iOS 13 Leaks Tease Better Apps, Dark Mode, Ahead of WWDC

iOS 13 will be a more noticeable face-lift than iOS 12.

by James Dennin
Danny Paez

iOS 13, the new operating system Apple will debut Monday at the 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, is shaping up to be a much bigger overhaul than its predecessor. In addition to a number of long-awaited productivity features, the company is also expected to make substantial headway on its Marzipan project, a several year initiative to merge mobile and desktop operating systems.

As you may recall, many of iOS 12’s big changes were with an eye to digital health. There were new tools to batch and manage your notifications better and a tool to help you manage your screen time.

See also: I Used iOS 12’s Screen Time for a Week and Conquered My Instagram Addiction

This time around, the new features and changes presented at WWDC are expected to be more substantial, and offer more in the way of what you might call “fan service.” Skins depicting some long-desired new productivity features and enhancements, for example, were already leaked by 9 to 5 Mac, and there may even be some product roll-outs, for example Apple’s upcoming credit card which is due to drop by the summer.

Here are the biggest changes that Apple likely has planned. 

“Dark Mode” for iOS is Finally, Finally Coming

One of the most popular additions to iOS 13 is likely going to be the addition of dark mode, which will be easier on the eyes and, if you’re using an iPhone with an OLED screen, possibly save power by switching off a majority of the screen’s pixels entirely. You can check out how Apple Music will look in Dark Mode below in the screenshot captured by 9 to 5Mac.

Dark Mode was introduced to desktop as part of Mojave, and now it's coming to the iPhone.


Better, Faster Shortcuts

Apple is also testing a new keyboard feature that would let you string together letters into words without lifting your finger from the screen, sort of like you can in Android or with third-party apps. However Bloomberg, which reported on the feature, says this feature will remain internal.

It also sounds like Apple will introduce a new gesture control to let you “undo” or “redo” certain actions. Pressing on the screen three times will now bring up a prompt that lets you indicate whether you want to undo or redo something by swiping left or right. All of these features will make working on a mobile device much easier.

Multi-Tasking and Other Productivity Features

Another 9 to 5 Mac leak on April 15 sheds light on a number of the new features that Apple is expected to introduce aimed at productivity. According to Guilherme Rambo, Apple will make it possible to keep multiple windows open at once on the iPad (which uses Apple’s mobile operating system). Rambo says that this new system will allow app windows to be stacked, moved around, resized, and dismissed like cards, and compared the UI to the open-source Panel Kit.

Apple is working on a feature like Panel Kit to let you more easily load different apps at once.

Panel Kit 

It also sounds like Apple is also going to make Mail, the iPhone’s local email app, significantly better. According to Bloomberg, you’ll be able to block certain contacts, mute certain threads, and Apple will also make it easier to organize certain folders.

Apple Marzipan Progress

While this isn’t necessarily something that many consumers will notice, Apple’s project Marzipan is also expected to take a big leap forward by bringing iPad apps to the Mac.

The few Marzipan apps that have been tested so far have been panned, which the The Verge’s Dieter Bohn suggested means that Apple employees themselves aren’t actually using them enough. Marzipan apps, which the developer Steve Troughton-Smith thinks will be called “Universal” apps, are said to be rolling out for Apple Music and Podcasts and Apple TV.

Will There Be Any News on Apple Card Readiness?

One big question ahead of the event is whether we’ll hear anything about the Apple Card, which was introduced in March and is supposed to be released some time by the summer. It didn’t feature all that prominently in the agenda reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, which leaves some room for doubt.

Apple is running out of time to present the details on the software powering the Apple Card before its summer launch. 

Apple Card 

There have been a few signals that a release date is imminent. Some of the physical cards themselves, which will act in lieu of the Apple Card with merchants that don’t accept Apple Pay, were allegedly shipped to some employees, according to photos from the leaker Ben Geskin.

That said, it doesn’t look like Wallet or Apple Pay will get much stage time. Apple’s collecting email addresses to be notified when the Card will be rolling out. It may opt for an email blast and press release, as it did with the iPod Touch revival earlier this week.

Some other, smaller changes will be coming to iOS that are still sure to make users happy. These include a less intrusive volume indicator (the current one takes up much of the screen), and some fixes to make Siri better at differentiating “Hey Siri” from other sounds, so it knows when you actually want it to turn on.

In other words, if iOS 13’s new features aren’t exactly rocking your world, it will, at the very least, introduce some changes that make using your iPhone a lot less annoying.

Related Tags