Update! iOS 13 has arrived. Visit our round-up of all iOS 13 enterprise features, including iOS 13’s SSO Extension and Dark Mode.
iOS 13 feels like the most important iOS update for a long time. First, it is coming off the back of the relatively restrained iOS 12, which decided to concentrate on performance issues. While completely justifiable, Apple will be aware of the now heightened sense of anticipation for exciting features.
Combine this with Apple’s weakened market position and the strong competition from Android (see our earlier blog post on Android Pie vs iOS 12 here), and you could be justified in saying there is a bit more than usual riding on this one.
Can iOS 13 Deliver?
It makes sense that iOS 13 will be – certainly in comparison to its predecessor – feature-heavy. Trustworthy sources had been few and far between until January this year, when Bloomberg’s well-connected Mark Gurman published a long list of seemingly reliable updates.
This followed up an initial tweet in May 2018, months before iOS 12 was released, which included early iOS 13 rumors. iOS 13 will therefore likely include features originally planned for iOS 12, plus some new goodies.
Interestingly, iOS 13 also seems to be geared up towards a whole host of iPad-specific improvements, so there is definitely room here for an explosive iOS 13 that unleashes the true productivity potential of the iPad.
First Things First: When is the iOS 13 Release Date?
Although technically also a rumor, it is highly likely that the iOS 13 will be announced on 3-7 June, coinciding with WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference). An iOS 13 beta release in June, followed by a general release in September 2019 would both be in keeping with Apple tradition, so these rumors seem reliable.
So let’s take a look at what might be in store.
iOS Dark Mode
Already released on macOS Mojave, a “Dark Mode” seems certain to appear in the iOS 13 update. We are really excited about this one, as we love Dark Mode on macOS Mojave – pictures simply look great with it, as do videos and album covers in iTunes. An iOS Dark Mode could also improve battery life on OLED displays (e.g. iPhone Xs), because unlike with LED, OLED pixels produce their own light, meaning black areas in Dark Mode produce no light at all.
Additionally, an iOS “Dark Mode API” could also be included to help developers easily and consistently implement Dark Mode in apps.
Improvements to the Files App
It is not clear where exactly the improvements are focused on at this stage, but access to external storage could be included. We think this is great news for everybody, especially as every optimization to the Files app means further optimizations to mobile working.
The general rumor is that Carplay will also receive an update. Most indicate that the interface will be redesigned and usability improved, making it easier to operate iPhones directly via a car’s display, safely call up directions, send messages or make phone calls.
Multi-Platform iOS/macOS Apps
With the release of iOS 12, a few iOS-specific apps were ported to macOS devices and the foundation for cross-platform apps was established. The ability for developers to port their iOS apps to macOS seems set to receive further attention with iOS 13.
According to Bloomberg, developers who want to port an App will no longer be required to write the underlying software code twice.
This so-called “Marzipan” initiative should deliver complete multi-platform support by 2021. This will further harmonize management of Macs and iOS devices when using MDM-solutions like Cortado MDM.
USB-C or Lightning?
After the iOS 13 release hits, you might also have to say goodbye to the iPhone’s lightning port. This one is definitely up for debate though. Although Apple has been testing out iPhones with USB-C ports, an actual release would mean giving up control to the somewhat chaotic connector system. We still think ditching Lightning would be an unusual step, but it has become more likely.
iPhones: Third camera support and AR
iPhones running iOS 13 are also likely to receive a third camera with advanced photo-capture and zooming capabilities, as well as an improved 3D camera that works from a maximum distance of 15 feet. Both cameras are rumored to implement laser technology, and the improved AR features will mean better interpretation of visual data and depth perception, all in real time.