Now that iOS 13 is available to download and install for iPhone and iPod touch, you might be wondering what the best features and tricks for the latest and greatest iOS release are. We’ve rounded up a handful of the most useful features in iOS 13 for iPhone for you to check out, so whether you’ve already installed iOS 13 or are still readying to prepare iPhone for iOS 13, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best new features available right away.
(Note that some of these iOS 13 features coexist on iPadOS 13 as well, but the focus on this article is iOS 13 on iPhone and iPod touch)
1: Use Dark Mode
Dark Mode is really nice, particularly in the evening hours or if you’re using your iPhone in the dark. When you’re first setting up iOS 13 you’ll go through an option to enable Dark Mode, but you can also turn the feature on at any time through Settings:
Go to “Settings” > “Display & Brightness” > choose “Dark”
Perhaps even more useful is to set Dark Mode to be automatically enabled from Sunset to Sunrise, which is configurable in the same settings screen.
2: Use the New “Swipe to Type” Keyboard Option
The new Swipe to Type keyboard is quite useful for typing quickly, particularly once you get the hang of it. To turn on the new swipe keyboard:
Go to Settings > General > Keyboards > toggle on “Slide to Type”
Then the next time you’re at a place on iPhone where the keyboard is available, try swiping across the keyboard to spell the word you want to type, without lifting your finger. For example if you want to type “taco” then swipe from t, to a, to c, to o, then let go, and “taco” will type all at once. This uses a variety of tricks including predictive text and autocorrect to get the words right and it’s pretty accurate, and seems to get better the more you use it too.
Earlier versions of iOS supported third party keyboards with this feature, and Android has had it for a long time too, but now the swipe gesture keyboard is native on iPhone as well.
3: Reduce Spam Calls with Silence Unknown Callers
Tired of the nonstop spam calls ringing and buzzing on your iphone? Then try the new Silence Unknown Callers feature, which will automatically mute any call from someone not in your Contacts list (this is sort of like a feature version of this workaround approach to block unknown callers which). The callers will still be able to leave a voicemail and will appear in your Recent Calls list, but they won’t bug your phone.
Go to “Settings” > “Phone” > turn ON “Silence Unknown Callers”
Combined with blocking calls and contacts and you should have a lot fewer junk calls coming to your iPhone.
4: Improved & Powerful Photo Editing Abilities
There are many new and powerful photo editing abilities available directly in the Photos app of iOS 13.
Just find a photo you want to apply some edits and adjustments to and tap on Edit to get started.
5: Use Cellular Low Data Mode
Low data Mode helps to reduce data usage on the iPhone, which can be helpful if you’re near your bandwidth allotment for the month or have surpassed the cellular data quota of your data plan.
Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data > and turn on “Low Data Mode”
Note that not all apps will obey this setting, so if you’re trying to conserve bandwidth and cellular data usage you’ll still want to take an active roll in that and not entirely rely on this toggle.
6: Enjoy Quick Wi-Fi Network Changes from Control Center
Want to change wi-fi networks quickly? You don’t need to go to Settings anymore, now you can do it directly from Control Center.
Simply swipe to access Control Center as usual, then tap and hold on the Wi-Fi toggle to access a drop-down menu of available wi-fi networks, which you can then tap to select which to join.
7: Access External Storage via Files App
The Files app now supports external storage devices, like USB hard drives and flash drives. Just connect a USB storage device to the iPhone and you’ll find it available in the Files app.
You’ll need to use a Lightning port to USB adapter to gain access to this ability, but it’s a wonderful functionality to have that many power users have long asked for.
8: Announce Messages with Siri on AirPods
Have AirPods with your iPhone? Then you’ll likely appreciate this new feature which lets Siri announce new messages while your AirPods are being worn.
The first time you setup iOS 13 on iPhone with AirPods you will likely see a notification about this, but if you don’t you can make the change anytime directly by doing the following:
Go to Settings > Notifications > tap “Announce Messages with Siri” > toggle the switch ON to enable
You can even customize who to announce messages from if you don’t want every message to be announced by your Siri virtual assistant.
Bonus Tip: Learn How to Update Apps Again
Many users installed iOS 13 to find the Updates section is missing from the App Store on their iPhone, and some have figured this is a bug or an error – but it’s not. Instead, you may need to relearn how to update apps in iOS 13, which is different from before.
From the App Store, click on your profile picture in the upper right corner, then scroll down to the Updates section. There you can update your iPhone apps in iOS 13 and later.