iOS 13 dark mode leaks and more WWDC 2019 predictions

The interface changes that could be coming to your iPhone with iOS 13, a new Apple Watch app store and the most important updates we’re expecting at WWDC 2019.

Vanessa Hand Orellana CNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
Vanessa Hand Orellana
5 min read

Today we round up the top iOS 13, MacOS 10.15 and WatchOS 6 rumors and preview all the changes your Apple devices could see in the coming months, along with anything else Apple could surprise us with at WWDC 2019. We're also taking a look at Apple's latest product launch: the new seventh-generation iPod Touch, which seemed to come out of nowhere this week.  

Watch this: iOS 13, MacOS 10.15 and MacPro: Everything we’re expecting at WWDC 2019

Dark mode leaks and everything we think we know about iOS 13

Editors' note: Dark Mode on iOS 13 is now official. 

Rumor has it, iOS 13 is bringing big design changes this year, with a brand new home screen, alternate color scheme and potentially some fresh fonts to choose from.

This week 9to5mac got hold of some screenshots of what the rumored dark mode would look like on the iPhone . According to the publication, you'll have two options to activate dark mode: toggling a switch from Settings, or pressing a new button in your control center for easy access. Apple's MacOS Mojave brought dark mode to Macs last year, and just a few weeks ago at its developers conference, Google also announced a new dark mode for Android Q .


Apple's systemwide dark mode could arrive in iOS 13. 


It's not just the interface that's getting changes. According to a recent Bloomberg report, a lot of Apple's native apps are getting an overhaul too. The Messages app is rumored to be getting a WhatsApp style makeover with profile pictures and status updates, a new Swype-style keyboard similar to Google's Gboard, along with an undo feature that would allow you to go back in time and revert changes when typing. And it wouldn't be an iOS update without some new Animoji and Memoji features, which Apple is also rumored to be beefing up in iOS 13.  

The Maps, Mail and Reminders apps are all said to get some minor refreshes as well. And the Find My iPhone and Find Friends apps could be merging into one, according to the 9to5mac report.

Apple pushes health features in iOS and WatchOS

Apple's Health app is another one that could see a major overhaul. The app is rumored to be getting a new homepage that would float your most relevant health data to the top, giving you a more comprehensive look at your daily stats and progress over time. It may also bring new tracking features like hearing health, which factors in how loud you're playing your music and the ambient noise volume you're exposed to, and a eriod tracking feature, which keeps tabs on a woman's menstrual cycle. Period tracking is also said to be coming to the Apple Watch as a standalone app called Cycle. Fitbit and Garmin already have this feature natively on some of their wearable devices.

iOS 13 could introduce a better bedtime mode as part of this health push, which would combine the new dark mode, the existing do-not-disturb feature and the clock app to optimize sleep time and maybe usher in a new sleep tracking era for the next-generation Apple Watch in September. These software updates can usually clue us in on what Apple has planned in terms of hardware, according to CNET Senior Reporter Shara Tibken.

And it's not just physical health Apple's investing in. Expect Apple to continue to make a push for digital wellbeing with iOS 13 and include a few more controls that would allow parents to limit screen time for their kids. This after the company recently removed or imposed restrictions on 11 third-party screen-time and parental control apps in the App Store.

Watch this: Apple purges parental control apps it says pose a security risk

The iPad could get more computerlike

iPads are rumored to get better multitasking support with iOS 13, plus second-screen compatibility to turn your iPad into an external monitor alongside your MacBook, complete with mouse input support.

iPhone users asking for more multitasking features may be disappointed in this round of updates. The only hint of a rumor out there talks about picture-in-picture viewing for videos, but that's it.

You can expect MacOS and iOS to have a bit more synergy at WWDC .

Will MacOS 10.15 bring universal apps?

If the rumors are true, WWDC 2019 could bring us one step closer to full integration between iOS and MacOS. We've already seen more native iOS apps pop up on Apple's computers, and we expect this trend to continue.

Guilherme Rambo and Stephen Troughton Smith, two well-known Apple leakers, have both said we can expect MacOS 10.15 to bring dedicated apps for music, podcasts, TV shows and books to the Mac. Basically, that breaks up the tabs from iTunes without fully getting rid of iTunes as the mothership.

But perhaps the most important change is one that most of us average users won't see immediately. Apple is rumored to be opening up its cross-party framework to third-party developers so they can't start working toward migrating their iPhone apps to Macs, a move that would require them to work with either a touchscreen or mouse.

Apple Watch could finally get its own app store

Perhaps the most important WatchOS 6 feature could be a standalone app store for the Watch, if the rumors are true. Apple Watch users currently have to download an app to their iPhones first before it can appear on the Watch. This move would help make the Watch even more independent from the iPhone and could eventually live on its own.

The Apple Watch Series 4 -- down to the tiniest detail

See all photos

We already went over a few of the health updates we can expect on the Apple Watch with the update to WatchOS 6, but there could be more. We could see a new app called Dose that would remind users to take their medications.

We're also looking forward to new watchfaces with this update, and new complications to choose from as with previous iterations. 

New iPod Touch and other products Apple may have in the works

Hardware is not a given at Apple's developer conference, but if we were to get something it would most likely be a new Mac Pro. Apple had promised an update to this machine in 2019, and this would be a good time to show it off. The next event is the iPhone event in September, which seems less likely, and then maybe an October event.

Or it could come as a surprise release with no launch event, like what Apple recently did with its new MacBook Pros and iPod Touch.

After a four-year hiatus, this week Apple finally refreshed its iPod Touch line. The seventh-generation device looks very similar to the last one with a four-inch screen, those old-school wider bezels and that physical home button with no Touch ID

The new iPod Touch looks just like the old one and it's kind of nice

See all photos

The difference with these iPod Touch models is found under the hood. They've got Apple's newer A10 Fusion chip, which means they're now powerful enough to support ARkit and Group Facetime. And there's a 258GB option, which is a first for an iPod.

And while the lack of new features may seem like somewhat of a letdown, at least the price remained the same. The cheapest 32GB model costs $199 and goes up to $399 for the 256GB version.

Follow all the latest from WWDC 2019 on CNET

WWDC will take place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, June 3-7. The keynote starts at 10 am PT Monday. You can stream  it live on Apple's website or on CNET.com. CNET will be on the ground for all of it, so you can stay up-to-date on all the announcements via our liveblog or live show.