as the "now playing" widget, upcoming calendar appointments and suggested navigation will all be displayed.

CarPlay also received an overhauled Music app, a new calendar app, and it will no longer minimize your view when you switch apps on the phone itself. Stay tuned for much more on CarPlay in iOS 13.

There is much more to delve into with these updates so stay tuned to AppleInsider for continuous coverage of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    mobirdmobird Posts: 317member
    Tell us all about HomePodOS 13.0 and all the exciting new features that are forthcoming... :#
    edited June 3
  • Reply 2 of 29
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,897member
    I have been trying to work out what is missing from various wish lists I have seen over the years. The only thing could be multiuser support for ipadOS. It’s in TVOS though.

    i also wouldlove a look at seeing how files might be able to access MS servers in corporate enterprises. As SMB server acess is built in, i am hopeful, depending on the IT department of course.
    edited June 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,897member
    CarPlay has a new dashboard view 
    When on the dashboard, you will have Maps to the left and small widgets to the right. Items such as the "now playing" widget, upcoming calendar appointments and suggested navigation will all be displayed.

    I wonder if you can choose which side the map and widgets are displayed? Individuals might just prefer, or It might be better the other way around for RHD vehicles. Also can the map be adjusted to a larger/smaller part of the screen and the widgets shrink/grow?
    edited June 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 29
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,897member
    mobird said:
    Tell us all about HomePodOS 13.0 and all the exciting new features that are forthcoming... :#
    I would think Siri recognising different people and better handoff is pretty good.
    StrangeDaysmelgrosswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,111member
    I’m really liking the new Dark Mode and Home screen.

    I own the 9.7 iPad Pro and was looking at the 12.9 at Costco.  It underwhelmed...  

    The OS just looked wrong on the larger screen, like blowing up an iPhone to huge.  With Dark Mode and the new Home screen it’s going to make a huge difference, now having an elegant and modern interface.

    The new file system and external drive support is going to add a lot of value.  My sister is always filming her kids at events and running out of space.  Now she can archive stuff easily.  I’d say she’s a lot more likely to purchase another iPad now...
    rollerskaterwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 29
    I’m really liking the new Dark Mode and Home screen.

    I own the 9.7 iPad Pro and was looking at the 12.9 at Costco.  It underwhelmed...  

    The OS just looked wrong on the larger screen, like blowing up an iPhone to huge.  With Dark Mode and the new Home screen it’s going to make a huge difference, now having an elegant and modern interface.

    The new file system and external drive support is going to add a lot of value.  My sister is always filming her kids at events and running out of space.  Now she can archive stuff easily.  I’d say she’s a lot more likely to purchase another iPad now...
    Exactly! I was also very unimpressed how ios looks on a big ipad, I expect a lovely interface to work on from Apple... Ipad GUI is just OK imo, so it is nice to see they are starting to address it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 29
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    entropys said:
    The only thing could be multiuser support for ipadOS. It’s in TVOS though.
    When watching the keynote I got all excited that multi-user support in tvOS might carry over to iPadOS, but no. It's a very disappointing and cynical move by Apple to leave this feature out of iPadOS.

    Changing the subject...

    In macOS, when Dark Mode is enabled, you can set some apps to still display in "light mode", for example Maps, and messages in Mail. Can you do the same thing in iOS 13?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 29
    I don't know how it is in other countries but I'm amazed at how few people use swipe to type. It's far better than tapping away and incredibly accurate. I have two different languages on my keyboard and it can even spot which word I mean if I use multiple languages in one sentence. Once in a while I get too confident (sloppy) and it doesn't recognise the word and for some reason it capitalises some words that I might have once spelled out e.g. Guess but otherwise it's great
    napoleon_phoneapart
  • Reply 9 of 29
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    Great new features! My iPad is ready for dark mode and the new home screen!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,199member
    This is all good stuff. Very nice to see the iPad getting its own unique personality that is distinct from iPhone/iPod Touch but without giving up on its iOS roots. I'm very eager to give everything a hands-on test drive but I will wait at least until the public betas start rolling out. I'm a little sad that the iPhone 6/6+ models are being left behind because they still run iOS 12 very well. I wish Apple would throw a bone to the 6/6+ hold-outs by back-fitting dark mode into the last iOS 12 build. However, I know that's not going to happen because it would consume development resources that can be applied elsewhere. There's a lot more to doing a universal dark mode that actually works than what meets the eye. The current Accessibility Smart Invert feature is essentially a half-baked dark mode that has some glaring compromises.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 29
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 837member
    The HomeKit Secure Video feature stores ten days of "clips" in iCloud for free. Craig said "clips". That probably means whenever there's "motion." Not ten days of streaming 24-hour video. Depending on what your camera is watching, that could be less than one hour of video over a 24 hour period.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 503member
    I have a thumb drive with lightening connector. Will this work with the new files app on my iPad 2018?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 29
    AF_HittAF_Hitt Posts: 89member
    The HomeKit Secure Video feature stores ten days of "clips" in iCloud for free. Craig said "clips". That probably means whenever there's "motion." Not ten days of streaming 24-hour video. Depending on what your camera is watching, that could be less than one hour of video over a 24 hour period.
    Do you really want your camera continuously uploading video the cloud 24 hours a day, though? Cox gives us a 1TB data cap, and I would blow through that within a few days with our Nest cams if we allowed them to do that.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,816member
    I’m really liking the new Dark Mode and Home screen.

    I own the 9.7 iPad Pro and was looking at the 12.9 at Costco.  It underwhelmed...  

    The OS just looked wrong on the larger screen, like blowing up an iPhone to huge.  With Dark Mode and the new Home screen it’s going to make a huge difference, now having an elegant and modern interface.

    The new file system and external drive support is going to add a lot of value.  My sister is always filming her kids at events and running out of space.  Now she can archive stuff easily.  I’d say she’s a lot more likely to purchase another iPad now...
    How will that work for your sister? Instead of using her iPhone to video her kids with iCloud storage which is basically unlimited (most are well suited with 50gb, but upgrade as needed), she’s going to what? Use a series of thumb drives or USB drives to manually move videos off of her device, which will remove them from her iCloud account, making them inaccessible from other devices, photos history, backups, etc... How is such manual file archival in any way better than using iCloud Photo Library? iPL removes the files but keeps the thumbnails and metadata in Photos so they can be pulled down when needed. 
    edited June 4 fastasleepwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,816member

    mr. h said:
    entropys said:
    The only thing could be multiuser support for ipadOS. It’s in TVOS though.
    When watching the keynote I got all excited that multi-user support in tvOS might carry over to iPadOS, but no. It's a very disappointing and cynical move by Apple to leave this feature out of iPadOS.

    Changing the subject...

    In macOS, when Dark Mode is enabled, you can set some apps to still display in "light mode", for example Maps, and messages in Mail. Can you do the same thing in iOS 13?
    No, it’s not cynical or conspiratory. There are different problems to solve on tvOS vs iPad when it comes to multiuser. iPhones and iPads are personal devices, TV is not. tvOS will only be making personalized viewing recommendations, whereas multiuser on an iPad involves large apps and storage space issues. Solutions could be worked and perhaps may, but it’s not a pressing issue. I’m happy with the other items they prioritized to address first. 
    jdb8167williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 29
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member

    mr. h said:
    entropys said:
    The only thing could be multiuser support for ipadOS. It’s in TVOS though.
    When watching the keynote I got all excited that multi-user support in tvOS might carry over to iPadOS, but no. It's a very disappointing and cynical move by Apple to leave this feature out of iPadOS.
    No, it’s not cynical or conspiratory. … iPads are personal devices
    iPads are only personal devices because Apple cynically forces them to be so. The technical issues to which you allude are not a problem; they have been well solved for over a decade in macOS. iPad is available with up to 128 GB storage, and iPad Pro is available with up to 1 TB, and the "large apps" would only take up one lot of storage space anyway; it'd only be personal files and preferences that are user-specific (see macOS). Oh yeah, and they've also already done most/all of the work with "Shared iPad" for education.

    It would be easy for Apple to make iPad OS multi-user, but Apple doesn't want to do that because then you'd get people making their kids share an iPad instead of buying them one each. Admittedly I do that already but I'm teetering on the edge of buying a second one. So Apple's policy of refusing multi-user support in iPad OS may achieve its aim of selling more iPads, but I will continue to view that as a cynical consumer-unfriendly policy.
    edited June 4 williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member
    I’m really liking the new Dark Mode and Home screen.

    I own the 9.7 iPad Pro and was looking at the 12.9 at Costco.  It underwhelmed...  

    The OS just looked wrong on the larger screen, like blowing up an iPhone to huge.  With Dark Mode and the new Home screen it’s going to make a huge difference, now having an elegant and modern interface.

    The new file system and external drive support is going to add a lot of value.  My sister is always filming her kids at events and running out of space.  Now she can archive stuff easily.  I’d say she’s a lot more likely to purchase another iPad now...
    I have the 12.9s. Don’t go by a quick view in a store. The 12.9 is vastly better at everything than the 9.7 is, other than simply being bigger and heavier (though, not by as much as you’d think.). So while the home screen is emptier looking, the device is much more powerful, and the bigger higher Rez screen lets you do much more. The multitasking in iOS 12 works much better as well. You really have to use it for more than a couple of minutes to get it. iOS 13 does add significantly to it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member
    mr. h said:
    entropys said:
    The only thing could be multiuser support for ipadOS. It’s in TVOS though.
    When watching the keynote I got all excited that multi-user support in tvOS might carry over to iPadOS, but no. It's a very disappointing and cynical move by Apple to leave this feature out of iPadOS.

    Changing the subject...

    In macOS, when Dark Mode is enabled, you can set some apps to still display in "light mode", for example Maps, and messages in Mail. Can you do the same thing in iOS 13?
    Why do you guys always look to some conspiratorial reason for things? The aTv is a family device. As such, multiuser support makes sense. The ipad, just like the phone, has always been intended as a personal device. While some want multiuser support, and who knows, maybe someday it will come if Apple sees enough demand, most don’t care. I don’t want to be sharing my phone and tablet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member
    crosslad said:
    I have a thumb drive with lightening connector. Will this work with the new files app on my iPad 2018?
    The iPad needs a USB C connector. So far, that is just for current 12.9 models, though I suspect Apple will add them to all new iPad models going forwards.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 29
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,983member
    AF_Hitt said:
    The HomeKit Secure Video feature stores ten days of "clips" in iCloud for free. Craig said "clips". That probably means whenever there's "motion." Not ten days of streaming 24-hour video. Depending on what your camera is watching, that could be less than one hour of video over a 24 hour period.
    Do you really want your camera continuously uploading video the cloud 24 hours a day, though? Cox gives us a 1TB data cap, and I would blow through that within a few days with our Nest cams if we allowed them to do that.
    I imagine it’s under your control.
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