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For Apple fans, September is one of the most important months of the year — it’s update season. The iPhone 11 announcements have come and gone, and you know what that means: The iOS 13 release is almost here.
The iOS 13 update drops on Sept. 19, but a beta version of iOS 13.1 is available now. The next iteration of iOS is packed with new features, but here are the ones we’re most excited about that promise to make your iPhone even more useful.
This is the feature that will have people rushing to update their phones. Dark Mode will invert black and white on the iPhone user interface, maintaining the colors which would also be inverted otherwise with the accessibility inversion setting. On handsets with OLED displays, this will be especially beautiful, as the pixels which remain black won’t actually turn on at all. How-To Geek reports that this may save a small amount of battery.
For users who want to share music but aren’t comfortable sharing their AirPods, this iOS 13 release feature has their names all over it. With AirPod Sharing, the same audio can be played from one device to two (possibly more) pairs of AirPods. This feature won’t be included with iOS 13 at the outset but will arrive later this fall according to Apple.
This iOS 13 release feature means you’ll now be able to find your roommate and AirPods at the same time. Combining the apps Find My iPhone and Find My Friends, Find My allows users to see the locations of all of the devices connected to their iCloud account, as well as where their friends are, in one place. The functions of the app are the same, and two different icons at the bottom of the screen will indicate whether you’re locating friends versus locating devices.
In previous iterations of iOS, creating a Memoji — 3D representations of yourself, similar to a Bitmoji — were only available on handsets with a TrueDepth camera, so iPhone 7s and anything prior couldn’t use the feature. But iOS 13 is bringing Memoji to the masses: The animations will be available in the Messages and Mail apps, and will also come with more customization options.
Photos and Camera
The Photos app has been completely overhauled with a new look and new capabilities. While the app’s previous iterations had editing tools, the update is bringing it into VSCO territory, with presets and everything. Toggles allow you to tweak everything from brightness to highlights and shadows. With the iOS 13 release, the Camera interface is getting a similar update, allowing the lighting intensity to be manipulated during Portrait Mode.
Privacy and security
If background app activity makes you nervous, then the privacy and security changes in the iOS 13 release may ease your mind. Location permissions can now be changed so that your location is only accessible one time, when using the app, always, or not at all. You’ll also receive notifications when an app is using your location while running in the background and you can choose whether to share your location when sharing photos.
Brooke Sjoberg is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the Daily Texan's Life and Arts Editor and an editorial intern for Texas Connect magazine.