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Apple iOS 13: Top new features

Wondering what's coming to Apple's iOS 13, heading to iPhones and iPads this fall? Here's a quick look at its key new features.

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David Carnoy
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New iOS 13 features

Wondering what's coming to Apple's iOS 13, heading to iPhones and iPads this fall? Here's a quick look at its key new features.

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iPhone Dark Mode

After coming to Macs via MacOS Mojave last year, a dark mode is coming to iPhones with iOS 13. While it may not change the design of the interface in any way, it does change the look of your device and may have battery life benefits for iPhones with OLED screens.

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The look of Dark Mode

Here are what some apps look like in dark mode. It's supposed to be easier on your eyes at night.

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Faster unlock

Yes, with iOS 13, you'll be able to unlock your iPhone that much faster. Apple says that with Face ID, depending on what model you have, your iPhone will unlock up to 30% faster than with iOS 12. 

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Apps open faster

Apple says that your apps will "launch up to two times faster than before and be smaller in download size." Of course, speed increases will vary from iPhone to iPhone.

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Redesigned Reminders app

The Reminders app gets a new look.

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Controlled sharing

You can control how your friends see you by choosing the name, photo or Memoji they see when you contact them.

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8 of 26 Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
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Memoji stickers

Yes, you'll soon be able to create your own set of Memoji stickers to live in your keyboard for your cute replies in iMessage. 

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10 of 26 Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

New curated views in Photos app

Apple Photos has new curated views of your "best moments from every day, month and year."

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11 of 26 Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Redesigned and enhanced photo editing

The Photos app includes new tools and filters for improving the look of your photos. 

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Video editing tools, including video rotation

Finally, video rotating and image enhancement tools will be available right from the Photos app.

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Sign in with Apple

According to Apple, with the new Sign In with Apple feature, you'll be able to "sign in to apps and websites quickly and easily using the Apple ID you already have. No filling out forms or creating new passwords. Just tap Sign In with Apple, use Face ID or Touch ID, and you're all set."

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Apple Maps improvements

Apple Maps is getting upgraded with more detailed views and a new 3D mode. The company is also adding new features that make it easier for users to navigate to places they frequently visit, such as their home or work addresses.

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New Apple Maps features

Apple says that the Maps app has been "rebuilt from the ground up," and that "the brand‑new map features more realistic details for roads, beaches, parks, buildings and more."

The new Maps app is scheduled to roll out to US users by the end of 2019 and to more countries by 2020. 

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New Notes app and Safari enhancements

The Notes app has been redesigned and upgraded. Safari gets some new features, including an "improved" start page. It features Siri suggestions, favorites and frequently visited websites.

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QuickPath Typing

You'll be able to type by swiping from one letter to the next. It's Apple's version of Swiftype. 

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All-new Siri voice

Thanks to Neural TTS, Apple says Siri has an "all-new voice."

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Siri gets smarter

The updated Siri is supposed to sound more natural and understand you better. 

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Redesigned Apple CarPlay dashboard

Apple's CarPlay dashboard is getting a new more user-friendly design with Apple Music enhancements. 

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Album art in CarPlay

Music now showcases album art in CarPlay, making it easier to find the music you're looking for.

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New AirPod features

You'll be able to pair two sets of AirPods with one iPhone and "enjoy the same song or movie along with a friend," Apple says. Also, Siri will announce your messages on your AirPods, reading them aloud to you.

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HomeKit gets secure video and router support

With iOS 13, Apple will also be updating its Home app, the app that controls HomeKit smart home devices.

One of the new Home features Apple is touting is something called HomeKit Secure Video. It says smart home security cameras send video to the cloud to analyze it and tell the difference between objects and people, risking your privacy. With HomeKit Secure Video, the video captured by your camera is analyzed locally on your resident iPad, HomePod or AppleTV. Then it's encrypted and sent to iCloud, where no one (not even Apple) can see it.

Apple also announced HomeKit-enabled routers that will automatically put a firewall on each of your smart home accessories to protect them, even if your network is compromised. The first routers to be HomeKit-enabled will come from Linksys, Eero and Spectrum.

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Siri Shortcuts app gets an upgrade

Not only will Apple's Siri Shortcuts app come preloaded with iOS 13, but the app is adding new automation options that will allow you to automatically run a shortcut at a certain time or when you reach a certain location.

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Privacy and security updates

With iOS 13, Apple says you'll have better control over granting permissions to apps for location tracking. Also, you'll "receive a notification when an app is using your location in the background, so you can decide whether to update your permission."

Other updates include "New controls [that] will help prevent apps from accessing your location without your consent using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth." 

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More iOS 13 features

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