Previewed in June at the 2019 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, iOS is now available. There’s a lot to like about the operating system update, especially the new Dark Mode, photo editing changes, and the update Maps app.
After you upgrade you’re immediately given a choice to use Light Mode (which is what the iPhone has always offered) and Dark Mode (introduced for the Mac with macOS Mojave). I immediately went with the latter because I really enjoy it on my Macs.
Dark Mode is a new dark color scheme that works system-wide and across all native apps. It delivers a better viewing experience in low-light environments. Plus, it just looks cool.
I’m also impressed with the changes in Photos. My iPhone is my camera/camcorder. With iOS13, photos and videos are curated when your smartphone is connected to power. Via on-device machine learning, Photos curates your entire library to highlight the best images. It even hides similar photos to hide clutter and showcases what it deems is significant events from the past day, month or year. I’ve found that the app is pretty intelligent at organizing my pics.
Photos and videos are “intelligently” organized, making it easier to browse, discover and relive favorite memories, with auto play videos to bring the library to life.
When it comes to editing, you can select a pic and quickly swipe between effects such as Vivid Warm, Dramatic, Silvertone, Noir, etc. And photo editing tools are now video editing tools. You can rotate, crop or apply filters to your home movies right from within Photos. Very cool.
What’s more, with iOS 13, Portrait Lighting adjustments can be made directly in the Camera app to virtually move the light closer to sharpen eyes and brighten and smooth facial features, or push the light farther away to create a subtle, refined look. A new High-Key Mono effect creates a monochromatic look for Portrait mode photos. I can’t wait to use these effects in my iPhone 11 Pro Max and its advanced camera when I pick it up later today.
Maps also gets a major makeover, offering, for example, quick access to frequent places you visit — and the ability to share lists with friends. There’s broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses, and more detailed landcover.
Powered by the new basemap and high-resolution 3D photography, a new Look Around feature delivers street-level imagery of a city with smooth transitions. You can see 3D look-arounds of San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Honolulu. Hopefully, that list will expand quickly.
Apple says the new maps are available now for elect cities and states, and will roll out across the U.S. by the end of 2019 and to more countries in 2020.
There are a lot of other improvements in iOS, but these are my favorites. What are yours?
You can download iOS 13 on your iPhone by going to General > Software Updates.